Orchestra labor woes have far-reaching effects

This is the mission statement driving the curators of the Musical Instrument Museum in Scottsdale, Arizona.(Photo: Boyce Lancaster)
This is the mission statement driving the curators of the Musical Instrument Museum in Scottsdale, Arizona.(Photo: Boyce Lancaster)

Music lovers in many cities across the United States and Europe are feeling the effects of the orchestral infighting which has become commonplace in today’s economy. Musicians are certainly feeling the impact as their paychecks have stopped and they try to cobble together a sufficient income stream to allow them to survive the contract negotiations.

The ripple effects of ongoing lockouts and orchestral contract negotiations is being felt by those in all walks of life, whether or not they’ve ever darkened the door of a theatre.

In Minneapolis, where the Minnesota Orchestra is involved in a lockout, concertgoers are said to spend upwards of $30 million per year.  It’s estimated that nearly $1.25 million for meals and parking has been lost to downtown merchants since the lockout began.

Restaurant owners and staff, parking garages, hotels, vendors, music students, and many others are missing out on expected revenue, losing scholarship opportunities, and are being forced to consider the “what ifs” of the situation. For those who say it doesn’t matter, that they’ll just find something else to do, people in communities across the country whose livelihoods are being threatened beg to differ.

We here in Central Ohio have much to be grateful for with performance seasons in full swing. We all owe a debt of gratitude to the performers and to the directors and staffs who toil to ensure the arts are alive and well in our community. We can demonstrate that gratitude by being in the audience when they perform.

Read more: Effects of Minnesota Orchestra lockout ripple through the community (Minnesota Public Radio)

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