ST. PAUL, MN – Today, Governor Mark Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak held a joint press conference encouraging musicians and the board of the Minnesota Orchestra to meet as soon as possible.
Audio Attachment: http://mn.gov/gov-stat/audio/2013_09_19_orchestra.MP3
Governor Mark Dayton:
“We’re here together to call on the musicians and the board of the Minnesota Orchestra to meet as soon as possible with the mediator and to continue those face to face meetings for as long as it takes to get an agreement. I met last week with the musicians’ representatives and board representatives separately, and made the same request of them. And I want to repeat it publically because there is third party that tends to get put in the back seat, which is the people of Minnesota, the people who supported the orchestra, the people who contributed, the people who patronized it, and the people who believe in it.
“And somehow this institution has become more important to the parties involved than even the very legitimate, separate self-interests. And so I make this appeal and I strongly urge representatives of the members of the board and representatives of the musicians to meet with a mediator face to face and to continue that face to face meeting for as long as it takes to get an agreement and get the orchestra reopened for the people of this state.”
Mayor RT Rybak:
“I want to thank the Governor for showing tremendous leadership in the midst of this situation. In the middle of one the worst labor disputes, and certainly one of the worst labor disputes involving the arts community in this state in a long time.
“We need both sides to put aside any personal piece of history and simply get into room and talk to each other. There have been generations of Minnesotans who help build one of the most remarkable arts institutions and arts communities anywhere in the world. And we stand on their shoulders and at this point this generation of leaders needs to recognize that this has to be about than the very difficult past few months and absolutely be about the future.
“The future of the Minnesota Orchestra is at stake. When you think about the thousands of people over the years who seen their concerts, when you think about the hundreds of people who have taken tremendous personal and financial risk to make this organization work. All of their work is jeopardized by the inability of these two parties to get to the table.
“The Governor as I say has played a tremendously important role and there are many other people are playing important roles – including the foundation communities and many other leaders in this community. But there’s no person who can ride in on a white horse and solve a situation where two groups have let too many things stand in the way of getting to the bargaining table.
“I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out who’s the good guy in this discussion. I finally conclude there are a couple of good guys on both sides of this. I understand where both sides are coming from, but I absolutely do not understand why anyone has any excuse to sit at a table and get this solved. The history and the future of this arts organization depend on it.”