Another sad tale of our time. At least this press release does not try to put spin on it.
(April 7, 2020) – Extraordinary circumstances created from the COVID-19 outbreak caused the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra to cancel performances through May 27. In an unprecedented step to protect its long-term viability, the ISO last week placed its musicians and stagehands on unpaid furlough, and laid off nearly half of its administrative staff.
ISO leadership has applied for financial relief through the Paycheck Protection Program as part of the recently passed CARES Act. CEO James Johnson has advised employees on furlough or layoff to seek unemployment benefits. The ISO has committed to providing healthcare coverage through May.
“Given the far-reaching economic impact of COVID-19, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is implementing measures to best protect its financial stability during this time,” Johnson said. “These personnel actions are extraordinarily difficult, but necessary to manage the challenges faced by our organization. The health and safety of our employees remains a priority. I am grateful that our Board of Directors has pledged to fund health insurance for employees for the near future.”
As is the case with all organizations in the performing arts and entertainment industry, the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak has prevented the ISO from being able to announce, promote or confirm plans for future performances until there is definitive guidance on when it will be safe to gather and perform again. During this hiatus, the ISO is retaining a minimum administrative staff on reduced pay and benefits to maintain basic operations.