Inside The Arts Is Hosting The American Orchestras Summit Blog

Enlarging The Circle, the official blog of the American Orchestras Summit goes live on Monday, 1/25/2010 and I’m very pleased that Inside The Arts will be able to assist by hosting the blog. Likewise, I’ll be serving as the blog moderator (but not an author) to make sure things run smoothly. Speaking of the blog authors, I think the Summit organizers are moving in an interesting direction in that none of the bloggers are panelists; instead, they will be attending summit events and reporting their observations and experiences…

For those attending the Summit, don't forget I'll be serving on the Organizational Structures And Strategies session on Wednesday, 1/27/10 at 11:40 a.m.

According to the Summit website, here’s how the blog will function:

In order to jumpstart the discussion, we’ve asked seven Summit attendees representing a range of participants (musicians, arts administrators, conductors) in both presenting organizations and academic institutions to post their thoughts and observations on various themes and panel sessions. Some are industry insiders; some outsiders. Some are seasoned professionals; others are still students. On occasion we’ll give our writers a particular issue to discuss; at other times we’ll let them respond to whatever they find most interesting.

We hope that, for those who can’t attend in person, the bloggers will serve as your eyes and ears to the Summit—at least until the session videos are posted. We also want their comments to bring other voices into the mix and to further inspire a broad conversation throughout the orchestra world, in the U.S. and internationally. Please read their postings and add your own comments.

To this end, the entire blog site will be open for comments throughout the week of the summit and for up to one month thereafter. You can stop by the Summit blog to learn about the bloggers, sign up for the blog RSS feed, comment RSS feed, or subscribe to the automated email notification feature to make certain you don’t miss out on any posts.

If you haven’t signed up for the Summit but would still like to go, registration is still in full swing and you can complete the online registration form at the Summit website.

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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2 thoughts on “Inside The Arts Is Hosting The American Orchestras Summit Blog”

  1. Thanks Drew! We’re very happy to have the conference blog hosted at Inside the Arts and hope that this will expand the conversation. We’re expecting about 100 attendees at this point and welcome more. Registration is only $25 and travel, hotel, and ticket information is continually updated on the our website at

    This is by no means a postmortem on the American Orchestra, but a chance to share new ideas in a fresh environment with the hopes of inspiring all of us who love orchestral music.

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