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Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra musicians and stagehands on unpaid furlough

Layoffs also in administrative staff
Posted at 2:27 PM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 14:31:40-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is taking what it calls "an unprecedented step to protect its long-term viability."

With all performances canceled through May 27, the ISO is now putting its musicians and stagehands on unpaid furlough, while laying off nearly half of its administrative staff.

“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,” CEO James 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.”

The COVID-19 outbreak has left the ISO unable to plan for future concerts since it's not clear when it will be safe to perform again.

“At this time, our thoughts are for those on the front lines of the pandemic, especially first responders and healthcare workers,” said Johnson. “However, we know that music will have a role to play in bringing relief to our community. We look forward to the time when it is safe to resume performing. We will be ready and eager to play our part. It is the ISO’s intention to emerge from this challenging period better, stronger, and more clearly focused on delivering on our mission to serve the community.”

ISO leadership has applied for financial relief through the Paycheck Protection Program. Johnson has advised employees on furlough or layoff to seek unemployment benefits. The ISO has committed to providing healthcare coverage through May.

Members of the community interested in supporting the ISO’s efforts to recover from the challenges related to the COVID-19 outbreak are encouraged to visit [] to find more information about making a financial contribution or donating the value of tickets from cancelled concerts.