Whatever happens after Corona, Kennedy Center looks doomed

Whatever happens after Corona, Kennedy Center looks doomed


norman lebrecht

March 31, 2020

A conference call between Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter and 200 employees has been intercepted by Jack Posobiec of One America News, a rightwing, pro-Trump outlet.

In it, Rutter tries to explain why, with an extra $25 million of Federal cash, she had to lay off all the musicians without pay.

Here’s part of it:
The baseline cash flow says that if we had not received any cash, and everything stayed exactly as it is today, no changes, we would draw fully on the line of credit, we would be out of cash, on May 15. Couldn’t do anything further. So, with no changes, assuming we could even open on May 15, we would have no cash to do the work moving forward. We extended that cash flow all the way through September 30, and um, we would be in arrears to the tune of $32 million. So, again, with the $25 million, and doing nothing, we still would be out $32 million. That’s actually sort of why we were asking, initially, for $35 million from the federal government.

Whatever happens after the Corona crisis, Kennedy Center will be a basket case.

More here.





  • James says:

    Norman, you may not be aware, but One America News/Gateway Pundit is essentially one of the most aggressive propaganda networks for Trump and Trumpism. They regularly traffic in racism, sexism, and lies.

    Notwithstanding the need to share this info of this conference call , I think you might not want to send them more traffic.

    • AlanK says:

      This is complete nonsense. Of course they are a conservative network but they are no more biased than the left-wing cable outlets. Of course no progressive can use right wing without gratuitously throwing in terms like racism. Why are progressives so intent on silencing any one who dissents from their world view? There is truth in the saying inside every progressive is a totalitarian screaming to come out. BTW what has the Rutter intercept have anything to do with the politics of the news outlet!

    • Ira L says:

      Democrat run organizations ruined THEMSELVES James!

      The Met is another..

      Their IRS investigative audits will bear this out as more halls continue to “cry poor” with their 7-figure salaried White leaders as they abandon the talent they depend on.

    • Quincy says:

      So they are like CNN but honest…have to tune in.

      Thanks for the diversity tip!

    • Edgar says:

      Oh James, looks like you give us non-Americans a peek into the Civil War in the DisUnited States America, where anything one says is politicized, as the relies show. Worse than the coronavirus if you ask me…

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      Not like CNN: the arm of the Democratic Party and destined to go down with the ship when the incipiently demented Joe Biden attempts to win the Presidency. I feel sorry for this man every single day; he is a puppet of the Left. Put him into power and then pull all the strings as he’ll clearly not capable himself. Shame on everybody.

      Continue with your Trump Derangement Syndrome but international humiliation of Biden is a disgrace.

    • Karl says:

      Anyone who opposes identity politics gets accused of being racist. Anyone who believes in due process and innocent until proven guilty is accused of being sexist.

  • Ron Swanson says:

    So my down voted estimate of $30 million black hole was right.

  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    At least in Europe & Australia the government is likely to step in to save major institutions. In USA the only hope is private individuals. The structure of USA is not going to change any time soon. Bernie Sanders is already losing his bid for Democrat nomination.

    • Ron Swanson says:

      A millionaire Marxist from Vermont was never going to win.

      • Tamino says:

        But an heir to millions and mentally unstable provincial real estate Mafioso from New York won.

        At least Sanders made his own millions, he seems more qualified than Trump when it come to business then. 😛

        I pity US-America.

        • Cubs Fan says:

          Why pity us? Trump won because for the past few decades “‘leaders” of both parties have failed us. In comes a well-known celebrity who offers to bring us back (MAGA) to what we used to be, to not play by the usual political rules and how could he not win? That was the appeal of Sanders – he wasn’t your usual money grubbing, lying politician. He just wasn’t a celebrity. I hope our arts organizations can survive this current disaster, many won’t. I won’t blame the political class which has never shown much interest in the arts. Perhaps places like the Kennedy Center, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic and others with sky high salaries for performers and managers will reign in the big money items and get back to what matters.

        • Ron Swanson says:

          If the Democrats want Trump out of the Whitehouse then they need to have comprise with the electorate. All McGovern and Mondale succeeded in doing was get Nixon and Regan elected. Sanders would keep Trump in the Whitehouse and enough Democrats realised that.

          • Tamino says:

            I’m not arguing that. It’s the whole corrupt political system over there, that I pity. It’s damaging that country in the long run, just like any parasite in the long run damages and potentially kills its host.

          • Ron Swanson says:

            Nonsense, if the Democrats had actually nominated some one who hadn’t had 30 years of unpleasant political baggage just because she was a Woman , then Trump wouldn’t be President. They forgot the public don’t give a stuff about fashionable academic positions and forgot it’s the economy stupid that matters. The left in the democratic world have been wiped out because not only have lost touch with the general public but are actively hostile to what the majority believe.

          • Tamino says:

            I know how the Stockholm syndrome group think of the two opposite camps over there is. I’m just wondering how they can get out of their collective delusion.

          • Steve says:

            Really? The majority? Clinton got MORE votes than Trump (by a significant margin). The majority spoke and lost to gerrymandered districting abusing the electoral college.

          • Ron Swanson says:

            Blah blah blah, she lost using the same voting system that elected Obama and her husband twice. Winning all the votes in New York doesn’t matter.

          • Tamino says:

            I think, going by the bipolar division that runs through that country politically, they should throw that failed country/system in the bin and start all over anew.

          • Matt D says:

            Quit saying “over there” and “that country”. You are probably American and use this ridiculous verbiage to create false separation. Although with your delusions and obvious lack of intelligence, you could be a British leftist!

            Modern Americans, like modern everybodies, think their institutions, including political parties, change very slowly and deliberately. This is usually true, though not always. The US is in the midst of a sudden political reassessment brought on by the electorate‘s epiphany that the USA and the West have been betrayed by the post-war status quo, i.e. globalism.

            Americans also have serious questions regarding the leviathan of the state, since not only is the military now suspect, but also the Presidency, the Electoral College, the CIA, the FBI, the Supreme Court, and coming soon, the CDC and NIH!

            Neither party truly represents the American mainstream, which is center-right and open-minded. Many of the people who voted for Trump voted for Obama twice! Relatively few people who voted for Trump actually like him. They tolerate him simply because the left is inexorably drifting toward the dissolute far-left of identity politics and cultural coercion.

            Which gets to the crux of the matter. To vote for a very crass, shallow man with little self-control, but who doesn’t despise everything about the country he seeks to lead? Or to embrace a socio-political ideology whose unspoken goal is the subversion of Western Culture and Civilization?

          • The way it is... says:


            You do realize that all the time Hillary was involved in politics (3 decades or so), she would have addressed the Electoral College system if in all that time she was against it.

            No Steve, she didn’t affect any change.

            She’s not qualified or intelligent enough to have legislated this even now.

            Hillary represents only the helpless, scorned, victims of men…Bill.

            She CHOSE to cultivate power for herself by remaining in a loveless, failed marriage many girls of Bill’s over.

            Now she’s got no power, no 1% friends and no husband except in name and rare paired appearance.

            She sure doesn’t have time to STAND UP for the Kennedy Center or The Met. Nor does Bill or Chelsea.

            She’s a narcissistic drunk. (Period)

            BTW Where are the Obamas while there is so much “need” right now??? Stuck in their 1% white, walled mansion with armed security?? Yep!

          • Matt D says:

            There is no gerrymandering or districting in the Electoral College. Whichever candidate wins the popular vote in each state receives that state’s electoral votes. The number of electoral votes for each state is determined by a non-partisan committee based on population. It’s fairly simple.

        • Lloyd Jenson says:

          While an unqualified, scorned, entitled megalomaniac “woman” denigrated the majority of the USA creating her own demise.

          Yeah, Hillary sure is powerless now…and jealous. Poor GIRL!

          Then you’ve got Biden and Sanders. Both equally unstable and ready for the glue factory.

          Hope you’ll finally accept Trump as your President in his SECOND TERM or do us a favor; leave the US for a “better country”. LOL!

  • lookaftersociety says:

    Conference centre / homeless shelter – little difference really. It can easily be re-purposed.

    • Sir David Geffen-Hall says:

      The only homeless shelter in America to have it’s own resident orchestra and opera company.

  • MacroV says:

    For the sake of your reputation, I would not advise keeping a safe distance from One America News.

  • PaulD says:

    Rutter needs to think outside the box on this. Since she has embraced the art form, why doesn’t she do a hip-hop focused fund raiser? She should enlist Kanye West and his wife, Kim Kardashian, who are not only fabulously wealthy – they are friends of Trump.

    • Fred says:

      Rutter needs to go.

      What you’re saying would be like saying Joseph Hazelwood needs to steer a little further off shore next time he captains the Exxon Valdez.

      She sank the ship. She needs to go.

    • Alank says:

      Agreed. Rutter’s obsession with diversity programming and dumbing down the KC presentations should at least result in revenues from her new favored commercial art forms. Sadly it will never happen and what will result is a bankrupt hybrid entertainment center

      • Annnon says:

        Diversity programming and dumbing down is what’s keeping the classical musicians afloat, without it, they’d be earning minimum wage and playing the DC metro. (Good luck with that, if Joshua Bell can’t get $25…)

    • Stubborn dude says:

      Rutter needs to RESIGN!!!

  • Jon H says:

    Nobody is immune

  • Couperin says:

    Nice Trump ad embedded on this page…I assume that’s auto-generated?

  • MacroV says:

    I’m not actually sure what’s wrong with this, um, revelation. Sounds like she’s explaining the fiscal management challenges the institution is facing.

  • geoff says:

    Looks like politics is winning over music on slippedisc