Letter from Sandra Novacek

January 5, 2011
Dear Board of Directors and Management of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra:

Today I called the DSO Box Office to request a refund for the cancelled concerts in my 2010 Classical Subscription Series.   I’ve been reluctant to do this, but the musicians, have been without their regular income for thirteen weeks.  I’m donating my refund to support them, not because I have lots of money, but because I don’t want them to leave for other employment. My life is exalted by their music.
I am a longtime member of the DSO audience and a nearly 15 year subscriber.  My husband and I moved to Midtown Detroit specifically to be close to Orchestra Hall, the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Opera House, MOCAD, et al. It’s a culture lover’s delight! And yes, the existence of an exceptional and inspirational orchestra can be and is an incentive to bring people of all ages back to the city!  Not everyone wants to be surrounded by casinos and stadiums.
But the thirteen week DSO strike is keeping people away from our struggling city and my neighborhood.  It’s hurting local businesses, especially restaurant owners and their employees and the employees of the DSO.  One waiter told me his tips are down 80% on what were DSO concert afternoons and evenings.
I’ve been on all sides – board member, management and employee – I have an understanding of where you are coming from, but it is time to change and take the high road.  Please quit running against the grain.  There are people out here trying to rebuild our city not divide and conquer it. It is time to recognize that your negotiating strategy is not working for this community and the failure to compromise is creating a deeper wound.
I urge you to take swift action to resolve this strike.  Thank you.
Sandra A. Novacek
Detroit, Michigan

P.S. Downtowns aren’t just for 20-somethings – why not become more involved in making the neighborhood surrounding the Max an even more intergenerationally and multi culturally–friendly place, too?  With proximity to great medical care, cultural venues, and restaurants it’s a great place for the audiences you have and want to have.



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