Grant Park Event Wrap-Up

Last night’s Take a Friend to the Orchestra event by the Grant Park Orchestra was a great deal of fun. Even amidst very non-June weather, the orchestra played wonderfully to a crowd of approximately 12,000. The post-concert Talk Back event attracted around 120 patrons (with thousands more lounging in the lawn seats as daylight lazily slipped away) and it was an honor to be included alongside the ensemble’s conductor and two of its musicians. I’ll have some pics from the event and more details after the next Take a Friend event scheduled for this Saturday’s concert at 7:30 but note that this event takes place before the 7:30PM CT concert at one of their Coffee Talk events (details).

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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