This week: Five local arts stories you shouldn’t miss

It’s been a busy week, and I’ve been off my blogging game because I was filling in on The Daily Circuit. So here’s a quick recap to bring you up to speed.


MPR Photo/Euan Kerr

1. SPCO musicians ratify contract, ending months-long lockout

On Monday SPCO musicians ratified a new three-year contract, ending a lockout that lasted 191 days.

The new contract will reduce musicians’ annual pay by $15,000, include a retirement buyout for musicians 55 and older, and reduce the size of the orchestra from 34 to 28 players.

Now musicians and management must begin the work of repairing strained relations.


Portrait of Osmo Vanska by Ann Marsden

2. Osmo Vanska threatens to quit Mn Orch if musicians’ lockout isn’t solved

On Thursday Minnesota Orchestra Music Director Osmo Vanska sent a letter to management stating the orchestra needs to be rehearsing by early September to have enough time to prepare for an appearance at New York’s Carnegie Hall in November.

He called the Carnegie Hall performance one of the most significant goals of his tenure, and said if the appearance is cancelled because Carnegie Hall officials “lose confidence in our ability to perform those concerts as a result of the extended lockout,” he will be forced to resign as music director.


Striped Robe, Fruit, and Anemones (1940) by Henri Matisse

Image courtesy of the MIA

3. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts will host a Matisse exhibition in February 2014

This week the MIA announced a new exhibition will be coming to Minneapolis next year featuring 80 works by the French master. The exhibition comes from the Baltimore Museum of Art’s collection, which boasts one of the most comprehensive collections of Matisse’s work in the world.


Art lovers packed Burnet Gallery Thursday night in support Simpson Housing

Image courtesy of Burnet Gallery

4. Artists raise more than $50,000 for the homeless… in two hours.

Last night Art 4 Shelter held its annual fundraiser at Burnet Gallery in Minneapolis. The event features original works on paper – almost all of it 5×7 in size. The more than 1400 works of art sold for $30 a piece, which happens to be the amount of money it takes Simpson Housing to care for one homeless person for one night (including a clean bed, warm meals, and counseling services). In addition, a selection of 8×10 works sold for $150 each, and generous folks could make additional donations to a “giving tree.” As a result, artists and art lovers managed to provide shelter for many of their fellow Minnesotans for the coming year.


John Munger

Photo by Scott J. Pakudaitis

5. The Twin Cities arts community mourns the loss of John Munger.

Early this week the Twin Cities performing arts community learned of the death of longtime dancer John Munger. Munger was a sort of irascible uncle to the local dance scene, continuing to dance when other dancers might have felt too self conscious about their age and physique. He was also a great writer – you can read samples of his work in a lovely remembrance assembled by TC Daily Planet’s Jay Gabler.