AFM Poll Update: The Grass Is Looking Greener

Adaptistration People 098When the original poll results were published on 6/4/2010 I mentioned that we would revisit the results if there are any significant changes or an unusually large spike in responses. As it turns out, both have come to pass. Since then, the poll produced just under 800 respondents and that surge shifted the response ratios quite a bit…

Since then, a large percentage of those new respondents displayed sentiments toward orchestra musicians separating from the AFM (American Federation of Musicians) and forming a new union or remaining only if they are granted substantially increased levels of self determination. The end result tipped the majority responses away from Orchestra musicians should REMAIN in the AFM and work within the existing system to bring about changes they want so as to have that option drop 15 points and fall from first to fourth place.


Updated AFM Poll Results – click to enlarge

From there, respondents favored orchestra musicians leaving the AFM to form their own union or join IGSOBM (International Guild Of Symphony, Opera And Ballet Musicians) as these options experienced the largest gains in votes. Clearly, orchestra musicians and their representative conferences within the AFM are approaching a crossroad at the upcoming national convention. If you hear a loud crash coming from the Las Vegas area in a week or so, start checking out the AFM related blogs for details.

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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