Lost In Translation

Just a pointer today while I take the day off for some woodworking.  I have an article posted at a column I write for Partial Observer that asks the question; Does America’s diversity prevent a relevant public music education experience?  In particular it deals with two articles featured here at Arts Journal; Across a Great Divide by Peter Schneider and Marketplace of Ideas: But First, The Bill by William Osborne.  Both article are tightly related to what I have always felt is an ongoing problem with the arts industry; the seemingly unchallenged notion that the European model of cultural education is superior to the American model. 

Granted, there are a number of useful features that we could (and sometimes do) adapt to our American system, but there’s quite a bit more that doesn’t really translate between the two cultures.  So go read William and Peter’s articles and then go give mine a view, all in all it’s thought provoking stuff – at least it had me thinking all weekend.

Now I’m off to the shop to deal with some quilted big leaf maple

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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