THANK YOU – THANK YOU – THANK YOU to everyone who voted for The Venture Platform in Chase’s $100,000 Mission Main Street Grants® program. In the space of four short days, you helped us cross the 250 unique votes needed to put Venture’s application into the evaluation round that will determine the recipients in September. For those of you who have been following the endeavor, you know that promises were made about a certain adorable duckling video so to that end…

These little ducklings were all of four days old when we took this video on Tuesday, 5/19/15. They live in the pond that is part of Chicago’s Lake Point Tower Skyline Park and after letting them get comfortable with our presence (and a lot of corn for mama duck), they decided to get up close and personal. The results are adorable (not to mention a good viral promotional vid for Chuck Taylors).

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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