MPR news service in keeping with Legacy fund's purposes
A few days ago, The Forum published an editorial about the Minnesota Legacy Amendment Fund - money earmarked to support conservation and the arts. The editorial claims there are raised eyebrows about Minnesota Public Radio using the funds to "enh...
A few days ago, The Forum published an editorial about the Minnesota Legacy Amendment Fund - money earmarked to support conservation and the arts. The editorial claims there are raised eyebrows about Minnesota Public Radio using the funds to "enhance a statewide radio news network."
Here are the facts: We are investing the money in Minnesotans' quality of life far beyond our news service. For example, as one of the largest cultural institutions in the state, MPR is using the funding to partner with the Schubert Club, the Cantus choral ensemble, the Minnesota Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Minnesota Opera.
The funding also supports MPR's artists-in-residence program so that the Parker Quartet can put on concerts and conduct educational workshops in Duluth and Bemidji. It has helped bring The Current to St. Cloud via HD Radio, giving residents access to the best in authentic new and local music
Funds are being devoted to news, but for the purpose of distributing our reporting to any interested news organization so that everyone has access to news from around the state. In addition to news, we have other information and cultural collaborations:
- We are helping build an arts calendar that lists every cultural event throughout Minnesota.
- We are forming a digital audio archive of state history from tens of thousands of hours of news, cultural and arts programming to preserve Minnesota's history.
- The funds are supporting new programs, such as "Poetry Out Loud," a national poetry contest for students.
- We are working with the Minnesota Music Educators Association in the first-ever "Play it Forward" campaign to collect used musical instruments for donation to Minnesota schools. To date, nearly 300 schools are involved.
We're grateful to the Legislature for their confidence in our ability to use these precious dollars wisely, and we're proud of our Legacy Amendment projects. We believe Minnesota will be as well.
Roesler is senior vice president and general manager of Minnesota Public Radio.