Kennedy Center pockets Coronavirus “stimulus,” fires workers

Kennedy Center
Photo Credit: Der Berzerker

Last week, Nancy Pelosi and the liberal left demanded that the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington get $25 million in Coronavirus “stimulus” funds.

This week, the Kennedy Center fired a huge portion of its staff–putting 96 employees on furlough.

The craziest part? The Kennedy Center apparently planned to fire its workers all along–even as it told the federal government that they needed the hefty emergency funding to make payroll.

In leaked audio from a senior management conference call, first reported by OANN’s Jack Posobiec, Kennedy Center President Deborah praised their Vice President of Government Relations, Tracey Henke, for obtaining the funding… and admitted they had basically lied to the federal government to obtain it.

“Fortunately, Tracy has really great relationships on [Capitol] Hill,” she added. “We have fantastic support from board leadership and all of those relationships and savvy, I will say, is what brought us that $25 million,” she said.
Rutter then outlined where the Kennedy Center’s “stimulus” check would go. Hint: not fired workers.

“What’s different from previous funding from the federal government is that it will allow us to pay for things that the federal appropriation generally doesn’t,” she bragged. “So in this case it will be able to be used for operational expenses, like… to be able to make sure that the building is open and ready for programming and activity.”


Weekly payroll for the fired staff came to reportedly $400,000 per week. Rutter didn’t explain how much the Kennedy Center would need to keep their building in operational shape–but had the $25 million be used solely on salaries, the staff could’ve been kept on the books for over a year.


Someone on the call then asked Rutter if it would be possible for remaining staff to take a pay cut–so that layoffs would be minimized.
Rutter refused, stating that the federal government

would kick in enough unemployment benefits that the Kennedy Center didn’t have to bother keeping staff on payroll.


“The more we are learning about the unemployment benefits, it is clear that in some cases it’s really going to be more valuable for individuals to be furloughed so they can collect unemployment instead of contributing back,” Rutter said.