Atlanta musicians are given Monday deadline

Virginia Hepner, the hardline Woodruff Arts Center chief, has given the musicians untl Monday to accept her unwavering terms or face cancellation of the next chunk of their season. Hepner has made no substantive concessions in the federal mediation talks.

She informed the musicians: ‘Our proposal will remain open for your acceptance until 4PM, Monday, October 27, 2014. If not accepted by that time, we will be forced to make further cancellations.’

It appears the WAC is prepared to freeze the players out.

virginia hepner

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  • Isn’t it wonderful when corporate executives come into the arts to help them run better?
    Rewrite that mission statement yet again.
    Steer those monies away from the orchestra, especially when they’re needed so badly. Blame the musicians (and always, Always refer to them as “THE UNION.”)

    • Indeed. The arts should be free, or close to free, like parks.

      This means tax and spend (carefully), and it is anathema to people like this woman.

      When the bank she comes from, Wachovia (now Wells Fargo), donates, it gets a tax break, which in effect is a tax on others.

      When bank staff get their sandwiches in the Green Room before concerts, effectively others pay.

      These aspects, and the principle of arts for everyone or as a public service, are forgotten when the outside executives get on their noble cost-cutting horses. What America needs is a president who understands this and will usd the bully pulpit to shape dialog accordingly.

      Of course, the unions are no angels either.

  • The entire manner in which U.S. arts organisations operate always seems to be one of us versus them mentality, with the administration on one side and the musicians on the other. That set-up will never work. Sadly it is indicative of the always polarised approach to matters in the U.S., i.e. “you’re either with us or against us”, “good guy or bad guy”, “friend or enemy”, “take it or leave it.” Apparently the Americans haven’t learned that there are many shades of grey and that life is not so simplistic as they make it out to be. The attitude seen in the arts management world is a microcosm of how they deal with most issues and I’ve encountered this approach many times in legal negotiations with U.S. partners that I have carried out for my firm. That attitude is always doomed to failure and fosters resentment.

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