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Indy Orchestra Lockout Hurting Local Economy, ISO Reputation

An IU arts administration lecturer says the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra's lockout will cause a ripple effect throughout the economy.

ISO

Photo: IndyDina (Flickr)

The ISO still performs on monument circle in Indianapolis every day.

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra has cancelled performances for the third week in a row after the symphony’s management and the musicians’ union failed to reach a contract agreement.

Indiana University Arts Administration lecturer Michael Wilkerson says the lockout could have an effect on local business. He says businesses depending on the orchestra’s events are taking a hit each week the symphony does not play.

“You will have all of the musicians not getting paid and revenues not coming to the symphony. So all the people that work for the administrative side, people that work for the box office, people that work for restaurants nearby before the concert and the bars people go after the concert. There’s a quite a ripple effect economically, ” Wilkerson says.

Wilkerson says he expects the settlement to take another few weeks, although, he says, extending the negotiations is not helping the symphony’s reputation either.

Chairman of the negotiating committee Richard Graef  says the musicians are frustrated with the cancellations, and he hopes an agreement can be reached within the next week.

“We don’t feel it necessary. We feel we are really close to an agreement. And we should be able to find a way to keep the music going for the people of the central Indiana,” Graef says.

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra musicians have been playing outside the theater each day and performed a benefit concert this past weekend for the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra.

The ISO management declined to comment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Griffin-Sabine/100003477332859 Griffin Sabine

    The arts bring $386 million a year to Indianapolis. In contrast, we spent nearly a billion dollars to get the Super Bowl (when one counts the cost of the stadium in the equation which was extorted from the city to GET the Super Bowl). And the Super Bowl actually LOST money (about 80% of the revenue goes back out of the city/state and most of the rest according to local merchants is little more impact than a Colts game). The average person who attends an ISO concert spends an additional $26 in the city the night of an ISO performance. Yet the city only donates about $175,000 a year in support of the ISO. Contrast that to the $10 million a year they give to the Pacers, and you quickly see where the problems lie – a typical Republican regime with no regard for the arts coupled with total and complete mismanagement of the ISO, its operations, its marketing and its fundraising. Denver has an arts tax that is imposed on ticket sales for the Broncos, Rockies, Avalanche and Nuggets. This generates $40 million a year for Denver’s arts organizations. With all the public money spend to prop up private concerns like the Colts and Pacers, it’s time they gave back to the city’s other home team – and the cornerstone of the state’s art’s industry.

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