The resolution of the Minnesota Orchestra lockout may be comforting to many, but an uncomfortable reality will re-emerge if the institution goes back to the same 50-year-old vision that got it in trouble in the first place.
The tension of the lockout held within it great promise for creating a radically new, surprisingly relevant American orchestra model — one that could spark the imagination of orchestras nationwide caught for too long in the rehash of a limited understanding of their own power to transform lives with music.
But there is still a chance for Minnesota. Through an uncompromising commitment to creating deep and broad partnerships with young people and local community centers, the orchestra can use its artistic excellence and organizing expertise to develop a widespread network of life-changing neighborhood orchestras in the spirit of El Sistema and possibly help close the state’s education achievement gap. What better way to rebuild public good will?
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