Some Mid-Week Cross Blogging

The week has been filled with some excellent cross-blogging between a few of my Inside The Arts blogging neighbors. First off, Ron Spigelman offers some first-person perspective on the dynamic impact of the Kansas City Symphony (KCS) lawsuit on local Missouri orchestras. Next, Joe Patti posted a blog about the Yo-Yo Ma appearance on The Colbert Report a day before I posted yesterday’s poll (if you haven’t voted yet, there’s still time). I always enjoy Joe’s take on orchestra-centric stuff…

Cross blogging is fun
Cross blogging is fun

In particular, I like looking at the business through the eyes of someone not up to their eyeballs in it and Joe’s perception on how classical music projects itself to the general population are right on the mark. Joe writes,

“Attitudes won’t change overnight but increased awareness through conduits like the Colbert Report can help in the battle. Despite the self-involved bluster his television persona exhibits, Colbert has used his position to advance causes he believes in.”

I couldn’t think of a better way to say it. You can find Joe’s article here.

Bouncing back to Ron over at Sticks and Drones, he posted an article which examines how the failed KCS lawsuit impacted his orchestra in Springfield, MO and how he explored alternatives to the legal option engaged by the KCS.

“I just believe that if the legislature feels that money for the arts is optional, it is all of us collectively that need to bear some of the blame because obviously we have not closed the argument on the importance of the arts.”

I like this. It isn’t a discussion about right and wrong, it is a discussion and cause and effect. Ron’s piece engages the sort of discussion encouraged in my article from last week and I think it is well worth any manager’s time. You can find Ron’s article here.

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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