Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musicians protest after concerts were canceled abruptly which shortened their schedule. (Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun video)
As a humanities student at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, I feel a very close kinship with both Baltimore and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. I actually had a marketing internship at the BSO lined up for the summer that I was extremely excited for. Unfortunately, as many readers of The Baltimore Sun know, the BSO was forced to cancel much of its summer programming and had to rescind my internship offer (“With abrupt summer cancellation, ‘West Side Story’ is the last BSO performance until fall,” June 7).
Now, this issue of declining support for the arts is not limited to nor has it begun with the BSO. However, I've lived in Maryland my whole life and I've always felt that our state supported the arts. I state all this just to say that the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra matters. I've been following the Baltimore Sun's coverage of all this in horror. I hope Gov. Larry Hogan will consider ending the "fence in" of funding and allocating the money that the BSO needs to continue its wonderful programming.
I started a petition on the night after my to-be boss emailed me stating that the BSO had to rescind my position. Without summer programming, how could there be summer marketing? But since that day (June 5), the petition has already garnered support from 68 people. And I think that says something. Other articles on The Baltimore Sun site have acknowledged the same truth that Governor Hogan should acknowledge: The musicians are the ones who are suffering from the poor management. And the consequences of poor management should not fall on the people who are doing their jobs and are hard-working and talented.
There needs to be a serious examination into what’s going wrong with the BSO and I realize that’s what was meant to happen this summer with Del. Maggie McIntosh’s bill, HB 1404. This issue is definitely multifaceted and there’s plenty of blame to go around within the management and also within the governor’s office. However, in the wake of the announcement of summer programming cancellation, I can see who is getting hit by the worst of this and it’s certainly not the management. Although Mr. Hogan did not sign the bill, it became law nonetheless. He can certainly make up for his obvious mistake by allocating the funding from HB 1404. The governor cannot possibly claim to support the arts without taking action on this issue.
Though Baltimore has it’s fair share of problems, the BSO is undoubtedly one of the things that makes the city wonderful. Please don’t let this issue fall by the wayside.