Page 2 of 2 Previous
“I don’t even know how to think about that,” Gens said.
Rep. Phyllis Kahn, the Minneapolis DFLer who leads the House Legacy Committee, is less concerned about what she calls the rigidity of the State Arts Board funds.
“I think the state should take a hand in it,” Kahn said of the orchestra situation. “The state had $1 million last year that went to the orchestra. That money was given back, and I thought that money could have gone to the musicians for their concerts.”
Kahn said that she would support public money going toward a contract settlement and that the city of Minneapolis and Hennepin County also should be involved.
“What they’ve done for sports teams, it’s not unreasonable to ask that they do something here,” she said.
John Stiles, a spokesman for Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, said no one has raised the issue of using city funds for the orchestra.
“Were it possible, it would require council action, and I’m not aware that any council member has raised it, either,” Stiles said.
The state, over the past decade, has supported bonding requests from the orchestra, the Guthrie Theater, the Cowles Center, the Children’s Theatre Company, the Minnesota History Center and the Ordway Center, among others.
In addition, individuals and organizations compete for grants through the Arts Board and regional councils. A recent survey by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies ranked Minnesota first — by far — in the amount of money it spends per capita on the arts.
Graydon Royce • 612-673-7299