Listen up. I need your help.
Recently, patrons have been getting phone calls from the Minnesota Orchestral Association. During the course of these calls, patrons have been told misleading and/or outright false things, such as
- Musicians in the Cleveland Orchestra are currently playing with no contract
- Orchestras in Syracuse and Honolulu have gone under, and Minneapolis as a metro area is equivalent to Syracuse and Honolulu
- Musicians in Chicago took massive pay cuts
- Money that is raised via the MOA will go to support musicians
- Former Orchestra violinist Peter McGuire would have taken his job in Switzerland even if the lockout hadn’t occurred
- The endowment has been drawn down by 80% to pay musicians’ salaries
- The Dayton family gave money to support the Building for the Future fund; therefore, you should too
- The renovation of Orchestra Hall is complete
- Something dire will happen to the Orchestra within six months if more money is not raised right now
Understandably, many of the people who received these calls were shocked at the gumption of the people on the other line, and were not able to think clearly to respond. I’ve heard quite a few people apologize and say they just got so upset that they couldn’t remember clearly or exactly what was said. So I want you to be prepared…and if you can, to remember every little detail. This is important!
The fundraising call will come from 612-373-9236. The Caller ID will say “The Future.” (No, I’m not making that up. I suppose so few people picked up when it said Minnesota Orchestra, that they had to change it…)
Here’s what I’m thinking. If you get a call from this number, pick it up. Try to draw out all the information and talking points you can, before telling them you will not contribute until the lockout is over and new leadership is put in place. Always have a pen and paper near your phone, or another method of transcription. (If you’re curious, Minnesota is a state with a one-party consent law, meaning that you are free to record a phone call if you are one of the parties having the conversation…)
If you’ve already gotten a call, please let me know what claims were made; I’d be happy to fact-check them for you. It also may be worth filing complaints with the Better Business Bureau (click here to file an online complaint) and the State Attorney General’s office (click here to download the form to mail).
How can the state’s largest cultural institution get away scot-free with lying so blatantly so often during the course of a major fundraising campaign? What do you think? What else can we do to hold the Minnesota Orchestral Association’s fundraising department accountable? Is it time for the State Attorney General to step in?