Seven months after ending a contentious labor dispute and lockout of its musicians, the Minnesota Orchestra has inspired confidence in some major donors.
The orchestra has received four anonymous gifts totaling $13.2 million, including one gift for $10 million.
The gifts are a "tremendous shot in the arm at a very critical moment,"Interim President and CEO Kevin Smith said.
"What these gifts constitute is a very strong show of support for the direction the organization is going in reconstituting itself, having [Music Director] Osmo Vanska back, and really moving forward as an organization," he said.
These gifts will fund a "Building for the Future Endowment" as well as artistic initiatives beginning in the 2014-15 season. Smith said the endowment can only be accessed for operational expenses, and only in years in which the orchestra has a balanced budget.
"This orchestra, as with many arts organizations, and many orchestras, still has some challenges ahead," Smith said. "We have to balance our budget and build our programming -- there are all kind of challenges ahead of us -- but I'm amazed and encouraged by the resilience this organization has shown in putting itself back together so quickly."
Despite the 15-month lockout, the Minnesota Orchestra has seen an increase in ticket sales and attendance at Sommerfest concerts, he said.
This story originally published on MPR News' State of the Arts blog.