Solve, Not Study

The hands-on collaboration between the leadership of the four organizations, their boards of directors and corporate and foundation leaders is at the heart of the Art Partnership. Robert Senkler, CEO of Securian Financial Corporation, coined the phrase “solve, not study,” to define success. A Blue Ribbon Committee Report that sat on a shelf unimplemented would NOT be considered success.

This page lists the leaders currently implementing the solution. There are dozens of others – board members, donors, volunteers, consultants – who are also at work solving the problem.


speakerThe Arts Partnership began in 2006 with a committee simply called “The Task Force.” It was co-founded by Carleen Rhodes, President of the St. Paul Foundation, and Bob Senkler, CEO of Securian Corporation. They were joined by the four heads of the participating arts organizations and several other community leaders.

Initially, it was thought that the scheduling problems at the Ordway could be solved by making the existing Music Theater more flexible through the construction of a “slip stage.” However, the cost of the slip stage was much more expensive than anticipated, its construction would have required the Ordway to be closed for at least a year, and once it became operational the slip stage still would not fully solve the problem it was supposed to fix. From this disappointment sprang the solution of converting the 300-seat McKnight Theatre into an 1100-seat Concert Hall. The Concert Hall and the Access Endowment together will finally solve the two long-standing challenges of producing at the Ordway.




Ryan Taylor, Treasurer
(Minnesota Opera, President and General Director)

Jamie Grant, Secretary
(Ordway Center, President and CEO)

Jon Limbacher, President and CEO
(The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Managing Director and President)


Margaret Wurtele
Minnesota Opera Board Chair

Bill Parker
Ordway Center Board Vice Chair
US Bank

Laura McCarten
Ordway Center Board Member
Regional Vice President, NSP MN
Xcel Energy

Joseph Tashijan
The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

Dorothy Horns
Schubert Club Board Chair

Barry Kempton
Schubert Club, Artistic and Executive Director



Jamie Grant, Ordway
Mark Henneman, Ordway
John Holmquist, Schubert Club
D. William Kaufman, SPCO
Barry Kempton, Schubert Club
Jon Limbacher, SPCO
Jose Peris, Minnesota Opera
Mary Schaffner, Minnesota Opera
Ann Schulte, Schubert Club
David Sewall, Ordway
Ryan Taylor, Minnesota Opera
Staff: Chris Sagstetter, Ordway Center