After receiving a controversial $25 million bailout (which would pay for a lot of respirators), the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts notified nearly 100 musicians with the National Symphony Orchestra that they won't receive paychecks after April 3rd, according to the orchestra's COVID-19 Advisory Committee obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
"The Covid-19 Advisory Committee was broadsided today during our conversation with [Kennedy Center President] Deborah Rutter," reads the email. "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 email went out to members on Friday evening, shortly after President Trump signed the $2 trillion CARES Act, a stimulus package intended to provide relief to people left unemployed by the coronavirus pandemic. Congress included $25 million in taxpayer funding for the Kennedy Center, a provision that raised eyebrows from both Democrats and Republicans, but ultimately won support from President Trump. 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. -Washington Free Beacon