BREAKING: Lawmakers Call For Hearing Into Minn. Orchestra Finances

I wanted to be the first blogger to break it:

More information as it develops…


Filed under Labor Disputes, Minnesota Orchestra

30 responses to “BREAKING: Lawmakers Call For Hearing Into Minn. Orchestra Finances

  1. Amy Adams

    Well, well….WELL.

  2. …and I woulda gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for those DARNED KIDS!

  3. I’m giddy. Let’s hope this turns out in our favor!

  4. Ken

    “Are those expenses of running a lockout, which I consider to be an unethical action by any management, are those costs being funded by the public?” Davnie asked

    How can they not be? If we funneled $14 million to them, and let’s say they’ve blown 8 million on lockout and Attorney related fees so far, then that is $8 million less that we would have had to divert to them in the first place.

    This is why orchestras are in such sad shape to begin with. THEY WASTE MONEY LIKE THERE IS NO TOMORROW!


  5. Sarah

    I just got back from the Messiah with Hugh Wolf and the musicians of the SPCO and now this – THERE IS A SANTA CLAUS!!!!

  6. Last night I was at the SPCO concert and came home to the great news. While at the concert, I said to my friend, “We need a “Support Great Art” day at the capitol. Never have I had such a wonderful Christmas present!
    I’ll be there too, Emily. You have contributed so much. I know I’m grateful and I’m sure patrons and musicians alike would like to give you the “In your face truth teller person of the year award”

    • Terry Carlson

      I wonder if the hearings will delve into any connection (some might say collusion) between the two orchestra boards, and their very similar lock-out tactics this year.

  7. This is great news. Maybe a turning point. Writing letters to the legislature seems to have helped. I’m going to write some more.

  8. Julie

    While it is kinda nice that we might be getting some answers, this news makes me more fearful than anything.
    Legislators may very well use this and a reason to take money away from arts funding, and you can be doggone sure that whatever the result, all orgs applying for state money are now going to have to go through extra hurdles as a result of the orchestra who-ha.

    • I totally understand that. But the alternative was no accountability.

    • Sarah

      I hate to use the trite phrase (which has been too often used AT me) – “we don’t have problems, we have OPPORTUNITIES!”. Maybe it’s time to start real grass-roots advocacy and SMART arts management, to show that REAL arts management doesn’t mean corporate tricks.

    • Terry Carlson

      The first few paragraphs of the letter from legislators (see link in comment above) suggests, I believe, that they care a lot about the arts in Minnesota, enough to demand transparency. That can only be a good thing, it seems to me.

  9. Not to diminish our joy, as real commitment has been shown by fourteen members of the House in their letter to the MOA board executives. But I’m not sure the letter is quite what it seems. They stopped just short of saying they were initiating a public hearing, saying that the situation “warrants” a public hearing–“As Stewards of the public trust and money, this is of great concern to us and warrants a public hearing and explanation to the legislature and the taxpayers of Minnesota.” A paragraph later, they “request” certain information.

    It’s interesting that the letter, addressed to Henley and Campbell, (it must have been leaked to the Strib), is dated only a few days after Graydon Royce’s bean spilling article. These legislators were quicker on the uptake than I would have thought.

    So–letter writing work remains to be done, particularly on the Senate side. Phylis Kahn has come out strongly in favor of the musicians–but Scott Dibble has not. Why is that? He was quoted in the Royce article in a rather ambiguous way, and to my knowledge, has not made any further statement. He lives just down the street from me, and I say “hello” to him regularly. He’ll be getting a note from me soon.

    And I’ll be sending a “thank you email” to each signatory of the letter that was leaked.

    • In the WCCO interview I linked above, Doug Kelley says “when” we appear in front of the legislature, not “if.” That leads me to believe a hearing will take place. If there was any doubt, he would have said “if.”

      I do not know if this particular hearing will be open to the public. But even if it isn’t, there will still be protesting and educational work to do outside the building.

      If you see Dibble, feel free to pass along this website to him! If he wants to talk/email with me directly, he is absolutely welcome to. (As are any members in government that want their questions answered by an informed outsider to the situation…)

      And yes, there is still work to do! This battle is not over, by any means! So keep writing and educating!

      • You may very well be right. I sure hope so. Doug Kelly I’m sure knows the difference between “if” and “when.” And when there is a hearing, I’ll be there educating and protesting.

      • Terry Carlson

        Doug Kelley said in the WCCO-TV interview: “nobody from the Minnesota Orchestra misled them [the Legislature] about the budget or our future stability.” Funny thing is, Henson wasn’t testifying about the orchestra’s “future” stability, but that the three balanced budgets constituted dealing with the downturn in the economy “with stability.” Nice try, Mr. Kelley!

    • Sarah

      I didn’t look at the letter date – yes, obviously it was held until leaked.

      Thank you for your advocacy on this. I am going to email them as well.

  10. My goodness! Things are happenin’ this morning. Letters leaked, invitations to the bargaining table–no preconditions!!!

    Stay tuned, and watch your step.

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