Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra

Minnesota is a community where people trust each other. Business can often be done with a handshake, and transparency and openness is the expectation, not the exception. And just as in for-profit business, our community’s notfor-profit arts and cultural community has historically been based as much on transparency and good governance as on generosity and great artistry. That’s why the recent actions of the Minnesota Orchestra’s corporate leaders are so difficult to fathom. With the lockout of the Orchestra’s musicians now extended to more than nine months, important national leaders in the arts and the press are asking hard questions about the motivations of the Orchestra Board. “[D]o the board and management actually wish to destroy the Minnesota Orchestra? So far, their actions seem to be moving steadily toward that end.” - Alex Ross, The New Yorker

“Surely the great cultural mecca of Minneapolis must want this resolved quickly. We in New York do. And whatever happens, the world will be watching. Mr. Vänskä and his formidable troops have seen to that.” - James Oestreich, The New York Times Here at home, the press has reported that the board masked large deficits while lobbying for taxpayer money to remodel Orchestra Hall, and reported a far different financial picture when it was time to negotiate with the Musicians. Here is an excerpt from the board’s 2009 Executive Committee minutes, detailing the plan to deceive the public.

4. Announces Balances and Deficits. Under this scenario we would use fixed dollar amounts from the endowment to announce balances in 2009 and 2010, and loans from the endowment in 2011 and 2012 to announce deficits in the $1.5 million to $2 million range. Positive outcomes would be that the 2009 and 2010 balances would support our State bonding apsirations and our fundraising, and that the deficits in 2011 and 2012 would demonstrate the need to reset the business model. Negative outcomes would be that there would still be a gap between public announcement and internal reality in 2009 and 2010, and the deficits of 2011 and 2012 might hinder fundraising efforts. This is not how Minnesotans manage our treasured arts institutions. This is not how anyone who believes in Minnesota’s status as an arts leader in the United States would treat our generous audiences and our sustaining public. Please contact the board leadership listed below, and tell them that Minnesota can’t afford such divisive leadership any longer. Urge them to bring the music back with a world-class offer.

- The Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra
Please Contact Jon Campbell CEO Wells Fargo Minnesota Orchestra Board Chair (612) 316-1985 Richard Davis CEO US Bank Negotiating Committee Chair (612) 303-0840

Paid for by the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra

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