Musicians in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra are striking against attempts by DSO management to force through a 33 percent cut in base pay and reduction in the pay for new-hires of 42 percent, along with sharply reduced health coverage and a freeze in pensions. The musicians have insisted that at stake are not only their own living conditions, but the future of the orchestra itself.
The crisis at the DSO is part of a national phenomenon. Budgets for arts groups are under relentless attack from governments in the US at all levels, while wealthy individuals and corporations are reducing their financial gifts. The sharp reduction in public and private funds for the arts goes hand in hand with an offensive against education at all levels. As trillions are handed out to bail out the banks, supposedly “unnecessary” school programs are being scaled back or eliminated, library systems are being closed or privatized, as states and cities grapple with unprecedented budget deficits.
World Socialist Web Site Arts Editor David Walsh will discuss the significance of the DSO strike—for the musicians, for the working class, and for the fate of art and culture in the United States.
Monday, November 15, 7 p.m.
University of Michigan
Forum Hall Auditorium
100 Washtenaw Avenue
Ann Arbor, Michigan