Last week, President Donald Trump approved a gargantuan $2 trillion stimulus bill to allegedly boost the economy as it copes with the Wuhan virus.
With control of the U.S. House, Democrats put enough pressure on Trump to secure $25 million in funding for the Kennedy Center.
The power of leverage for you.
But the story gets even juicier.
Tyler O’Neill of PJ Media reported that “mere hours after Trump signed the stimulus bill, the Kennedy Center sent an email to the National Symphony Orchestra, a group of about 100 musicians, telling them they wouldn’t get paid after April 3.”
“The Covid-19 Advisory Committee was broadsided today during our conversation with [Kennedy Center President] Deborah Rutter,” the orchestra’s coronavirus committee informed musicians in an email, which the Washington Free Beacon obtained. “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 $2 trillion bailout allocated $25 million for the Kennedy Center, in order 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.”
A long-time member of the orchestra, who anonymously spoke to the Free Beacon, criticized the Kennedy Center’s decision to lay off members of the orchestra. “It’s very disappointing [that] they’re going to get that money and then drop us afterward,” the musician stated. “The Kennedy Center blindsided us.”
The Kennedy Center recently finished a $250 million renovation, and it received $41 million from taxpayers in 2019. The cultural center closed its doors on March 12 in response to the Wuhan Virus. President Rutter said to The Washington Post that she would give up her $1.2 million salary throughout the closure, but the center did not bother to give the orchestra members this option.
On Saturday, March 28, 2020 the orchestra filed a grievance, alluding to its four-year collective bargaining agreement, which it signed last September. The contract makes clear that artists be given at least six weeks’ notice before no longer receiving paychecks.
Washington D.C. yet again shows it true colors of being reckless spendthrifts who throw money at special interest groups that are more than capable of taking care of themselves.