Giving Program Pick For December, 2013: Mae Mai

My choice for December’s Giving Program recipient is Jon Silpayamanant’s Mae Mai; a broad collection of posts on a variety of classical music topics both traditional and contemporary.

ADAPTISTRATION-GUY-031dJon’s writing about the series of labor dispute related crisis at US orchestras has been fascinating to watch evolve from casual observer to someone who is eyeball deep in the minutiae of the heavy duty topics that occupy that space. Additionally, Jon does an excellent job at providing info and insight into an area of the business that usually gets the short end of media coverage stick: ethnic orchestras; which he defines as “non-European styled Orchestras.”

Jon maintains excellent listing resource pages and covers groups via his Diversity category of posts. And when it comes to this topic, he knows his stuff; so much so that he has no trouble taking one of the usual talking head suspects in the culture blogging community to task for what he calls inane observations about the genre.

Since Jon doesn’t maintain a virtual tip jar, I will make a donation to a nonprofit organization of his choice and if Mae Mai 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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