The Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to the Minnesota Constitution, approved by voters in 2008, was a financial windfall for supporters of the state’s wildlife and wetlands, drinking water, arts, history and cultural heritage. And for Neil Gaiman.
The 2009 Newbery Award-winning author earned $45,000 — all of it coming directly from so-called legacy-amendment funds — for an appearance a week ago at Stillwater Junior High School in the kickoff event of Club Book, a project of the Metropolitan Library Services Agency. The project brings well-known national and regional authors to Twin Cities-area libraries by tapping into the arts and cultural heritage fund portion of legacy-amendment funds.
Chris Olson, director of the Metropolitan Library Services Agency (MLSA) and one of those who helps oversee the $4.25 million in legacy amendment funds that were allocated to the state’s regional public library systems, admitted last week that he was somewhat taken aback when he learned the amount of Gaiman’s fee for the Stillwater event.
“Frankly, yes, I was surprised,” Olson said. “That was my immediate reaction.” Politics in Minnesota.