It was just a day ago that conservatives were having a fit that the House Democrats’ economic stimulus package included $35 million set aside for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. (Which is a bargain: Rep. Jerry Nadler wanted $4 billion for New York City’s nonprofit museums.)
There must have been some negotiation, though, because on Wednesday someone had managed to talk Nancy Pelosi and company down to $25 million for the Kennedy Center. Obviously aware of the backlash in the press, the Kennedy Center released a statement Wednesday trying to explain why it deserved $25 million to weather the COVID-19 crisis:
— The Kennedy Center (@kencen) March 25, 2020
It reads, in part:
As we fulfill our congressional mandate, we rely on ticket revenues and contributions to offset nearly every aspect of our business, including presenting live (often free) performances and offering education programs for millions across the country. Additionally, the Center is a job creator, providing employment for nearly 3,000 people and compensation for more than 1,000 guest artists. Our workforce includes artists, programmers, administrative and production staff, ushers, bartenders, food service employees, parking attendants, and many more, all of whom have been impacted or will soon be impacted by the closure of the Kennedy Center. The ability to deliver on our mandated mission is at risk. As a result, federal relief funding is the only way we will be in a position to reopen the nation’s cultural center when our government officials tell us it is safe to do so.
Honest question: Wouldn’t those bartenders, ushers, and parking attendants be covered by the stimulus package already without an extra $25 million set aside?
Anyway, the Kennedy Center still isn’t winning a lot of new fans:
We need N95 masks assholes.
— EducatëdHillbilly™ (@RobProvince) March 25, 2020
You need to be sold. $25,000,000 could have purchased over 11 MILLION n95 facemasks for Drs and nurses–and to prepare for future outbreaks! Cannot tell you how livid I am that you even exist. You should refuse the funding if you don't want to be cancelled by the next Congress.
— American Elephant™ (@TheElephantsKid) March 25, 2020
Reject the money. Have some integrity.
— Tim ?????? (@TimMorrisUSA) March 25, 2020
Buy some ventilators
— badjujuu and 1,256 others……… (@bad_jujuu) March 25, 2020
This is disgusting- donate the slush fund to hospitals!!!!!!!!
— Hannah Johnson (@fleoten) March 25, 2020
You received $167M less than a year ago. $13M more than previously received. You received $400M in 2018 for an expansion not to mention the millions & millions you take in from donors. Sorry, you should apply for a loan like local theaters will have to.
— ???? (@DroppedmicAgain) March 25, 2020
— Seraphina has a clean fish tank ? (@fenixash8) March 25, 2020
You’re not helping yourselves with this.
— Patrick Williams (@patr1ckw) March 25, 2020
Awesome that you're donating your lovely facility to be transformed into a hospital! $25 million well spent!
That is what it's going to be used for, right? Because it would be beyond obscene if it was just to maintain a pleasure palace for the elite!
— Just L (aka Belaglik the Biddy) (@JustLittleOldL) March 25, 2020
— Rose ??? (@RoBud2u) March 25, 2020
— Rogue Penguin (@Rogue_40) March 25, 2020
Bite me in D minor
— Foreign-born Chinese Wuhan Bat (@Richmac33) March 25, 2020
Step up and donate the money, we need ventilators and PPE, not stipends for guest artists.
— Dr. Richard Cranium ?? (@GolfFoxYank) March 25, 2020
Is this supposed to make us feel better?
— Jc (@Hondurican11) March 25, 2020
Go ask the Kennedy Center honorees – I’m sure Lucas, McCartney, Hanks, and Winfrey could find more than $25,000,00 in their couches…
— ObeliskToucher (@ObeliskToucher) March 25, 2020
— dixietoo (@DiXieTwo82) March 25, 2020
This is not the helpful explanation you think it is. It will, however, likely gain you access to a very prestigious list. ✍️✍️✍️@SirajAHashmi
— Dave Gray (@docgray81) March 25, 2020
So? Theaters and performance venues NATIONWIDE are closed and their employees out of work. You simply are not more important than my local theater, no matter what you believe.
— Kimberly Johnson (@kimmrz60) March 25, 2020
Like you couldn't get donations through a performance series. Don't you think performing arts centers across this country employ 1000s of people. $25million? Really? Maybe enough to make it one month or two. It's elitist BS.
— Karen Lee (@KarenLeeCC) March 25, 2020
— Wayne Kenhoff (@WKenhoff) March 25, 2020
Proof that you need to revise your model.
— Davis F (@DavisF_SC) March 25, 2020
You deserve nothing
— Derpzilla (@JDerpzilla) March 25, 2020
We don't care and you shouldn't have gotten a dime of this.
— ??????? (@jeremydehner) March 25, 2020
There is no scenario in which you should accept this money. This is pure opportunism.
— Craig T. Lammlin (@clammlin) March 25, 2020
Delete your account.
No, not Twitter. Your BANK account.
— Will Collier (@willcollier) March 25, 2020
This whole thing is disgusting no matter which side of the fence you are on. Reject the money and donate it to those who cant afford to feed their families. You will make quite a name for yourselves from this crisis and you still have time to make it a good name.
— Craig (@CraigCl347) March 25, 2020
I don’t think you understand how the country hates you.
— Jeff Rudy (@JeffRudy1) March 25, 2020
— Uri Blago (@UriBlago) March 25, 2020
Sorry, but you are not needed. That money should be going to law enforcement and the people suffering. You have plenty of millionaire donors. WE ( the average person, healthcare worker & average cop who will have to deal with a heavier load) need it more than you do. Selfish!
— Elmy Pepper (@elmypepper) March 25, 2020
How much money do you have in endowments? Why on earth during this crisis should you get a dime? Get outta here.
— Chet Greenwood (@truthandfitness) March 25, 2020
As the leftist organization you have become, you don’t deserve a dime of my money. Special arrangements should never be made for favored organizations, especially ones that promote elitist leftists who look down on the country.
— Roscoe Tanner (@tanner_roscoe) March 25, 2020
Go to hell you leeches
— Soccer Dad (@tcrzero) March 25, 2020
It doesn’t look like that statement is convincing many people that the Kennedy Center deserved special treatment during the coronavirus pandemic.
WOW: Sen. Tom Cotton’s ‘MUST READ’ thread just made Nancy Pelosi’s coronavirus stimulus demands even MORE enraging https://t.co/zhvjrzSWK7
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) March 23, 2020