Sneezing HTML Code

It’s funny how things work out sometimes. Right now, I’m eyes deep in a major development job via the Venture Project and at the same time, the majority of my regular consulting work is also very tech oriented. I’ve spent so much time working with properties, values, and other CSS syntax goodies that html code comes out when I sneeze. But the upside side effects include a high speed knowledgebase update, the result of which has turned up some intriguing goodies…

One of which is the ATHENA Project, an open source ticketing system. Just mentioning box office software platform can cause headaches. Too many solutions are either wildly complex and equally expensive or outdated and limited. Long story short, ATHENA is born as a potential solution to this seemingly never ending question.

So far, it’s in its beginning stages but it will be fascinating to see when/where/how it takes off. the folks over at Fractured Atlas are managing the project and have set forth the following manifesto:

At Fractured Atlas, we believe it doesn’t have to be this way. We believe all organizations, large and small, should have access to a ticketing system that:

  • Sells tickets exactly the way your organization wants to sell tickets;
  • Is built on the latest and greatest technologies and software methodologies;
  • Integrates with all of the other systems you already have (or might want to get);
  • Makes it easy to try new things and incorporate emerging best practices;
  • Is affordable for small non-profits, and preferably is completely free;

In order to keep tabs on the project, Fractured Atlas set up microsite at so if you’re interested in where ATHENA might go (and you should) then head over and set a bookmark.

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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