The following are transcriptions of hand written notes taken in each of the breakout groups at the August 20th community forum. These notes are compiled from those of more than 30 individuals who volunteered to record each group’s ideas.

The groups considered two questions:

  • Does Minnesota want a world-class orchestra and why?
  • What will you, as a community member, do to support and world-class orchestra and how?

The wordle below shows words used most frequently in the answers recorded in the transcripts.

wordlesmall

First question: “Does Minnesota want a world-class orchestra, and why?

  • Clear that we do – because we’re all here.
  • “World class orchestra” – a designation that we cannot give ourselves
  • More people want a new stadium vs. an orchestra
  • New York Times considered us a world class orchestra
  • Love the orchestra – thrilled with the growth, but also dismayed at the number of empty seats. Wouldn’t we fill the seats?
  • Do we want just POP music, or can we rebuild it? Wrong approach to emphasize ‘popular’ vs. demonstrating how wonderful all music is!
  • More effort towards raising money, telethon, etc
  • Unions also affect this issue.
  • Are there enough people that want it?
  • How do we fill the seats?
  • Classical music is seen as the elitist. Example to be a musician, to go to a concert means you have to have money.
  • You don’t have to play to appreciate music
  • Looked at what cultural advantages were available. Orchestra was a major reason to move here.
  • Younger generations of family stayed for the same reasons. Moving close to family – MN or VA? Orchestra was a great deciding factor.
  • Travel abroad one seeks out orchestra music, so we need it here.
  • If we have money for sports, why not for the Orchestra?
  • World-class theater is present; need world-class orchestra. Young man just moved back from Europe, who is a singer and now opportunities are limited.
  • Community is committed to music, world class city needs world class music
  • Moved from Chicago – left diversity and culture there, came to be very pleased, energized by availability of the arts culture, outstanding form of artistic excellence
  • Osmo Vänskä took it to world class level
  • Cultural environment important
  • We have become naïve in not appreciating what we have
  • This year people have been attending other musical groups
  • Minnesota Opera more valuable than the visiting Metropolitan Opera because it supports music in Minnesota
  • Orchestra is a recruiting tool for university and business.
  • Many moved here or retired here for Orchestra
  • Nothing else offers the same thing.
  • If music is not high quality, people can just buy a CD
  • Love listening to classical music, important as example of highest skill for younger musicians. Raise standards.
  • World reputation as emissary/representative of a community
  • Culture helps to be a better person, enhance ability to pass on to our children
  • Brings great joy from hearing live music to be a participant
  • Brings income/tourism
  • Heightens educational quality
  • Emotional enrichment
  • City is more attractive place to live
  • Arts bring us together (sports divisive)
  • Offers alternative choice for entertainment/enrichment
  • Offers broader emotional and intellectual experience
  • Ticket sales indicate desire?
  • All want MN to have a great orchestra
  • Important part of our personal lives
  • We already have had one
  • Rounds out our existence
  • Want to keep orchestra great for heritage
  • Quality of life, hearing beauty
  • Quality of social fabric of society
  • Thing of pride for the state and residents
  • Loss of orchestra is a huge gap in life
  • Something to help survive winter
  • People are watching – signal to rest of world of future. NY Times reports problems.
  • Economic benefit – housing price; quality of life.
  • Right: the media coverage is also to blame: too little detail
  • But the question should be does MN want the Orchestra and the answer is yes, because of what it does for us
    • Must explain value of the orchestra that isn’t tangible. Analogy to NFL referees strike? MN Orchestra = Superstars
  • Doesn’t matter whether we should or do. Important Q is how do we get it back?
  • Audience is too disconnected. We have to get to know each other.
    • That’s happening. See SOS information (Save Our Symphony), an audience organization. Also: young musicians of MN Orchestra. Orchestrate Excellence is too tepid. These orgs are more passionate.
  • The board says MSP can’t support this orchestra, but Cleveland can?
  • Make the government accountable for this. Cause them pain, not just the board.
  • Past donors certainly wanted the Orchestra – 6th largest endowment in the country
  • Many people must organize and form a plan of action
  • How about 150 Horn Club. Members donate the difference to the Horn section salary, designated? Let’s all share the suffering, unlike the board w/ their huge salaries
  • So many people here says a lot (great turnout) over 450 RSVPs
  • So many young people hear different music, but she definitely says yes
  • A lot of support in musician concerts
  • Minneapolis has a vibrant arts community, they come for the whole. We have a world-class orchestra. There is no good reason to get rid of the world-class orchestra we have.
  • Small towns find ways to have orchestras, 6 orchestras around lake superior
  • 20 years ago, yes, but now I don’t know. The group tonight is enthusiastic. Why else live in the state – the climate? It’s the incredible quality of culture.
  • We want one because we have one. We don’t have to strive for it. We can’t let it go.
  • Quality of life. Vikings, people say if they leave it affects the quality of life and we couldn’t let it happen.
  • To have orchestra that impresses audiences in NY and London is huge.
  • Recruiting to MN – “Oh, they have the MN Symphony”
  • Couple from Ukraine – Came to MN and found the orchestra. MPLS is very balanced community – sports, theater, orchestra and chorale.
  • Never seen community where the Orchestra sells out regularly
  • Because we enjoy hearing the great music performed. There is nothing like a life performance. Recordings are not the same.
  • The orchestra is not just itself – its at the top of an ecosystem. Lopping off the head of a major institution is having a profound effect on the rest of the community.
  • Its wrong to say the business decisions of the board are just involving the MO. It affects the schools, the other ensembles (musicians taking other jobs).
  • We have a world-class orchestra now. Why would we want to lose it?
  • The MO allows so much else to grow up under and around it. Children growing up aren’t sure how important it is.
  • People who care about music want to live in a place that has great orchestra.
  • Great musicians now will not audition now.
  • Some feel that others do not understand the ecosystem concept. People say “I can just by CD’s”, but its not the same.
  • Worry not about young audiences. In 1956 _______ said there’s no future.
  • It sets the tenor for the whole cultural environment. We have great art, music and theater.
  • It may not be for everyone, doesn’t mean its not important. The Vikings aren’t for everyone. Rock music isn’t for everyone.
  • A great performance is a spiritual experience. It’s a personal growth experience.
  • It has taken time to build and Osmo Vänskä extracts even more from the musicians. Its starting to be destroyed and may take decades to rebuild.
  • We need the whole ‘ecosystem’ of music and musicians. It wouldn’t work without the caliber of musicians at the top.
  • Once you’ve had a world class orchestra, you don’t want to go backwards
  • A matter of community pride
  • Students get to learn from the very best mentoring.
  • Skrowaczewski – quote re: name change and ramifications… from world class to provincial
  • Relationship of orchestra and its rigor. Climate… a conviction of perfectibility.
  • This city has always had great music and it is part of our quality of life.
  • Orchestra is at the top of its game and subs can’t produce the same quality.
  • It is about our soul
  • Music played at this level speaks to our soul and has a profound impact on the community
  • Art education, health care, commitment
  • Minnesota voters supported legacy amendment; we are #2 in financial support for the arts.
  • Inspired music making inspires me to play
  • We don’t want world-class musicians playing shit music.
  • TC stands out as cultural center – not just MO but theater, spco, etc.
  • If we lose it, would be losing a jewel. Important affect for residents, businesses (recruiting)
  • Any city should have cultural amenities – not just a matter of money but of attitudes…
  • Young teacher and musician – “everyone want this” children, families, all ages
  • Essential to have prime example of an art form for all in state to look to.
  • ‘want’ vs ‘need’ a world class orchestra?
  • Technology now allows music to be shared all over.
  • MN string and orchestra teachers association – students of mn have had a great resource and curriculum that was really missed last year.
  • We must for the business climate.
  • We have an outstanding theater community and its unusual that the TC has two orchestras
  • Yes, but at what price?
  • Extremely important for several professional organizations; would like to talk directly with board members.
  • Aspen board is an unusual combination of representations. Too bad our board doesn’t include people other than large donors.
  • We’re talking about the survival of cultural achievement and western civilization
  • Why can’t musicians own the orchestra? There is a time problem, but make a two-year plan. Like a co-op. Need other candidates to be on the board because we need voices of religious groups, arts groups need to rotate board members.
  • Musicians want mediation set up.
  • Keep your voice, orchestrate excellence. Development department needs to vet board members making it a social function for business.
  • Skepticism of board members.
  • So we don’t have to travel to Amsterdam or London
  • We are better than many orchestras
  • To attract highly sophisticated work force
  • To make it a wonderful place to live
  • Need spectrum from the YMM playing in homes to our WCO
  • To bring music to the rest of the state and to youth
  • Need to reach out to greater MN
  • Psychological impact of losing our orchestra would be demoralizing; spiritual and artistic nourishment; people do travel here to hear our orchestra
  • We are suffering emotionally from a year of starvation; I have been weaping in absence of our orchestra.
  • The room is full of people who have been betrayed
  • We were not given opportunity to write a check.
  • I don’t trust people who would have been in control of the money.
  • The board has been inhumane to members
  • An orchestra is being organized when can’t play is a lie
  • No, majority of people in state don’t care; minority has to do the heavy lifting.
  • We are largest arts org in state, so someone must care
  • What is the interpretation of world class?
  • Community of supporters – something has changed due to the financial crisis – is support up or down?
  • Should MN Have? – Yes
    • Have we been asked to help? Community feels blindsided by the financial woes of the orchestra. Crisis dumped on us. We have been kept in the dark, not been asked.
    • Do we want it enough to do something?
    • Don’t feel represented as an audience member. Someone like me needs to be making decisions. Building a damn lobby that size without knowing who will be in it?
  • What if the audience had a say in programming?
  • Local community band – choose your own concert.
  • What can we do now? Urgent.
  • Make it known to parties that we will support them; buy tickets
  • Lee Henderson’s campaign – did it make a difference? What about small donors?
  • Ticket sales – will this make a difference?
  • Is participation rate up but big donors down?
  • How can we encourage donors?
  • Have each side make its best case – buy tickets to vote.
  • Lockout must end by Sept 9 or Osmo Leaves.
  • End lockout now to get things started
  • Board has to end the lockout
  • Why does office not get back to people?
  • Get management and board to tell us how much money is needed – they won’t tell us.
  • Digital communication is needed
    • Who to give emails to?
  • End lockout now.
  • How to have productive discussions with all parties?
  • Everyone write a snail mail letter  to every board member
  • Don’t get involved in negotiations
  • OE put out list of phone numbers and addresses
  • Have a petition – direct message
  • Collect emails from this group and send out communications as to follow up
  • An email address to which we can send our emails? OE Website, facebook
  • How to convince Osmo to stay?
  • Hand out postcards etc. at state fair?
  • How to end lockout?
    • Pressure on board
    • Right political leader
  • Message for larger group tonight
  • Look at our handout
  • Send OE an email
  • Put our opinion forth
  • Majority of people in MN don’t care – obvious minority of people DO want WCO; can’t count on the state
  • Orchestra achieved greatest level right before the lockout – mystified to hear this could even happen.
  • Three weeks till Osmo leaves. Famous institution – most people think ‘oh, of course it will get settled.’
  • Mn residents care more about sports; no one really doesn’t not want it.
  • Orchestra has succeeded in past; tremendous rise in success; things have changed to being about current financial challenge; recession – decline in philharmonic support?
  • Indeed Philharmonic support in general is up.
  • We have been asked to help shape new future
  • Think about future – MPR, Fortune 500 companies, big time patrons didn’t know some of the demands that have been asked
  • No trust; don’t know who to look to for trust on decision – musicians or management
  • Lobby with no planning – bad financially as no one care about the audience
  • How do we bring more people in? Better marketing; more information in greater MN; need audiences involved in music selection and performing; long term issue
  • Yes, but ticket revenue won’t sustain orchestra
  • Ticket sales going down, but number of concerts going down too
  • International sales of season tickets? 21st century technology needs to be part of solution tool to increase interest. Live stream concerts. Miss radio broadcasts
  • Amateur and professional musicians are inspired by and taught by the organization
  • Counterpoint to the strife in the world
  • It transforms our day
  • It’s a different past of the school day for aspiring musicians in the schools
  • Striving as a community to have a great orchestra
  • Concerts in school – Blaine HS
  • Bring past of something greater than we are in the world
  • Total sums of the calculation of a community aspiring excellence
  • Potential for human connection
  • Setting a vision for future musicians
  • Young composers project funds future Osmo’s
  • Mediocre orchestra= cuts
  • Corporations<fall out to other interests
  • Incl. all levels of government
  • Civic pride; adds tourism
  • More outreach to community
    • Board/musicians
    • Expand email/MPR/media
  • Professional sports < tax support
  • Tax support to arts; legacy fund
  • Expression of people
  • Our pride; social capital
  • Children-inspiration
  • Robus Arts
  • Fewer home grown leaders of major corporations
  • Recruiting senior management in companies
  • “We have an orchestra (world class) – can’t lose it!
  • “Jewel”
  • I play; am limited talent; like hearing somebody great
  • When you have a special performance – I’m glad I did not miss it; I was emotionally involved. Not the same recorded
  • Missionary for music – music is my identity – I teach and play. We need to and want inspiring musicians to be inspired/mentioned (?) by.
  • Provides a model for young people/aspirations
  • Long history of great arts/center in Mpls want to continue – and civic pride
  • Art is a solution to great problems, draws our community together – the group emotion experience; we need that as a society
  • Economic value- Arts have a real important on economy – Just like the pro sports.  When the MN Orch is on tour it represents MN.  When I have out-of-town visitors, I take them to MN Orch.
  • Legacy of excellence – want to continue
  • To be a “world class city” (rybak) need orchestra
  • Excellence in any area inspires – excellence attracts excellence
  • Artist are a Ecosystem – MN Orch at top – and it attracts a host of other great arts
  • Ripple effect – even MIA is worried
  • I thought we had one.  How do we not demonize the board? Is it true M. Hanson disbanded his orchestra in England
  • We need a list of why we need the orchestra back
  • There are tidbit and pieces everyone knows
  • The city draws vital people to the area
    • Culture draw to the cities = SPCO and MN Orch
  • Enriches the lives of everyone in the wider area
  • The orchestra makes people happy
  • Orchestra enriches the livesof people, especially young kids from N. Mpls.
  • Digital vs. live music
    • Live music can’t be replicated at home.
    • Pulls people into the are to concerts
  • Civic pride, people like living in a “great city” we must have great orch, great sports teams, higher ed, parks, neighborhoods in a great city we can embrace them all
  • Great musical reputation is a draw for other musicians
  • A great orch. Feeds the other arts and businesses in the area
  • “All the children are above average” the orchestra teachers our children, which we know is good for our brains
  • Outreach and educational concerts
  • Strong communities are diverse and home numbers of different ‘crafts’ working at a high level, sports, architecture, etc.
  • music breaks down boundaries, bonds people together
    • ribbon brings on society together
  • Schools of music depend on this institution
  • MYS, GTCYS
  • Orchestra needs to be in a session for education and engaging young people in the art
  • We’ve always had it
  • Culture
  • Should not be an example for other orchestras
  • Why are we losing it?
  • Board doesn’t care?
  • Everybody has to love music
  • Doubt in community if board leaders – not full board – are in it for love
  • Voting for board members
  • The community needs more of a voice in governance
  • Appreciate the board members who love music
  • Fundraise by using memberships who are able to vote in board members
    • Could attract young people
  • Draws patrons into a feeling of ownership
  • SPCO not a model in this regard
  • Look more at a model of more smaller donors instead of fewer larger ones
  • We are a world-class city – not Detroit or Omaha – we need it.
  • World class U of M, athletics and opera
  • Who is the community – not everyone cares.  Some groups in the community do.
  • Non-sports fans want Vikes
  • Recruit talented people
  • Makes winter bearable
  • Aids downtown community
  • Orchestra is the base of the pyramid – a lot else will crumble if we lose it.
  • Music contributes to overall education and teamwork etc.
  • North Minneapolis – has 80% free and reduced lunch.  Grants for every student to get a violin and teacher.
  • 1969 – since orchestra hall opened.
  • How many in MN want to this?
  • A lot of people want this – can’t compare to basketball game or rock concert.
  • History of our two cities – obvious we want a world-class orchestra.
  • Subscriber numbers were increasing
  • Who is defining the world-class orchestra?
  • What is the number of classical vs. jazz and pops?
  • World-class status – inspiring to share with his students.  His students want to be a part of this world-class orchestra.
  • Do they teach classical or more?  Hard to choose.  Don’t want to water it down
  • Some define excellence – reaching largest possible group of people
  • Women who takes students – students love hearing the orchestra
  • Audience member – didn’t notice there was more variety.  US Bank underwriting all pop concerts? Somebody on the board cares.
  • Alex Ross – MN is very proud!
  • Can a world class Orchestra be…
  • If audience KNEW the Orchestra needed money, people would contribute.
  • We have a world-class orchestra
  • I’d rather hear the MN orchestra then Chicago symphony
  • Profound sense of musical community here – musicians and audience
  • Strong arts community here in MPLS/STP
  • Sense of community here in general – how do we make sports people support the arts?
  • The musicians are our mentors, our teacher, our inspiration, and our colleagues.
  • It’s a low blow to have moved here and to have lost eh orchestra
  • I don’t love the Vikings, but doesn’t mean I think we shouldn’t have them? No…
  • Our community has a history of vibrant arts community – there’s just something missing without the orchestra – even if you’re not a patron – we are missing out from an economic standpoint. – Just monetarily, the state needs the orchestra.
  • We need live music because of its benefits to child development and emotional well-being.
  • The Twin Cities wants a world-class basketball team, football team, baseball team, hence we should have a World Class Orchestra.
  • We live in a global economy, we need to pay attention to our quality of life in order to attract the best and the brightest.
  • The arts are part of our quality of life.

OX Forum Group 72

Second question: “What will you, as a community member, do to support a world-class orchestra, and how?

  • We should educate people – long-term education projects.
  • Everyone thinks deals could work – freebies for music students or young people.
  • Music and art are being cut in schools… sports are not. Similar to Vikings vs. MN Orchestra.
  • Great night out – dress up and treat yourself.
  • Mishandling of our resources – is very disappointing.
  • Transcending experience
  • Attraction to enhance this community, lure corporations.
  • This is not a transient community – people state here. We can’t lose our culture – we’ll lose so much more. People and companies will leave.
  • The current board nominates its new members. How could we get on the board? We need outside representation.
  • ST Paul Orch is more social, younger board members
  • How about advisory committees, can we get on to them? To work on fundraising to pay for some of these more expensive musicians?
  • The board seems to be a meritocracy. Very insular – probably don’t want the community input. Board members seem be on because of who they know.
  • Orchestrate Excellence – can they get on the board?
  • How can we sell more tickets?
  • Is there a website where the public can get ideas to the board?
  • Tickets, prices, encourage others to buy tickets
  • Get them in the door (less expensive tickets)
  • “I’m not sure I even want to buy a ticket anymore!” its just not the same.
  • Yet – they still sound wonderful!
  • Penalize musicians – no visibility of how they are coming up with the money.
  • Board isn’t doing much about looking at all the financing options. Start looking to the community. Tele-a-thon.
  • Sad, scary. 2-3 weeks before conductor leaves.
  • Outreach. Can we get endowment report?
  • We can’t assume to be viable on Day 1, it’s a process. Plan for 3 years, eat a bit of endowment, but really push to raise funds.
  • Solicit for season ticket holders.
  • Schools do a terrible job of art appreciation.
  • In high school – a class where they learn about the music that they will be going to listen.
  • When people are purchasing their tickets, get them to donate or buy extra tickets for students, youth, offer them up to the community ACCESSIBILITY.
  • How do we make it more affordable?
  • Once you have someone in the door for $20, make it enjoyable enough to return and buy a ticket.
  • Educate earlier – making classical music relevant to today’s youth. They need the “pre-learning” so they get the emotions within the music.
  • If young people can watch baseball they can go to the orchestra.
  • “groupon” outreach subscribers find out how to reach out
  • Fill seats and the money will come
  • Where are the community leaders?
  • Where’s RT?
  • Everyone here tonight, write a letter to the Mayor, the Governor, Congressman, Senators, Representatives to get vocal output
  • Get our representatives around us.
  • Outreach to community
  • There needs to be better communication with larger community, need better information about what orchestra has to offer
  • People feel it is elitist; need remedy that sentiment. More contact with school music programs;
  • Older patrons could sponsor young musicians
  • Go door to door, farmers market, hand out fliers, bring the product, belief in music to all people
  • Prepare to combat eventual bad feelings with momentum for moving forward
  • World class implies elite, but not having that designation is not enough – where do we find balance?
  • Sommerfest used to draw young people – how do we continue to do that? (e.g. microbrewery trend could draw)
  • Make musicians more accessible to the audience members
    • Musicians great in the lobby
    • Open rehearsals
    • Rush tickets, morning activities
  • Declining music programs in schools – community members are not growing up to know the orchestra
  • Need to get people to think about music as an art form
  • What can we do to break the log ja? As volunteers?
  • Determine how to heal once a decision/agreement is made
  • How can we talk with the board and contribute to the momentum?
  • Easy answer: give money.
  • How do we bring in more audience members?
    • Farmers markets
    • Advertise at twins games, Vikings games, by offer tickets; have orchestra play at game half-time
  • How do we get prominent leaders/figures in the community to be more vocal with their won support and interest?
  • Raise awareness of wide reaching recognition of quality of MN Orchestra.
  • Consider rebuilding process after agreement
  • Encourage musicians representation on the board of directors to combat antagonistic feelings and elitism
  • Doe the community have any say about what happens on the board – how it operates?
    • After an agreement is reached, community holds forum meetings to discuss board operations
  • Q1 is critical because the psychological impact of losing of losing Osmo Vänskä will be enormous
  • Somehow need to impress upon organization that community voice is important, essential
  • Artist representation on the board
  • Community needs to be more informed about how organizations correctly works
    • Talk to board members, whose responsibility is to be a liaison for audience members
  • Healing – many community members are angry about orchestra members’ demands/response and non-negotiation
    • How does an audience member heal and continue to support the orchestra emotionally?
  • Talk to everybody about the Orchestra
  • Bring more people to the concerts
  • How can we get MPR and TV and newspapers to give Orchestra good publicity?
  • Write blogs and use facebook
  • Board should be more broad
    • Musicians
    • What are board terms?
    • How are they chosen?
  • What can we learn from SPCO?
  • How can we approach candidates for office? Or elected officials?
  • Use Twitter
  • Need to mobilize the audience
  • Want an active volunteer group
  • Economic impact on community, restaurants, hotels, etc
  • $ Donation
  • Sustaining membership
  • Volunteer
  • Get on the board, try to influence who gets on the board
  • Let views be known to politicians
  • How can community get representation on the board?
  • Communicate about music to friends and family
  • Influence journalists, news
  • Petitions, speak with legislators, politicians
  • Suggest orchestra gives vouchers to teachers/families
  • Return to be generator with better knowledge and transparency
  • Not give money until its solved – money where our mouth is
  • Buying tickets, bring friends ‘missionary’ for orchestra
  • Be more demanding asking for information from administration
  • Find a way to give more money for tickets for young people (subsidize tickets)
  • Talk to school boards emphasizing value of music education (build audience)
  • Respond to matching board grant. Give with the opportunity.
  • Escrow fund – deadline to receive
  • Confidence in board would make giving increase
  • Structure reorganized to include musicians and community
  • Board of people similar to Aspen Model 60% musicians for mission statement and serving on the board
  • Society to head fundraising
  • Willing to be on board
  • If we were asked for money, we would have given
  • Support board members who choose to stay
  • More openness and honesty from all parties
  • Group willing to do a lot –
  • Get involved
  • Give time and money
  • Inclusiveness will bring more support
  • Transparency of endowment will encourage donations
  • Include people who will give smaller amounts
  • Break it down individually. How much must we each contribute to make up the difference?
  • Earmark gifts
  • Great to see audience members identify as stakeholders but every delay now means trying to save a different orchestra. We need a solution now. The 9/9 precipice requires getting the mediators suggestion accepted.
  • Get the message out: ‘Unlock the music’
  • Get everyone’s names and get them to put the message out ‘Listen to Mitchell.’ Picket the symphony ball.
  • We need a campaign professional to do this. SOS may be the ones.
  • Mitchell’s proposal would not hurt the board.
  • Only harm to their side is loss of leverage – not a serious reason.
  • It’s too late to mediate
  • Stop construction of lobby.
    • No, its almost done and irrelevant
  • Do we agree w/ Mitchell proposal? Maybe not, but we support the musicians, who have accepted it, in an overwhelming majority vote.
  • Mediation requires parties agree on goal in this case, a world-class orchestra.
  • Organizing will make things easier later too, after mediation happens
  • Use connections to call on the intransigent board members to accept Mitchell’s proposal. Call upon the governor to do that too.
  • How can we rebuild trust?
    • Develop a board with wider representation. Include musicians reps like Aspens board
    • Let the board make some token sacrifice of any kind
  • Most important: get Mitchell’s proposal accepted NOW!
  • Question 1 is unclear… We SHOULD want one.
  • Organize through the SOS, etc. Henderson mailing list.
    • Pressure politicians & board with campaign (slogans, letters, picketing, ads)
    • Deficit fund (as long-term solution, perhaps)
  • Later: We have to rebuild trust.
  • Government has some responsibility. So many sports teams, we need the arts. We have the reputation of the Athens of the north. We need to promote the arts and culture
  • Taking part in things like this
  • Audience participation in negotiations? There is a role for the audience. Very disappointed in Mark Dayton
  • Want actions from government
  • Mayor Rybak is not involved very much
  • In comparison to sports… there is so much money in our culture for sports.
  • Orchestra is not marketed so well.
  • Pay more for tickets
  • Develop a grassroots capital campaign. Ask whatever amount people can give. Any amount, even $20 can help. Just ask people to contribute something.
  • Publicity
  • Online campaign
  • Get students there
  • The orchestra has to be playing to support them.
  • Many of us have told the fundraisers – call us after the lockout is over.
  • Different ticketing models are sustaining organizations
  • I won’t support the orchestra with my money if its less than world class
  • With greater candor and transparency, I would do/give more if the lockout ends. Never told getting in serious trouble. Everything seemed fine.
  • Are the politicians reluctant to cross the top bankers? People are willing to sign petitions or write letters to get Governor or others involved.
  • We don’t want to be bullied by powerful people.
  • We won’t be mystified by people who say things like we can’t understand the finances.
    • Can we start a petition drive itself.
    • Make our voices heard. Such as tonight’s gathering.
    • Willing to buy a higher grade of tickets
    • We will contribute more when the orchestra is playing
    • We will by tickets as guests
  • We need to see the business plan. If we are your investors in “running the business” then were is the business plan?
  • We need to have alternate plans – a decrease in salary and increase in ticket price, engage more donors, use of the endowment, bring on industry? We need an open and imaginative plan.
  • I give to the Guthrie endowment. I’ve never been asked to give to the MO endowment.
  • I never thought the MO needed any money. They always seem to have plenty of it.
  • Open the board to people who don’t have the ability to write big checks or form a citizens advisory board.
  • One person would support the merger of the SPCO and the MO. Merge Admin, Staff, fundraising, etc.
  • Others worry the focus of the 2 organizations is different and 1 would get lost.
  • Communicate to the board that if they don’t settle this I will start a new orchestra
  • I will not donate one dime until the situation is resolved in equitable way; when it is resolved we will fill the seats, push for donations.
  • Petition? What impact will it have?
  • How can we change the board to include significant representation by musicians and audience?
  • Get passionate people on board
  • Dine audience
  • Shake up marketing and development departments
  • Other non-profits do educational outreach to schools – can collaboration among non-profits create more opportunities for arts/music education? Find ways to connect and give back.
  • More immediate question is – how to get an orchestra season this fall?
  • Willing to pay more for tickets and to give more to organization – but want to know how to have input into orchestra. May have comments and suggestions and wants them to know “she’s there”; need two way engagement.
  • Experience of faculty/staff member at college. CEO of board obstructed positive projects. Had to meet with several board members to get them to know what was really going on.
  • Some donors have reacted with cynical outrage when asked for money recently. Reluctant to back the orchestra as currently organized.
  • Who are the 2-3 most crucial board members that need to be reached? Who will listen – to reasonable presentation from outside – need to be strategic in identifying and acting who should contact them.
  • Need city and community involvement on board not dependent on how much you give but on interest and engagement in the mission.
  • Need transparency in order to ask and receive donations with confidence – must build trust
  • Need musicians’ representation on the board
  • Need to know governing structure and operations to know where questions are coming up and how to influence
  • Need government representatives on board too – maybe not be voting members, but need to be in the know.
  • Old model of a few rich people supporting orchestra is going out – need people who care about the music
  • It has to be done together, as a cohesive group.
  • Grassroots donor base? Look at MPR and TPT, yes some big donors, but lots of smaller and regular donors.
  • We would like community, musicians and government representation on the board.
  • Grassroots fundraising a-la MPR. Broad base of support
  • End lock-out/don’t insist on a new board – education of the board to build trust for the musicians and community.
  • Multi-year plan is needed.
  • Sustainer that stopped her contributions will re-up when classical music is back on the stage, not pop music.
  • Let board know we are very interested in donating but won’t until the lock out ends.
  • Group together 50-80 people to sponsor a specific chair/musician; so tired of paying CEO salary.
  • The community wants a voice; this is a very educated community; The board makes room for the rest of the community.
  • Ask for a player representative to the board.
  • Stake funding to MO and state will realize increased taxes through refreshments, etc.
  • Have the Orchestra go back to playing and talking.
  • There is not excuse for businesses not to give more.
  • Contribute to endowment for specific investment/chair
  • How do we speak out?
  • Feeling that we can’t recover.
  • We have reached critical mass where they have stolen the orchestra
  • If management wants to fail there is nothing we can do.
  • Can we get an organization to be the keeper of funds until the orchestra starts playing.
  • Take over governance of the board
  • We like people like ken Dayton – be can do money but also loves music.
  • Represent musicians in management
  • No mechanism to give board vote of no confidence
  • Need to transform board
  • Need escrow that we can give money to be released under certain terms. And to the musicians under certain circumstances.
  • Need transparency of the board
  • Questions from the community to the board
  • Ask the board if they want a WCO
  • Ask the State of MN wanted a CWO we’d see more people rising to the cause. Government and political leaders need to do more for music what they did for football.
  • Downtown council’s strategic plan – where is the orchestra?
  • Look at Venezuela as a model – giving violins to kids
  • Put a counter ad to management. Don’t have to be negative; be positive – sway public opinion; hasn’t been done by musicians
  • Ad campaign that builds on the love of music
  • Force board and management and orchestra together
  • What can we do that George Mitchell isn’t doing?
  • Orchestra has to start playing again
  • Penalize financially – cut off contributions.
  • Need organizational counterforce to the board
  • The governor? The Mayor? Who represents us?
  • Send out template to everyone to email the board and politicians.
  • Not using the convention center; shamed at lack of creativity
  • Audience members need to voice concerns now; promise ticket sales; need to provide input now
  • Willing to make pledges; season ticket buys; need heavy hitters; we aren’t philanthropists there and ready to help?
  • Has labor increased in increase of cost?
  • Do ticket sales really help?
  • Big donors – where and when do we need what are mechanisms to get donors to support?
  • Resolve issue – audience voice – ticket sales. Votes based on dollars
  • Musicians and management both need to bend
  • What does OV need? Lock out end by Sept 9 or Carnegie Hall event will be canceled.
  • Call Orchestra Hall right now.
  • End lockout even if settlement is not attained.
  • Use digital and social media to stop lockout
  • Every person should go home and write a letter to the board member – use snail mail.
  • Send positive and productive letters to give them encouragement to end lockout.
  • Phone calls can make an impact
  • Petitions
  • Orchestrate Excellence should have a presence at the state fair
  • Need pressure from Mark Dayton
  • Contact individuals that make up the board.
  • Need responsible, competent board
  • Vienne Phil is governed by players
  • Lack of local government involvement surprising
  • Interview each board member – when do you see this being resolved? Lack of access to individual board members. Go en masse to board meetings.
  • Show up at board meetings?
  • Problems with board – they’re paying 20% of MO budget? What is their end game? Public needs to help sustain MO, not just board. The board is sick of floating the orchestra.
  • What can we legally to do reach the board? We feel we have no voice. Musicians themselves have had no luck getting to the board.
  • Broken – missing 24 chairs
  • We have to believe that we’re all working for the same goal. Chair of the board said musicians can be replaced. Lack of trust.
  • Why is board doing it>? Feeling embattled? Circuling the wagons? Siege mentality; hard to break that; say ‘we don’t mind if we run a deficit’ in the short term.
  • Arbitration – musicians said they will abide by it and give the mediator respect of dealing with it
  • Financial transparency – public didn’t know situation till it was too late! Who is the board answerable to? No one. Change Structure.
  • Community has to make a commitment
  • SOS: Save Osmo: Mina Fischer
  • More transparency from the organizations
  • Contributions can be more than financial through volunteerism and engagement
  • Youth concerts are a time tested way o engage thousands of students in the music
  • Flash mob in the Peavey Plaza.
  • Make it MN Orchestra Day September 9th; push on social media
  • Write letters; develop msg that distinguishes differences
  • Business model is different for corporation vs. orchestra
  • Bring friends/relatives to concerts: exposure may bring more tkt buyers
  • Orchestra go on the road across state
  • Contact Ruby – Orchestra Develop. Officer
    • Sport tea adopt a player
    • Sport teach adopt a school – bring the class to Orchestra hall
  • Buy a seat in the orchestra hall for individuals
  • Renew Season Tickets
  • Draw Rochester and Duluth into the discussion
  • More Guest Artists
  • Speakers at local organizations to advertise
  • STATE PROTESTS – VISIBLE U.S. BAND
    • CROWDFUNDING – FACEBOOK
    • INDIE GO GO
  • Halt demonizing both sides; more communication from Board essential
  • Prestige voices to lead – religious. . . .
  • Inform local businesses /big corporations about the value of the orchestra, not only in terms of artistic achievement but also in terms of civic pride and the economic activity of bringing an audience downtown.
  • Get our local constitutions – churches/synagogues for example to host speakers whether from the musicians or management to speak to the issues.  There is very little fact that is known as opposed to the mountain of rumor/hearsay.
  • Bring friends to concerts
  • Get local celebrities to come to concerts and school groups
  • Stage protests
  • McPhail connecting student to Arts
  • Shift in corporate giving; How can more of us participate – financially
  • I’ve done everything I know how to do – what else can I do? I’ve attended concerts, bought the sign, but I don’t have a big checkbook
  • We can support arts in schools – we’ve lost 30% of music educators
  • I am a guarantor in addition, how can we foster the culture of philanthropy
  • Some people guarantors, some people buy tickets
    • They could – get out to the community more Mankato, Bemidji, build more audience
  • MN Orch – does regional residency, adopt a school programs – WE ARE DOING A GOOD JOB
  • Tickets, endowment, annual fund – revenues
    • If enough of us gone to the least of our ability – need to broaden the base for annual fund, and get more people in seats
  • I am now very leery of making contributions with my limited funds – how can my confidence restored?
  • MOA keeps call me – why expend effort
  • Need for creative fundraising – need creativity
  • Need to restore trust
  • Musician are not logs (?) – not easily replaced to create a new ensemble
  • Trust
  • How do we make this art most relevant thing in a student’s life?
  • Make the orchestra a regular part of people’s lives
  • We’ve got to get the orchestra going now?
    • Board knows that there will be support, supporters need to have an orchestra
  • When will I as a contributor feel like I can give again? The longer the lockout drags on it will be harder to regain our trust? Why will we give money until we trust?
  • Grieving process that the orchestra we knew is changed. We’ve lost so many players – we need to build a web of friendships to support the friends in the audience and the musicians on stage
  • How does the community really participate? We as an audience don’t need to be neutral – as a community we need to say strongly that a lockout is unconscionable the lockout must end now
  • Introduce a friend to the orchestra
  • Keep the ground fertile- so when trust is restored the community will be ready to give
  • Can we as volunteer community members urge people to give
  • Framework that would invite/include more smaller donors
  • Can we really say that we haven’t been supporting the orchestra
  • How can we rebuild trust between community and board
  • We want to be supportive bu don’t know how
  • Do we have any power at all
  • We have taken for granted that going to concerts is enough
    • Do we need to be a ore supportive community in the future
    • Will there be a ways in the future for us to be more involved
  • It would be sad if this situation happened again in spite of our support
  • We would like to be told how to help – what is needed how we can donate time and talent
  • I’d like to own the orchestra, retake ownership, call it “my” orchestra, not “the” orchestra
  • Third leg comment – how can we have positive impact
  • How did the small group (board) “steal” my orchestra
  • Musicians have learned to ask for help
  • What tangible support have orchestra member received
    • Individuals have helped them, but orchestrate Excellence has not
  • Community has now sway over the board
  • Can we “boycott” the board in some way
  • Transparency  – we don’t know what the board is doing and activing – they are anonymous
  • Because we allowed it
  • Lack of arts coverage – more on TV
    • Some on MPR, some in the Strib
  • We could insist on more coverage
  • “Round table projects” tool to connect projects with people
  • Mn Orch board of Directors – we could email them
  • Roundtable Project
    • As owners of stock you get to vote how do we as audience get to participate in decision
    • We have not been called to advocate for the orchestra
  • Young educator who came here to study music
    • She wanted to be ore involved in orchestra before, bud didn’t know how
  • Example of the Ft. Wayne Phil did a vote, getting people to choose the pieces for a concert
  • La Crosse symp has a conductor wannabe concert – winners have raised the most music
  • The orchestra will have to experiment and try new things – we-re going to have to be open to new ideas
  • We can help with communication
    • We don’t know what’s going on
  • I have more questions
  • I got called to buy tickets
  • The admin is still getting paid
  • We need to buy, buy , buy tickets when the orchestra get back together
  • How can we help connect businesses and industry with the orchestra
  • One problem is that corporate support is well – intentioned, but the execution is embarrassing.
  • An empty row in a hall says a corporations didn’t send anyone to the concert
  • Orchestra could issue tickets to local business
  • Ownership does well locally
  • Mn sure ad – Paul Bunyon
  • LA Phil does a terrific job of posting ads everywhere
  • MIA doe a great job bringing in “other” people
  • The Orch. Needs to do this job, the community can do that job
  • Million dollar idea competition for the orch.
  • What can we do w/ social media?
  • The orchestra concerts promoted concerts w/ social media
  • “tweet seats”
  • Arts being cut in schools cuts into arts patronage
  • Many people in the community have never been to concerts
  • People don’t want to be dumb in a concert
  • Like a “poet laureate’ we could have our political leaders and higher ed organizations help the community support arts.
  • Give more when the situation improves
  • Attend concerts
  • Have to raise more money
  • Individual missionaries – public need to be; invite people to concerts
  • Better group rates, especially for young people
  • Totally different live
  • Ipad app like SPCO?
  • People organizing to do advertising, online work etc. in the MOA doesn’t
  • Sponsor free concerts
  • Teachers need to play an important role in their students’ orchestra experience
  • MacPhail? As in yrs past, cheaper tix for students
  • Great role for educators
  • Role for Young Musicians of Minnesota in spreading classical music
  • Tap the choral people in Minnesota – asking them for support and getting them a role in the orchestra’s life
  • Need a better way to communicate between board and leadership and community
  • Fundraising under certain conditions are not endowed chairs?
  • Do things independently of the MOA if we need to
  • The MOA is very one-sided
  • Document community discussion & updates with blogs etc. “Song of the Lark” blog
  • So far no dialogue with board – just barbs
  • They need to interact and come together.
  • How do we increase attendance?
  • Why didn’t they ask the community for money?
  • Musicians are world-class but are being blamed and forced to take a pay cut.
  • Other orchestras have dynamic marketing campaigns.  Why don’t we?  Why no VP for marketing and development.
  • Young people used to usher
  • Some musicians are young
  • Time pressure – how can we leverage Osmo’s recordings this spring?
  • SPCO – they charge $10 per seat.
  • We nee a mass demonstration around Orchestra Hall.
  • We should take to the streets – flash mobs.
  • Feasibility study was in the worst part of conflict.  We couldn’t see a vision worth contributing to.
  • More communication to the audience
  • More grass roots development – not just big divas.
  • Get RT in it.  Dick Cohen? Alice Hausman?
  • Short term – we must respect process of negotiation- not just hijack or bad mouth it.
  • Musicians are trying – there is loss of trust.  How can donors trust?  They should have explained to the audience.  Young people should be brought on board.  Help support a bus to bring people in.
  • Many ways to raise money.  Help bring more political help.
  • Everybody is worried – why would they give money.
  • Designate the orchestra as classical
  • 30% cut in pay – too much!  Should be fairer – underwriting to support.
  • How to rebuild trust?
  • Bring in the audience in the healing process.
  • Lot of people emailed and there was no response.
  • Project – part of a project.
  • People like the idea of musicians on the board.
  • Moral victory – doesn’t cost anything, but good representation.
  • Rising # of pop concerts
  • Union is elephant in the room
  • Trust goes away with union/management
  • Might be easier to build trust than build money.
  • This is non-profit organization – we do all want the social profit.
  • Lawyers – may need to look at a7 years of deficits
  • Will take time to
  • Board need to give
  • Lock out stops – banks will they float a low interest loan?
  • Fire all the Lawyers.  Banks should step in.
  • Once everything is back together, still support the Orchestra – we can still have a great orchestra.
  • Its turning people off that that this process is so secretive between the musicians and management.
  • Politicians aren’t saying anything – we need a public figure to be clear about lockout.
  • Mainstream press is inaccurately reporting.  Misleading blogs, press etc.  We can contact press to correct these things.
  • Why aren’t we demonstrating in the streets?
  • We need someone to rise up.
  • Donors – why are they silent?
  • Board members – how do they get there?  How can we put pressure on the board members?
  • They are so enigmatic to the public.
  • Dr. Fletcher:  We need existing parties to work together.
  • We will but season tickets to contribute to the orchestra, donate.
  • Governor and state repress – this needs to be a state-wide issue. – RT also.
  • YMM (Young Musicians of MN) are working, orchestrate Excellence, save our symphony MN
  • Make sure MYS and GTCYS concerts are sold out – we need to show that we support music state-wide.
  • Keep writing letters – board and management
  • Organize groups to come to the next board meeting – how can they ignore all these people?
  • We need to have a world-class orchestra – it’s an essential part of the state’ ecology.
  • We cannot lost a cultural treasure
  • There are people who would leave or not move here in the first place if the orchestra diminished because it would say something about the state’s priorities.
  • Problem:
    • We don’t know how to do what we need to do to help.
    • We need direction
    • Could orchestrated excellence come up with 5 points of action?
    • We need to get organized in a coherent way.
    • Show demonstrations of support of orchestra when board meets.
  • Is purchasing a ticket, is it a profit or loss for the organization?  (Observation related to the low cost tickets of the SPCO.)
  • Years ago MPR did a telethon day to raise money for the SPCO.  Could something like that be done for the Minnesota Orchestra.  (The situation at the time did not involve a lockout or strike.)
  • Board members seem anonymous – just names on a piece of paper – faceless.  They need to be more engaged with the audience and community.
  • Hold an ‘in home’ concert (chamber music with musicians from the orchestra), invite friends for a fund raiser.
  • The audience members are stakeholders.  Currently they seem to be cut out from any influence on the Board, management or musicians. Or to put it another way, board, management, musicians seem to not want to hear from the audience.
  • Most people seemed surprised that the Orchestra was having such financial difficulties.  Most believe the management did not fully explain or publicize the situation.  Most believe people would have responded to the situation.  (Or, one might say management was ineffective in informing the public.)
  • The audience (also read community) is not irrelevant.
  • Picket with signs that have whole notes.  We are not interested in half notes.  (Among other things I think this may refer to wanting a world- class orchestra.)
  • The audience needs to be feisty, and impress their views on the disputing parties that they need to get on with a resolution of the problems.  (This was from some St. Paul friends who experienced the SPCO situation.)
  • To be disengaged is to be irresponsible.
  • Action – stretch yourself in the way you can give to an organization.
  • The current rule of thumb of non-profit development departments is that they know only between 10% and 20% of the people who have or will be making legacy gifts. If there are approximately 150 names listed in the current legacy list for the MO, there are approximately 1,000 people out there who are about to or who have identified the MO in their wills.  Now is the time they should step forward and identify themselves.
  • Invite board members, musicians, and management to public meetings like this one and ask them to speak.