Representative Phyllis Kahn worries the Minnesota Orchestra’s Board of Directors is eroding the artistic integrity of a cultural treasure.
Kahn explained her concerns in Minnpost, charging that the board is unfairly placing the financial burden of balancing the budget on the musicians:
Recognizing the importance the orchestra plays in enhancing our standard of living, I was supportive of the $16 million in bonding dollars recently granted to the Minnesota Orchestra to renovate Orchestra Hall and Peavey Plaza. Additionally, I have been supportive of the funding it has received from the Arts Board – including Legacy dollars – that have been awarded over the past four years to help with operating costs.
I did not support distributing public dollars to the Minnesota Orchestra so they could cut their musicians pay by 30 to 50 percent. Nor did I vote in favor of these funds so they could lock out musicians who, in recognizing this financial slight, have made efforts to engage in arbitration or have offered to continue working under the old contract until both sides can reach an amicable agreement. And I certainly did not vote to send these funds to the orchestra to have them resist any attempts to make their budget more transparent.
Kahn goes on to state that “there is no use in… funneling state dollars into operating costs for an organization that has locked out those who make it function.”