Minnesota Orchestra returns $100,000 in unused grant money

As the Minnesota Orchestra's lockout continues, it's creating a backlog of grant money intended for projects that have been stalled.

According to Director of Public Relations Gwen Pappas, the orchestra has received approximately 20 grants for the 2012-13 season.

Approximately $100,000 in grant money has been returned.

"How we have handled these depends on whether it is a restricted operating grant (for a specific project) or a general operating grant. With restricted grants, in cases where the donor/foundation wishes to move the project and funding forward we have done so. In cases where it doesn't make sense to "relocate" a project, we have returned funding. With general operating grants, in most cases the donors/foundations have continued to support general operating costs."

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This week the Minnesota Orchestra announced it's canceling the rest of the concerts scheduled for this season, while proposing a three week summer concert series.

This just days after the National Endowment for the Arts gave the orchestra a grant for $40,000 for a previously planned summer music program.

Pappas says the orchestra is asking for an extension on the grant to be used in the next season. It's already been granted an extension on another NEA grant from last winter.

The Minnesota Orchestra has sequestered its general operating funds from the State of Minnesota until a negotiated settlement has been reached.