Letter of the day 8-29-2013

To the MOA Board,

Yet another public plea to work it out. Let me say that again, a public plea … one of thousands across the state (and abroad). The public that pays state taxes that go to our performing arts and ongoing improvement/renovation therein.

Compromise is what it is; it favors no side and is what should be expected during a negotiation. Disappointing would not begin to explain the feeling, emotion and fallout from letting go of such an important cornerstone in our local culture. We don’t have a long history in our state/country, quite young in the grand scheme of things. The Minnesota Orchestra does not only represent our great state, it represents the United States on international stages. Living in London, when discussing where I originated, a consistent response to ‘Minneapolis, Minnesota’ was, “Oh yes, the Orchestra from the Proms …”

Hopefully, logical minds prevail and the Orchestra lives on, instead of an entry in our history books noting an end. The ‘pros’ certainly outweigh the ‘cons’ of getting the compromise finalized. I stand by our musicians who have already taken the difficult step in compromising, as well as piecing together work outside of our state and city economy.

I look forward to celebrating the end of the lock-out, the beginning of the Fall season, and beyond …


Gavin McKay

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2 Responses to Letter of the day 8-29-2013

  1. Craig Lewis says:

    They are not about compromise, they are all CORPY’s (corporate suits) and all they knowvis WIN, dont Lose, never negotiate unless you still can WIN with 100% certainty. I know, I worked for idiots like this board for 30 years, they dont give a damn about history, culture, pride, its about Winning their point!

  2. James M Peterson of Richfield, MN says:

    To date, nobody has questioned or examined the structural problems of the Minnesota Orchestra that have plagued its existence forever — at least since I came to Minnesota in 1948. I have been able only to speculate about the reason that potential donors whose support is absolutely necessary for any fine arts enterprise to prosper have always been openly reluctant to meet the requirements for our symphony orchestra to thrive. It cannot be that the artistic quality is inferior; it must therefore be that the structure and management are not trustworthy. Evidence can be drawn from the fact that almost all major donations have been made into private trusts (16 of them) and not into the orchestra’s endowment fund. And we know almost nothing about the financial outcomes of the many non-orchestral performances booked under the auspices of the Minnesota Orchestra. I know how difficult it is for a relatively small venue like Orchestra Hall to make a net profit from this sort of event. Wealthy folks have “people” who find out for them what’s really going on and clearly they trust the management of other arts organizations far more readily.

    A “settlement” of what has been portrayed as a simple labor/management dispute will be no solution at all. Even Senator Mitchell cannot be expected to know what’s really at stake. It will take the very intense involvement of some high-ranking figure in Minnesota politics to achieve any sort of meaningful solution.

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