Post Inauguration Cultural Confidence Levels

As we slide past the second full week of the new administration and observe boisterous debate about economic recovery plans every day, the overall impact of these events have had mixed effects on cultural confidence levels. On one hand, respondents feel better about current economic conditions (although the prevailing sentiment is “negative”) but the outlook toward economic conditions at the end of the season remained firmly pessimistic…

As the chart below illustrates, the numbers of respondents feeling that economic conditions at the end of the season will be “poor” or “only fair” appear to be crossing from their greatest point of separation at 12/14/2008. For the second polling cycle in a row, zero respondents feel that economic conditions will be excellent and those feeling conditions will be good increased a marginal amount.

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Although the final economic stimulus package is undecided, the current incarnation includes large cuts for federal arts funding. It will be interesting to see if these decisions and the approved package have any impact on this polling cycle. As a result, keep your eyes on the news and take a moment and cast your vote for the current polling cycle: VOTE NOW.

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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