In an email to The Sconz, a spokesman for the Overture Center called much of what Noel Radomski said yesterday about the arts center puzzling, and said that Radomski's criticisms amounted to an "endorsement of Mayor Dave's plan."
Robert Chappell specifically called the allegation that the new Overture Center would be staffed with city employees via union bumping false. Although that is currently the case, the proposal being negotiated now between the city and the center is aimed partially at eliminating the practice. In fact, the only bumping that will be able to take place will be the other way around, in which Overture Center union employees will have the option of requesting transfers into regular city departments.
The only positions that would still be filled by city employees in the current "focus model" would be maintenance and custodial employees, who are tremendously dedicated, hardworking and very good at their jobs.
Chappell agreed that the Center should expand the type of programming it offers, and emphasized that it recently partnered with Frank Productions and True Endeavors to bring "more popular rock, hip hop, and comedy acts." However, Overture staff cannot be blamed for the frequent classical programming, he says. Staff is charged with scheduling Broadway, modern dance and music, and family programming, while the ballet, opera and classical music are generally provided by resident organizations who rent out the space.