Local and Industry News
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs has proposed a plan to earmark the final $45 million in tourist development tax dollars necessary for the completion of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando.
The second phase of construction includes the 1,700-seat Steinmetz Hall. Jacobs notes that further delays in funding may result in increased construction costs or a loss of private donations.
The New World Symphony has partnered with Hitachi to convert its equipment to native 4K UHD resolution. New cameras and infrastructure will allow the Symphony's outdoor WALLCAST broadcasts to be seen in 4K resolution. This season eleven live events will be wallcast by the Symphony.
SAG-AFTRA has proposed a new agreement for indie video games with budgets below $250,000. The new agreement would limit strenuous vocal sessions to two hours and require payment of double scale. The difficult vocal sessions would also pay higher residual rates if games sell mroe than 500,000 units. SAG-AFTRA has also made a claim before OSHA claiming that vocal stress is a workplace safety issue.
SAG-AFTRA has gone on strike against the video game industry. The union has been in negotiations with industry leaders, including Activision, Disney, Electronic Arts, Take-Two, and Warner, for 19 months. The union is fighting for better wages and workplace safety issues, including requiring stunt coordinators and limiting stressful vocal sessions.
AT&T has reached a deal to buy Time Warner for $85.4 billion. The deal would create the nation's largest entertainment company, surpassing Disney/Comcast/NBCUniversal. AT&T would aquire Warner Bros. studios, HBO, CNN, TNT, TBS and more in the deal, which is subject to approval of regulators. Last year, AT&T bought DirecTV for $49 billion.
The Philadelphia Orchestra musicians ended their strike after less than 48 hours. The musicians walked out of their opening night gala, and two other concerts were cancelled. Musicians had hoped to regain ground lost after the Orchestra filed bankruptcy five years ago. The new three-year agreement calls for wage increases of 2 percent in the first year and 2.5 percent in each of the following years. The new agreement also increases the size of the orchestra by one and may grant additional compensation to musicians should the orchestra reach certain measures of financial surplus.
The Pittsburgh Symphony is on strike. Musicians have been in negotiations since February, and agreed to extende their current agreement by two weeks to allow a gala performance to proceed. However, mangement's final offer demanded a fifteen percent paycut, a freeze of pension benefits, and a reduction in the size of the orchestra.
Florida Grand Opera has added three new staff members. Kal Gajraj, who has served as Director of Marketing at Charter School USA, is now FGO's Director of Marketing and Public Relations. Anne Martinez joins FGO as Executive Assistant to the General Director after having worked for the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida. Tom Patane, an FGO volunteer who has held a variety of sales management posts, is now FGO's Investor Services Director.
Florida Grand Opera has received the largest gift in the company's history. FGO sold its Doral headquarters in January for $6.8 million, and the new owners have gifted the building back to FGO, free and clear.
The Lancaster Symphony has reached agreement on its first contract, nine years after musicians began a campaign to unionize. The three-year agreement was negotiated over a period of four months. Details of the agreement are forthcoming.
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