Away In Caracas For a Few Days

I’m off to Caracas for a few days for my excellent Venezuelan adventure (details of which were posted a few days ago).  If I can wrangle some internet access while I’m away I’ll post a play by play of the events.

I received a note from Ben Zander, who is already on site, this morning telling me that I can’t expect what’s about to hit me.  He described the classical music scene in Venezuela saying

“It’s like what happened to the desert in Palestine when the Israelis started irrigating the land!”

I love high expectations.

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.