Legislators request audit of Minnesota Orchestra

Posted on: March 8, 2013

In Friday’s (3/8) Star-Tribune (Minneapolis), Graydon Royce writes, “A group of almost 100 [Democratic-Farmer-Labor party] legislators wants the state to audit the books of the Minnesota Orchestra—although it is unclear exactly what the scope of that request includes. At a news conference Thursday, Rep. Jim Davnie, DFL-Minneapolis, cited the public investment of $14 million in bonding and more than $1 million in Legacy Fund money in the orchestra, which has locked out its musicians in a labor dispute. … In an interview, Legislative Auditor James Nobles said he would ‘certainly try’ to fulfill the request, but he said his office must be cautious in how extensively it would look at such things as the orchestra’s business plans, private fundraising and ability to pay musicians. … Davnie said 67 House and 23 Senate DFLers (and no Republicans) signed the letter requesting the audit, which he said might provide information that breaks the current logjam in negotiations. … Michael Henson, the orchestra’s CEO and president, said in a statement that if the legislative auditor chooses to take up the request, the orchestra ‘would be pleased to work with his office to fully share the financial position of the Minnesota Orchestra, especially as it relates to public funds.’ The orchestra received $14 million in 2010 for a remodeling project underway at Orchestra Hall. In addition, the institution receives state grants that include Legacy Fund dollars.”

Posted March 8, 2013