I want to call attention to a recent statement from the Minnesota Orchestra’s Board of Directors because I think it explains part of the problem surrounding this labor dispute.
In a recent Star Tribune ad the board ran this quote from the AKA/Strategy report: “It is unrealistic to think the Orchestra can fundraise its way out of its current financial difficulties.” (Page 9)
Clearly the board is behind this statement since it paid good money to set it before the public.
I think there is a key flaw in the statement: Nowhere in the report does the author provide any support for it.
The closest support I can find is two statements found on Page 13.
- “There MAY (emphasis mine) well be limitations of the orchestra’s current donor and prospective donor pool.”
- “Donor fatigue and distress over the cancellation of the 2012-13 season the evident inability of the Orchestra and the union to amicably and promptly reach agreement on the new financial terms MAY (emphasis mine) cause some donors to hold back on their support Other donors MAY (emphasis mine) be concerned that the Orchestra was not a thoughtful steward of its endowment funds.”
The key word used in each sentence is the auxiliary verb MAY. “May” doesn’t support any assertion as fact; it only suggests a possibility of a given outcome, i.e. might happen, might not happen, we don’t really know.
Using the AKA/Strategy report’s own words, there MAY be several other potential outcomes that deserve equal consideration and analysis.
The board has yet to realize that every word coming from it will be analyzed, parsed and picked over. The days of statements being handed down from Orchestra Hall like stone tablets are gone. Until the board gets this there is no chance for the situation to improve.
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