During the leaked conference call, which took place on March 26, Rutter repeatedly makes excuses for why they are laying off their employees despite knowing that they will be receiving $25 million in the stimulus package. She says that the Kennedy Center has been barely keeping their heads afloat for years and that being closed, without the money from the government, would have meant they would run out of cash on May 15.
About 2 minutes in: “We are really grateful for this $25 million, but I will tell you that it does not keep us whole,” Rutter says in the beginning of the call. “In fact, the language that Tracy [Henke] worked so closely with all the appropriators on was clear that we needed this just to be able to reopen.”
About 3 minutes in: “Some of you are probably aware of the fact that we are now, uh, the target for a lot of unhappy people who believe that we are taking the money away from sick people. In the case of a stimulus bill, it is to try to continue to do business, and to stimulate the economy in the future,” Rutter said. “In this case, this funding is pretty prescriptive in that it says ‘you need to do this for operational expenses so that you can open up again after this, uh, uh, closure — this period of time, this closure.’”