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The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts informed members of the National Symphony Orchestra that they would no longer be paid just hours after President Trump signed a $25 million taxpayer bailout for the cultural center, according to an email obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. Nearly 100 musicians will no longer receive paychecks after April 3, according to an email from the orchestra's Covid-19 Advisory Committee.
A veteran member of the orchestra, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal, told the Washington Free Beacon that the decision "blindsided" musicians. The member welcomed the bailout package as necessary funding for the arts, but was stunned that it would not be used to cover payment for the artists. "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."
Authorized by the 1958 National Cultural Center Act of Congress, which requires that its programming be sustained through private funds, the center represents a public–private partnership. Its activities include educational and outreach initiatives, almost entirely funded through ticket sales and gifts from individuals, corporations, and private foundations...
It receives annual federal funding to pay for its maintenance and operation.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called out President Trump on Sunday over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying that his denial of the seriousness of the pathogen and his delay in ramping up the federal government’s response to it has proved “deadly” for Americans