Dear Mr. Davis, Mr. Campbell & Mr. Henson,
As a resident of the Twin Cities and passionate patron of the Minnesota Orchestra, I write to you today to demand that you end the lockout unconditionally. I have watched the lockout from the sidelines since the beginning and cannot remain silent any longer. It is my civic duty as a citizen to speak out about what is happening.
I moved to the Twin Cities a few years ago after living in New York for 10 years. I heard the best orchestras in the world on a regular basis at Carnegie Hall. Included in this very elite group is the Minnesota Orchestra, confirmed at the time by their magnificent performance of Sibelius 5th symphony at Carnegie. I heard the Viennese perform Bruckner, I heard the Finns perform Sibelius and each was a religious experience. Hearing the Minnesota Orchestra perform Sibelius was no different. So imagine my thrill and pride at moving here and being able to call the Minnesota Orchestra my home town orchestra, and at having that world class status reconfirmed by hearing them perform week in and week out. The lockout for me is personal because something that I loved and treasured has been taken from me. Your collective actions are having the effect of destroying this great orchestra. Further, a community resource and cultural gem has been taken from us. All for what? Please explain yourselves.
I have always believed that actions speak louder than words. To date, your actions have spoken much louder than any statements you have made, and have consistently indicated that you are not interested in bargaining in good faith. Why would you reject the mediation proposal of Senator Mitchell, the mediator you yourselves chose? Again, please explain yourselves. There is a community of patrons and music lovers who are demanding answers and can no longer be ignored.
Finally, since you have taken the liberty of defining for us as a community what we can and cannot afford in an orchestra, I will take the liberty of reminding you of your roles and responsibilities. The role of the board is to be stewards of this great institution, to protect this cultural gem we have. The role of the CEO is to lead the organization forward in more imaginative ways than what is currently being proposed. The collective responsibility of all three of your positions is to carefully consider the input of your patrons, a key constituent that has been ignored to date.
Again, please end this lockout now. The effects are devastating.