Where to start? Work this weekend prevented any effort to write something in depth about what has been going on so instead, here’s an overview of events throughout the business from the past few days and what’s in store this week…
- In Shreveport, the musicians of the Shreveport Symphony rejected a negotiation offer from the board which contained provisions to cut the 24 full time musicians and reduce their annual compensation from $12,693 to $3,123 for the 2008/09 season. In a press release, the
musicians cited record breaking Gala ticket sales and a continued resolve to reject any offer that “intends to dismantle the current
structure of the orchestra and create an unacceptably low pay structure.” More info is available in an excellent Shreveport Times article by Donecia Pea.
- In a stunning move, the Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) recommended no longer funding the Columbus Symphony Orchestra (CSO).
According to an article in the Columbus Dispatch, the GCAC gave the CSO $261,417 last year. In the same article, the CSO’s executive director, Tony Beadle, was quoted saying the decision “sends a message of nonsupport to the community.” However, in a Dispatch article from the previous day reporting efforts by public groups to raise money for the CSO Beadle was quoted as saying “At the end of the day, people have to understand that we’ve got a huge dinosaur here that has to be fed 500 bales of hay a day.” Is anyone else getting a mixed message?
- Fortunately, there was a bit of good news in the Honolulu Symphony’s $1.175 million gift which allowed the organization to catch up on several weeks of back pay to musicians and staff. Given that the end of the organization’s season ended on Sunday they should now be in
position to recoup and focus on selling subscriptions and refining board development efforts.
In non-negotiation, non-crisis related news Inside The Arts Podcasts published the second episode in its new series of music review podcasts, Because Shut Up, That’s Why! This episode, titled Silk Road Explorations with the Chicago Symphony features host Jason Heath and Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra musicians Frank Babbitt, Collins Trier, and John Rosenkrans. The episode has Jason’s freewheeling-always-fun personality all over it so it is worth your time. Click here to visit the podcast.
2 thoughts on “A Busy Weekend”
I had the same reaction when I read Tony Beadle’s quote in the ‘Columbus Dispatch.’ It appears that everyone — except the staff, board, and executive director — is at least trying to do something to save the orchestra. The subtext to Beadle’s comment was “thanks, but no thanks.” I do not think the current board and staff (at least the executive director) is very interested in continuing operations.
Am I the only one who sees this “dinosaur” comment as nothing more than a poor choice of words? Would it be more appropriate to use a gorilla or an elephant in the metaphor? The point is the CSO needs a lot of money and it needs it now.
The fact that so many are taking this single quote out completely out of context, skittering off with it to the far corners of the Internet and taking cheap shots at the CSO staff is disheartening to me. It seems folks are more interested in laying blame than saving the orchestra.