Here’s To A Strong 2010

By and large, 2009 was a tough year for the field and although some groups will continue to stumble in the weeds, others are making progress on finding institutional balance while several are well on the way to stabilization. For example, the Charlotte Symphony released a statement on 12/31/09 announcing a new program to build annual operating revenue following the successful completion of an ambitious bridge fund campaign. Conversely, news out of Cleveland via Zachary Lewis at The Plain Dealer reports on brewing labor issues…

Rest assured, we’ll be keeping an eye on those situations and more throughout 2010, but it is clear that the business will continue to find ways to improve efficiency and make better use of limited resources. After all, necessity is the mother of all invention and to that end, I’m eager to begin writing about a new platform that will significantly boost marketing, development, and outreach performance for the vast majority of nonprofit performing arts organizations.

That’s all I can say for the moment but over the course of the next few months, you can expect to read more.

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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