Louisville Musicians Begin Branching Out

According to a report from Elizabeth Kramer in the 1/18/2011 edition of the Louisville Courier-Journal, the musicians of the Louisville Orchestra (LO) have restructured the existing nonprofit players’ association into “Keep Louisville Symphonic,” (KLS) an organization the musicians describe as “[preserving] the artistic excellence and essential tradition of great music provided by the Louisville Orchestra musicians.”…

Kramer’s article does an excellent job at covering details of the first KLS concert as well as some of the recent history leading up the musicians’ efforts. We should find out more in the developments of this situation soon as the LO is scheduled to met today with creditors and the court might have something to say about the asset/liability figures the orchestra recently provided. Those figures, $412,000 in assets and $1.4 million in liabilities, along with related details were reported in the 1/11/2011 edition of the Louisville Business First in an article by Kevin Elgelbach.

In the meantime, it is worth everyone’s time to keep an eye on these developments, along with those elsewhere, to see how each group of stakeholders is working together or on their own to identify an end that justifies the means.

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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