Cultural Confidence Continues To Drift

The latest cultural confidence polling cycle indicates that positive attitudes remained somewhat unchanged and those with a negative outlook don’t feel quite as bad as the previous polling cycle. At the same time, the overall outlook on current and future economic conditions is decidedly negative…

On the positive side, those indicating current economic conditions as “poor” (the lowest selection) declined to the lowest levels since November, 2008. Likewise, those indicating current economic conditions as “good” (the second highest selection) remained at some of the highest levels in the poll’s history. Unfortunately, for the fourth consecutive polling cycle in a row, none of the respondents indicated they feel economic conditions at their organization is “excellent” (the highest selection).

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Looking toward the end of this season, the overall the economic outlook continues to be less than enthusiastic. Respondents indicating economic conditions will be “poor” (the lowest selection) did decline by a small margin but the number of respondents indicating they feel conditions will be “good” (the second highest selection) declined by a larger amount. As with the feelings toward current economic conditions, none of the respondents feel conditions will be excellent by the end of the season.

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As the end of the 2008/09 season begins to enter into its final stages for many performing arts organizations, take a moment to submit a comment and share your observations. In the meantime take a moment to cast your vote in 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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