CSO Strike Is Over, But Why Aren’t There More Details?

It looks like the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) strike is likely over. According to the Chicago Tribune, both parties have announced a tentative agreement has been reached but details won’t likely be released until the musicians officially ratify the agreement at a 9:00am CT members meeting.

Once details are released, this article will be updated with a link to the source Updtate: musicians ratify agreement, early details here, but following a flood of email messages yesterday asking why there wasn’t more content about the strike; it seems like a good idea to point out Adaptistration’s Professional Disclosure statement, posted in the footer of every page, which is part of the overall Blog Policy.

Given the author’s position as an arts consultant and technology provider, he does not publish articles examining or focusing on current clients without first obtaining the client’s written permission.

I take that policy seriously so in the spirit of full disclosure, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra uses The Venture Platform, which is a division of my consulting business, as a publishing framework for their program specific websites and microsites. They launched the first one awhile back for their Beyond The Score®

Consequently, I wasn’t planning to post any other articles about the CSO strike except an announcement that it is over, which turns out to fortunately be today (probably).

In the meantime, and in the future if a situation like this occurs again, you can expect an initial post announcing the respective work stoppage but beyond that, my activity will be limited to activity such as the data I prepared for one of the Tribune’ initial strike articles. Additionally, colleagues and readers can always feel free to get in touch directly.

And just in case you were away over the weekend and all of this is new, you can catch up on what just happened via the following offerings (my apologies in advance to anyone inadvertently left out but suffice to say, there is a lot of good stuff going around):

  • An interview with Chicago’s own one man cultural institution, Andrew Patner. His discussion with WFMT host Carl Grapentine about the initial hours following the strike is an excellent source of info.
  • The Chicagoist, Alexander Hough does some math surrounding the dollar value surrounding some of the issues.
  • The LA Times gets a nod for an article from Matt Pearce that is the first out of the gate with the headline “Strike up the band!”
  • Lawrence A. Johnson from Chicago Classical Review was all over the news and on the scene within hours after the announcement.
  • I think the Chicago Sun Times may have been the first out of the gate with the news with their article from Tina Sfondeles on 9/22/2012 at 6:52pm.

Lastly, I want to extend my sincere and genuine thanks to everyone who expressed interest via email, social media, and comments in reading about the CSO situation here at Adaptistration. It’s tremendously humbling to receive that sort of feedback. Thank you all very much!

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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