Storm Clouds Gather in Minneapolis

The 7/18/2012 edition of Minnesota Public Radio News published a segment from Chris Roberts that examines the ongoing negotiations at the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Roberts interviews a quartet of sources to obtain a larger perspective on how these negotiations will impact not only their respective institutions, and the local arts community.

storm cloudsRoberts jumps right into the core issues by examining the ostensible dichotomy between maintaining artistic standards and balancing budgets. It’s an excellent reminder that the clock is ticking for both ensembles and typical measures to reduce pressure, such as play and talk agreements, only go so far.

It was a privilege to contribute some thoughts to Robert’s report, as does Sticks and Drones author (not to mention Minneapolis resident) Bill Eddins, and you can read a transcript of the segment at the MPR News website and/or listen to the segment below.

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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