Minnesota Orchestra deficit smaller than in recent years, despite pandemic

Posted on: January 28, 2022

The Minnesota Orchestra reported “an operating loss of $6.3 million for fiscal year 2021—about $5 million less than the previous year’s record-breaking loss,” writes Jenna Ross in Thursday’s (1/27) Star Tribune (MN). “ ‘Although a $6.3 million deficit is not something we would think of as a positive data point … in light of what this past year held, I’m very pleased with the substantial progress we’ve made,’ President and CEO Michelle Miller Burns said…. The orchestra performed just 13 ticketed concerts to limited in-person audiences during the year that ended Aug. 31 … when arts organizations across the country were battered by [the] pandemic…. Total operating revenue dropped from $6.8 million in fiscal 2020 to $662,000 in 2021…. But the orchestra kept playing, creating its free … broadcasts online, on the radio and on Twin Cities Public Television…. The orchestra received $3.7 million during fiscal 2021 from the Shuttered Venues Operators Grant program … with another $3.7 million for the current fiscal year…. ‘We’re all hoping that fiscal year 2021 was the low point,’ said Simon Woods, CEO of the League of American Orchestras…. Last year, performing arts organizations were buoyed by federal funding, which the League is fighting to extend…. The Minnesota Orchestra has resumed a regular, in-person schedule since September.”