NewsArts & Culture / May 5, 2020

Indianapolis Symphony Cancels Summer Concerts Amid Pandemic

Fireworks explode as the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra plays its annual patriotic celebration of America at Conner Prairie Amphitheater in Fishers, Sunday, July 2, 2017. - AP Photo/Michael Conroy

Fireworks explode as the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra plays its annual patriotic celebration of America at Conner Prairie Amphitheater in Fishers, Sunday, July 2, 2017.

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra has canceled its summer slate of performances because of the lingering threat that the coronavirus pandemic poses to its musicians, staff and patrons.

Symphony officials had previously canceled all performances through May 27. They announced Monday the cancellation of the remaining scheduled summer concerts through Sept. 17, including the popular Symphony on the Prairie season that's staged at suburban Indianapolis' Conner Prairie.

CEO James Johnson said the additional cancellations are “disappointing” but the “safety of our musicians, staff, and patrons comes before all else.”

The symphony, which has 72 musicians and 54 full-time employees, said last month that it had put its musicians and stagehands on furlough and laid off nearly half of its administrative staff.

Symphony spokeswoman Kristin Cutler said the group applied for and received a federal Paycheck Protection Program loan, which allowed it to bring back its musicians, stagehands and administrative staff.

“While everyone is working remotely, we are connecting with our community through virtual performances and events, including providing engaging education programs,” she said. “We are offering all full-time employees normal benefits, including health insurance.”

Customers with tickets for the canceled performances can opt not to have a refund, which will give them a tax-deductible donation to the symphony. They can also exchange their tickets for a gift certificate or value pack for future performances.

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