September 4, 2013
To: Honorable Mark Dayton, Governor of Minnesota
Honorable R. T. Rybak, Mayor, City of Minneapolis
Honorable Senator Amy Klobuchar
Honorable Senator Al Franken
Honorable Senator George Mitchell
Minnesota Orchestral Association Management and Board
Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra
Minnesota has just 11 days to salvage any semblance of our world-class Minnesota Orchestra and retain our world-renowned Music Director, Osmo Vänskä.
We call upon each of you to do all that is in your power to bring the Minnesota Orchestral Association and the Musicians together immediately to negotiate an interim agreement that will end this crisis.
This agreement should have two goals:
1) Musicians resume playing by September 15, 2013;
2) The parties establish a clear framework and timeline for ongoing conflict resolution and negotiations that will result in a durable, longer-term contract.
With Minnesota’s internationally recognized track record of arts and cultural leadership, we see no reason why this interim agreement cannot be achieved. To make it happen, however, Minnesota needs your engagement and leadership now. Bring the Board and Musicians together now to meet face-to-face, continuously, until an interim agreement has been reached.
Why should you take this action? Steps you take over these next few days will determine whether Minnesota continues to be home to an internationally renowned orchestra, or simply hosts a regional orchestra. Choosing a regional orchestra means Minnesota will lose its artistic presence; will reduce the quality of arts education for learners at all levels, and will shrink the economic engine Minnesota Orchestra has become, thus hurting tourism and countless businesses that have thrived as a result of the orchestra’s drawing power.
As Aspen Music Festival President and CEO Alan Fletcher articulated so eloquently during his keynote speech at the Orchestrate Excellence Community Forum on August 20th,
” ….the only solution that will stick will be the one you have found for and with each other. …one of the things that must happen is that all sides speak to each other….To sit around a table arguing, negotiating, searching for viable solutions is to be, potentially, partners in creating a future….I can tell you from personal experience that seemingly impossible problems can be solved, and I can hope, with you, that great music will again flourish in this great city. (emphasis added)”
As leaders of our city, state and nation, we call for you to act now to ensure that great music will again flourish in our great city. Bring together the MOA and Musicians now to reach an interim agreement no later than September 15th, 2013.
On behalf of all Minnesotans, thank you for your leadership.
Laurie Greeno Paula DeCosse
We have sent the open letter above to the media and to the MOA management and Board, musicians, and to all the officials listed. You can help. Share far and wide. Email, share on social media, email these leaders and ask them to take action. Email musicians and management and ask them to read and consider. Tell friends and family to do the same.
Governor Mark Dayton, 651-201-3400
Mayor RT Rybak, 612-673-2100
Senator Amy Klobuchar, 612-727-5220
Senator Al Franken, 651-221-1016