So it’s official: Robyne Robinson is gubernatorial candidate Matt Entenza’s running mate, her television makeup barely wiped away after resigning from FOX-9 this week. Whatever your take on Entenza’s intentions (Minnesota Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton’s dismissal of it as a ‘hail Mary’ tracks pretty well, given Entenza’s failure in any poll so far to rise above third place), putting Robinson in the capitol could translate to a quick reversal of fortune at the state level for Minnesota artists.
Robinson is the only player—among all the gubernatorial candidates and their running mates—with a vested interest in the local arts scene. Initial reports of her departure from FOX, after all, were predicated on statements she’d made about wanting to spend more time growing her jewelry business, ROX (her creations have adorned Madonna, Nicollette Sheridan, and Paula Abdul). For several years, she ran the flatland gallery in northeast Minneapolis (now closed), which opened late at night, before and after her newscasts. She initiated the area’s best television coverage of the local arts and entertainment scene, has sat on the boards of such organizations as the Walker Art Center, MCAD, and IFP, and hosted numerous discussions on the arts.
She’s also always been personally involved in the scene, dating/partying with local musicians and artists. (Lately, she’s been more into Greek men.) Few artists, in other words, would find a closed door to discussing a reversal of initiatives begun by the current governor, including a rolling back of the Minnesota State Arts Board.