January 15, 2013 – Minneapolis, MN – Today a group of supporters, donors and patrons of the Minnesota Orchestra announced the formation of a new coalition, Orchestrate Excellence, aiming to provide a voice for community members impacted by the current lockout.
Members of Orchestrate Excellence encourage orchestra musicians and management to seek a solution that creates a path to a secure future that doesn’t compromise musical excellence. Investments by community members and tax payers have placed the Minnesota Orchestra among the best in the world and this new coalition aims to protect this community asset.
“The Minnesota Orchestra helps make our city one of the most livable in the country,” said Paula DeCosse, co-chair of Orchestrate Excellence. “This crisis presents a unique opportunity to forge a new collaborative model for the way the orchestra operates and the way it engages the community. We want this orchestra – our artistically excellent orchestra – to continue to represent Minnesota to the nation and to the world, now and for another hundred years.”
“Ultimately, the Orchestrate Excellence coalition believes there can be a win-win solution that doesn’t compromise musical excellence,” said co-chair Laurie Greeno. “Orchestras in Cleveland and San Francisco have found such a path to success. Our coalition members are committed to working with both the musicians and the management in developing this win-win solution.”
While the lockout continues, Orchestrate Excellence will highlight the significant ways it is impacting the community, including the loss of educational programs for more than 55,000 school children and, in addition, countless university students prevented from practicing with world-class musicians. According to the Minnesota Orchestra, more than 350,000 people attend Minnesota Orchestra concerts annually, some of whom are receiving cancellation notices.
The financial impact of the lockout is significant. It’s estimated a total of almost $1.25 million for meals and parking has been lost to downtown merchants since the lockout began. According to Meet Minneapolis, visitors who attend classical music concerts spend almost $30 million annually on tickets; because of the lockout, this year’s revenue could be a complete loss.
Although just recently formed, Orchestrate Excellence already has more than 1,000 individual members and will soon welcome its first organizational partners.
Beyond providing information on the impact of the lockout, Orchestrate Excellence will help generate community ideas to achieve a path to a secure future while protecting musical excellence. While Orchestrate Excellence hopes for an end to the current lockout, this coalition is committed to long-term engagement to protect our Minnesota Orchestra.