2008 Reader’s Choice

2008 was a great year for Adaptistration; daily traffic continued to reach new heights, a new blogging platform inspired increased comments and discussion, and original material appeared in traditional and new media outlets with greater frequency than ever before. As such, I want to extend my sincere thanks to everyone for making Adaptistration a fixture in the arts management blogosphere. Consequently, here’s a list of articles and topics you found most intriguing throughout 2008…

You read them, the stats counters tracked them, and here is what was most popular throughout 2008.
You read them, the stats counters tracked them, and here is what was most popular at Adaptistration throughout 2008.

Top Topics

  1. Columbus Symphony Orchestra: without a doubt, the prolonged labor dispute at the Columbus Symphony Orchestra proved to be the most popular topic throughout all of 2008. After announcing massive institutional cutbacks, the organization’s board and executive administration faced stiff opposition from the institution’s musicians and music director with the latter speaking candidly about the board in a variety of national forums.
  2. 2008 Website Reviews: The highly anticipated fall series has always been popular and 2008 was no exception. With updated grading criteria, the 2008 reviews produced some intriguing results.
  3. 2008 Compensation Reports: Who doesn’t enjoy learning more about industry wide compensation? Of all the topics at Adaptistration, this one received the most attention from traditional media sources.
  4. Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra: The first labor disagreement to break out at the time the economy began to turn, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra garnered big attention. The latter group actually ended up being split between 2007 and 2008 but they were popular enough to make it onto the Top Topics list.
  5. How To Connect With New Media: A newcomer to top topics was the series of articles which detailed how performing arts organization can better connect with new media outlets by learning how to properly identify, contact, and maintain relationships with those outlets.
  6. Take A Friend To Orchestra (TAFTO) Month: for the fourth straight year, the weeks occupied by TAFTO contributions were very popular. For 2008, the addition of the Grant Park Music Festival TAFTO events provided an added bonus of how much good can come from an organized TAFTO event (something I hope to see many other orchestras duplicate in 2009!).
  7. New York Philharmonic North Korea concert: A popular topic around the country and at Adaptistration as well. The topic peaked with an on-air discussion at WNYC’s Soundcheck with John Schaefer which included music critic Norman Lebrecht.

Top Articles

  1. Star Wars Trumpet Girl Vs. Caribou Barbie Flute
  2. Don’t Let The Door Hit Your Ass On The Way Out
  3. 2008 Orchestra Website Review: Awards Plus The Best and Worst Of 2008
  4. 2008 Orchestra Website Review: Overall Rankings
  5. The Gig After Gas online Calculator
  6. Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Musicians Strike
  7. “Culture Palaces For Air-Kiss Orgies Among The Superrich”
  8. Getting Musicians Involved
  9. The YouTube Orchestra. Meh…
  10. Take Your Pick: Ma, Maazel, Or Ross
  11. Here It Is, Your Holiday Moment Of Zen
  12. When Politics And Arts Management Collide
  13. Ross And Ma Are Tops. Maazel, Not So Much
  14. Revisiting Disposable Labor
  15. Grant Park Music Festival TAFO articles: Part 1 and Part 2

Most Comments

  1. Getting Musicians Involved
  2. Onto The Business Of Fundraising In Jacksonville
  3. Who Owns A Symphony Orchestra?
  4. 2008 Orchestra Website Review: Awards Plus The Best and Worst Of 2008
  5. You Say Tomato…
  6. Star Wars Trumpet Girl Vs. Caribou Barbie Flute
  7. Junichi Hirokami: Leading From The Front In Columbus
  8. Take Your Pick: Ma, Maazel, Or Ross

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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