Kennedy Center Lays Off Musicians After Receiving $25 Million Arts Bailout

REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang

Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts told musicians it will stop paying them Saturday, less than a day after the organization received a divisive $25 million arts bailout.

The Washington, D.C. group sent an email to musicians in the National Symphony Orchestra saying their checks would be cut off starting April 3, according to the Washington Free Beacon. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed to provide the money to the Kennedy Center as part of the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill President Donald Trump signed Friday. (RELATED: Pelosi Says Senate Coronavirus Bill Is Discriminatory To Residents In DC, One Day Before House Vote)

“The Covid-19 Advisory Committee was broadsided today during our conversation with [Kennedy Center President] Deborah Rutter,” the email reads. “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.”

“Everyone should proceed as if their last paycheck will be April 3,” it continued. “We understand this will come [as a] shock to all of you, as it did to us.”

Other arts and humanities grants Pelosi called for included $36,000,000 for the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, and $7,000,000 for Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. (RELATED: Mitch McConnell Restructures Campaign Into Meals Effort For Kentuckians Affected By Coronavirus)

“The country is burning and House Democrats would rather delay passage of direct relief to working families and small business so they can manipulate the way we conduct elections, bail out the postal service, impose greenhouse gas mandates on the airlines, and ensure diversity on corporate boards,” Rachel Bovard, senior policy director at the Conservative Partnership Institute, told the Daily Caller regarding Pelosi’s bill.

Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie cited Pelosi’s “pork” spending as a central reason for his attempt to delay the passage of the stimulus bill Friday.

The Kennedy Center completed a $250 million renovation in 2019.