Encouraging Signs In Virginia

As the Virginia Symphony Orchestra (VSO) awaits a December 17, 2008 decision by their local government over whether or not they will provide emergency financial support in the form of a loan, supporters of the program, such as City of Norfolk Mayor Paul D. Fraim, can draw support from a casual poll initiated by Hampton Roads. The poll asks readers “Should Norfolk provide funds to prevent the symphony from declaring bankruptcy?”…

correctAt the time this article is published, approximately 65 percent of the more than 1,700 respondents are in favor of such measures. There are a number of comments but those pale in quantity and passion to those posted in conjunction with an article about the topic published in the 12/5/2008 edition of the Virginian-Pilot.

Although unscientific, results from polls such as this are used by politicians during decision making sessions so take a moment to cast your vote; although you will need to complete and confirm the hamptonroads.com’s (unnecessarily long) registration process.

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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