A Fresh Look And Ponder Worthy Philly Thoughts

InsideTheArts.com has a brand new look; there’s a slick new homepage slider for featured articles, each of the authors has the two most recent articles listed on the homepage and (wait for it) all of the terrific What’s Bothering Jeff? videos are back up. In fact, even though they are hosted on YouTube, iPad and iPhone users can watch <gasp>…

The change is just the latest in the round of updates to most of the Inside The Arts bloggers.

And speaking of new, there was an interesting piece in the New York Times blogs (FivethirtyEight) by Nate Silver that examines whether or not the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) claims of financial distress are justifiable to the level of supporting the current lockout (Hat Tip to ArtsCriticATL.com’s Pierre Ruhe).

Although certainly apples and oranges on a dollar for dollar comparison between the NBA and say the Philadelphia Orchestra, Silver’s analysis and commentary should get you thinking. Don’t glaze over all of the math; some of silver’s thinking, especially the sections dealing the player salaries and what he defines as unusual accounting treatment are intriguing.

At the very least, the one element at play in Silver’s NBA review that is missing from situations like Philadelphia and Detroit, is the presence of an authoritative independent review. In Silver’s case, he references estimates from Forbes.

Wouldn’t it be fascinating if this field had something similar?

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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