Kennedy Center Informs National Orchestra Members of Final Paychecks Hours After Receiving $25 Mil. Relief Package

Nick Kangadis | March 30, 2020
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Leave it to an institution in D.C. to act like a bunch of politicians when it comes to money.

The Washington Free Beacon reported that “just hours” after President Donald Trump signed the questionable $2 trillion stimulus package into law on Friday the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts informed nearly 100 musicians in the National Symphony Orchestra that they will “no longer be receiving paychecks after April 3.”

The move came in an email to members of the orchestra, despite the center receiving a “$25 million taxpayer bailout.” The email claims that while “musicians and librarians” won’t be getting paid after April 3rd, they will most likely keep their jobs. They just won’t be getting paid again until the Center reopens, whenever that may be.

“The Covid-19 Advisory Committee was broadsided today during our conversation with [Kennedy Center President] Deborah Rutter," the email says, according to the Free Beacon. "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.”

A musician who spoke to the Free Beacon on the condition of anonymity, because they were scared that if they outwardly spoke about the issue they would encounter repercussions, said that they were “blindsided” by the decision.

“It's very disappointing [that] they're going to get that money and then drop us afterward," the musician said. "The Kennedy Center blindsided us.”

Also in response, orchestra member filed a grievance against the Center for possibly violating a new collective bargaining agreement for not giving members “at least six-weeks notice” prior to the checks being stopped.

The blu checkmarks in the “Twitterverse” didn’t take kindly to the move by the Kennedy Center: