Minnesota Orchestra to return $960,000 in grants from state

Posted on: July 2, 2013

In Monday’s (7/1) Star-Tribune (Minneapolis), Graydon Royce reports, “The Minnesota Orchestra will return approximately $960,000 to the State Arts Board. Orchestra management last December pledged to sequester its fiscal 2013 state grant until a contract was reached with locked-out musicians. There is still no deal, so when the state’s fiscal year ended on Saturday, the funds were returned. Grants cannot be carried over to new fiscal periods. … In June, the Office of the Legislative Auditor reviewed the orchestra’s use of public money and determined that between 2010 and 2013, all state funds, including $14 million in bonding for a renovation of Orchestra Hall, were used appropriately. … Orchestra CEO and President Michael Henson said he anticipated ‘no further changes in the administrative staff at this moment’ because of the loss of money. … In the past few years, the orchestra has reduced its administrative staff by 20 percent and frozen salaries for most of those who remain. The orchestra’s board and musicians started contract negotiations 14 months ago. Talks broke off last Sept. 30, and musicians were locked out the following day. Since then, there has been one formal bargaining session, in early January.”

Posted July 2, 2013