League Acquires Inside The Arts Cultural Blogging Exchange

The League of American Orchestras is pleased to announce that it has acquired the Inside The Arts Cultural Blogging Exchange. This new responsibility includes directly managing the Inside The Arts portal and exercising editorial control over each of the member blogs; Adaptistration, Brian Dickie, Butts In The Seats , Double Bass Blog, Neo Classical, non divisi, Scanning The Dial, Sticks and Drones, and There’s Always Room For Cello. With the exception of Adaptistration, all blogs will feature the existing authors. Details of the agreement are available in the following press release…

April 1, 2010
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jacob Douglas,
Public Relations
League of American Orchestras


Format changes and new authors unveiled at end of April

(New York) The League of American Orchestras today announced the acquisition of the highly acclaimed and popular Inside The Arts cultural blogging exchange. The result of a two month acquisition process, this augments the League’s new free online edition of Symphony magazine, SymphonyOnline and positions the League as the leading provider of online orchestra related news and events.

“We had to keep our interest and the resulting negotiations quiet in order to keep other interested parties off track. We were so concerned about getting into a bidding war that we feigned disinterest by leaving all of the Inside The Arts blogs out of our history of blogging section in Online Opus, which appeared in the January-February 2010 edition of Symphony.

This was a harder task than originally expected, given the level of quality and broad based popularity of these bloggers. Can you imagine any other reason we wouldn’t include such dynamic blogging figures like the beloved maestros Bill Eddins and Ron Spigelman? But with the acquisition of these blogs, we are opening the world of orchestras and orchestra management to a much wider audience and that’s more than worth the ruse.”

Co-branding efforts are currently underway and the InsideTheArts.com home page and its member blogs will unveil their updated formats at the end of April. With one exception, all of the existing blog authors will remain involved at their respective outlet. The only blog to undergo a complete change in authorship is Adaptistration; a blog about the business of orchestras. Adaptistration’s current author, Drew McManus, will be leaving the field of cultural blogging to spend more time with his business.

“I’ve had a good run and with the Venture Platform starting up soon, I figured it was the right time to entertain offers,” says Drew McManus, who is also the founder of Inside The Arts. “I’ve been getting offers for years now but I’ve really been waiting for the League to step up so when they made their interest known, it looked like all the pieces were falling into place. At first I resisted the idea of stepping down entirely from Adaptistration and the 99-year no competition clause seemed a bit like overkill, but when I heard who they wanted to replace me with, I couldn’t get out of the way fast enough.”

Adaptistration’s new author will be introduced at the League’s annual conference in Atlanta and although his identity is being kept a closely guarded secret for now, he is a well-known, dynamic figure from within the field. Early plans indicate Adaptistration will be modified to serve as the virtual arm of our prestigious Orchestra Management Fellowship Program and our acclaimed Learning and Leadership Development Programs.

In the meantime, League staffers will be hard at work enhancing Adaptistration’s existing archives. Along with those improvements, Adaptistration will be streamlined by suspending Premium features, such as the compensation reports and website reviews, in order to make room for expanding the wildly popular Who’s Minding The Score? comic strip and the Take A Friend To The Orchestra, or TAFTO, program.

League of American Orchestras
The League of American Orchestras leads, encourages, and supports America’s orchestras while communicating the vitality and value of orchestras and the music they perform. The League strives to stimulate the exchange of ideas and practices, promote innovation, and foster unity across the orchestra field. The League delivers meaningful information, learning and leadership opportunities, grass-roots advocacy and other services to its diverse membership, which encompasses nearly 1,000 member symphony, chamber, youth, and collegiate orchestras of all sizes. Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers, board members, volunteers, staff members, and business partners. Visit americanorchestras.org to learn 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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