Giving Program Pick For November, 2013: The Iron Tongue Of Midnight

My choice for November’s Giving Program recipient is longtime blog author and all around sharp knife in the cultural drawer, Lisa Hirsch. Her blog, Iron Tongue of Midnight, dates back to 2004 which makes it an official cultural blog plankowner. For the past nine years Lisa has published a string of thought provoking posts about everything from concert reviews to the business of classical music.

ADAPTISTRATION-GUY-031dHer top-shelf writing chops are matched only by her credentials; she questions conventional wisdom, diligently interacts with readers, and knows the difference between observational and empirical understanding. In addition to her regular blog posts, she maintains a series of static resources covering publicity, websites, fundraising, and even one for culture blogging basics.

In short, Lisa is the kind of person that makes culture blogging better because she’s part of it and since she doesn’t maintain a virtual tip jar, I will make a donation to an organization of her choice. If Iron Tongue of Midnight isn’t already in your bookmarks, do yourself a favor and add it to the mix.

What Is The Giving Program?

The brainchild of Shoshana Fanizza from Audience Development Specialists (ADS), the Giving Program is a way to acknowledge those within the culture blogging community that I believe make a difference. I’ll be posting something each moth featuring the latest Giving Program target, although for obvious conflict of interest reasons, I’ll have to exclude what would otherwise be my shortlist of authors at Inside The Arts (plus I’m pretty sure they already know I love them).

I hope everyone considers giving the program a try; all you have to do is follow Fanizza’s four point guideline:

  1. I will keep track of the blogs and other free information sites that I have come to rely on.
  2. Every month I will decide on a person to donate or contribute.
  3. I am making sure to value the people that are making a difference and showing them my appreciation with this gift.
  4. I am making note of what happens to me during this program.

[ilink url=””]Visit The Giving Program Archive[/ilink]

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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4 thoughts on “Giving Program Pick For November, 2013: The Iron Tongue Of Midnight”

  1. Great choice, Drew. Lisa and “Iron Tongue” are real resources. Thoughtful, informative, opinionated when appropriate, and always interesting. She takes this work seriously, and has serious knowledge, experience, and skills to back it up.

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