State lawmaker says Detroit Institute of Arts millage proposal is "not a good fit" for Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Nov 24, 2010

The Michigan House could vote on a bill next week that would allow voters to approve a millage for the Detroit Institute of Arts. A state representative from metro Detroit looked into whether the struggling Detroit Symphony Orchestra could be added to the bill.

State representative Vicki Barnett represents a part of Oakland County where a lot of Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians live. The players went on strike October fourth. Barnett says since then several players in her district have asked if there’s anything she can do.

Barnett looked to see if she could tack on a DSO bill to the Detroit Institute of Arts funding bill that already passed the state Senate.

"What I’ve discovered" Barnett explains, "is that there’s a very difference between the way the DSO is structured and the way the DIA is organized and structured. So this particular bill is not going to be a good fit to add the DSO to."

Barnett says there’s not enough time to introduce a new bill before the holidays.

As for whether or not she’ll propose a new bill in January, Barnett says she doesn't know. 

"I have an opportunity to talk to the board members of the DSO. As I said, my goal is to get the music playing and to make sure that we protect this great, world class institution"

DSO musicians have been on strike since Oct. 4.

DSO management is demanding a number of concessions from its musicians to deal with its deficit.