Kennedy Center Will No Longer Pay Musicians Even After $25 Million Bailout
Last week, President Trump signed a $2 trillion stimulus bill in order to stem the economic damage the Chinese coronavirus has caused, and will continue to inflict. It included some good, such as monetary relief for families and small business loans, but also included the usual pork we’ve come to expect out of Washington, such as $25 million to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and much more. Rachel Bovard at American Greatness has a great run-down of the bill’s details here.
Apparently the $25 million wasn’t enough for the Kennedy Center. Over the weekend, just hours after Trump signed the bill, the center told orchestra members that they would still not be paid until it reopened.
From the Washington Free Beacon, according to an email from the orchestra’s Covid-19 Advisory Committee that they obtained:
Nearly 100 musicians will no longer receive paychecks after April 3, according to an email from the orchestra’s Covid-19 Advisory Committee.
“The Covid-19 Advisory Committee was broadsided today during our conversation with [Kennedy Center President] Deborah Rutter,” the email says. “Ms. Rutter abruptly informed us today that the last paycheck for all musicians and librarians will be April 3 and that we will not be paid again until the Center reopens.”
The Free Beacon continues:
The bailout was designed to “cover operating expenses required to ensure the continuity of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and its affiliates, including for employee compensation and benefits, grants, contracts, payments for rent or utilities, fees for artists or performers,” according to the law’s text. The arts organization decided that the relief did not extend to members of the National Symphony Orchestra, its house orchestra.
“Everyone should proceed as if their last paycheck will be April 3,” the email says. “We understand this will come [as a] shock to all of you, as it did to us.”
This is pathetic, and a just another great example of how badly government operates in areas where it has no business operating.