Inside The Arts Puts Butts In The Seats

Regulars to the cultural blogosphere are likely familiar with Joe Patti’s blog, Butts In The Seats; musings on practical solutions for arts management. It has been one of my favorite blogs ever since its inaugural post nearly three years ago and I am pleased to announce that Joe has agreed to make Butts In The Seats part of

I’ve known Joe for a number of years and in 2006 he was gracious enough to be a contributor to the 2006 Take A Friend To Orchestra initiative. His two-part contribution detailing his experience gathering a group of friends and taking them to an orchestra concert became so well known to the musicians in his local orchestra that they dubbed then "The Patti Papers" (part 1 and part 2).

Joe’s blog  is one of the few arts management blogs that isn’t timid about shedding some light on some of the otherwise dank aspects of arts management. At the same time, there’s nothing tawdry about the way Butts In The Seats approaches its subject material; rather, it examines everyday challenges (otherwise known as problems) all arts manager comes across at one point or another in the course of doing business and presents solutions based on direct experience. Of course, Joe does a better job of summing up what Butts In The Seats is all about in his blog description:

The title of the blog is no mystery to most arts people. The perennial effort of most arts organizations is to get butts in the seats–people attending your event. I am currently the theatre manager of a presenting house. I thought it would help me coalesce my disparate musings into viable ideas if I started writing my theories and thoughts down. My hope is that readers will provide a sounding board of feedback and recollections of their own experience. Ultimately, I hope to assemble that advice and make this a source of practical advice for arts organizations.

I know Joe’s blog does indeed serve as wonderful source for practical advice and it is exciting to have him join Inside The Arts.

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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Inside The Arts Puts Butts In The Seats