New Feature: The Cultural Confidence Indicator

Yesterday’s poll asking readers to rate the current economic conditions at their respective performing arts organization as well as rate where they believe those same conditions will exist by the end of the 2008/09 season generated some fascinating results, some good and some bad…

On the positive side, the majority of respondents feel good about the current state of economic conditions but their confidence in whether or not the business will maintain those levels is poor. Based on the popularity of yesterday’s poll, it seems clear that this is an issue readers feel strongly about. As such, the polls will be kept active over the next several months with the results tabulated every two weeks and posted in the “Cultural Confidence Indicator” widget, located in Adaptistration’s right-hand column.

A permanent poll page allowing readers to vote and post comments will be published later this afternoon.

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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