Fun With Food Metaphors

Holly Mulcahy posted an intriguing piece earlier this week about the perils of program substitutions entitled Sorry, we’re fresh out of Mahler. The piece does an excellent job at expanding on some of the points covered in an article here from 9/3/2009 and one aspect I enjoyed most about Mulchay’s article is how it uses culinary metaphors. As an added bonus, there is a terrific comment thread that produces entirely useful considerations and straightforward solutions for any artistic administration department wrestling with issues related to budget shortfalls and programming changes…

150x150-ITA-GUY-071I hope you’ll note both comments from Sticks and Drones co-authors Bill Eddins and Ron Spigelman. Eddins’ comment examines the thorny, yet inevitable, topic of specific program valuation whereas Spigelman pulls out Occam’s razor to provide some clear-cut perspective on how to avoid the thorns in the first place. I won’t spoil the surprise here and you should really read the entire piece (it is short) along with the comments in order to get as much out of the discussion as possible.

Given that both perspectives come from established music directors, it provides some wonderful insight into how those responsible for masterwork (and more) programming approach this issue. It also reaffirms why Eddins and Spigelman are a fantastic duo for Sticks and Drones. IF you aren’t already familiar with their blog (along with all of the blogs at Inside The Arts), you’re missing out.

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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