June 13, 2013; MinnPost
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Symphonies have had it tough the last few years in terms of labor disputes with their musicians, as detailed here and here. This is the first time we have heard about a state grant being rescinded because of such a thing. Since the Minnesota Orchestra locked out its musicians last fall because of a labor dispute and did not put on performances as expected, 100 state legislators asked the Legislative Auditor for a review of how $961,888 in state funds can be used by the orchestra.
The auditor found that, even though the orchestra had complied with legal requirements in fiscal years 2010–2012, “It is uncertain how much money the Minnesota Orchestral Association will be allowed to use from its 2013 Minnesota State Arts Board grant. It is also uncertain which costs may be paid with 2013 grant money. The terms of the grant agreement may allow the association to use money for costs it incurred during the time the Minnesota Orchestra did not perform due to the association’s ‘lockout’ of the orchestra musicians. The association and the Minnesota State Arts Board have different interpretations of which costs are eligible for reimbursement under the 2013 grant agreement.”—Ruth McCambridge