In 2007, Minnesota Opera, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and The Schubert Club created The Arts Partnership, a distinct 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that represents the interests of the four organizations at their point of intersection – The Ordway itself.
The Arts Partnership is an historic and unprecedented community solution, resulting from the work of the four partnering organizations and a task force comprising corporate and foundation leadership, who came together to address common challenges and needs of those organizations with the intent to find a way to maximize Ordway Center’s potential.
The challenges at the Ordway boil down to time and money. There is too little time on the over-utilized calendar, and the endowment is too small. The solution is the construction of an 1100-seat concert hall (on the footprint of the under-used McKnight Theatre) to relieve scheduling pressure, and to raise an endowment to support the use of the facility by all the partners. The mutual interests of the four organizations hold the Arts Partnership together, with the schedule and usage rules described in a binding Master Agreement.
The Arts Partnership is a unique collaboration – none of its four organizations dominate. Rather, leadership of the Arts Partnership rotates among the four and the needs of the community are placed above the needs of any one particular organization. The result is that a beloved landmark–the Ordway–will bring even greater value to the community.
The Arts Partnership is a national model for how arts organizations can thrive together.