“Find Your Sanity Amidst Bad News”

Adaptistration People 086At a time when orchestras are branching out into non-traditional mission related activity, it’s important to remember that regardless of how much some of those efforts mean, they shouldn’t degrade traditional efforts.

To that end, it always helps staying grounded with something like the following letter to the editor by Mary C. Caliandro was published in the 9/15/2015 edition of the Chattanooga Times Free Press (h/t Holly Mulcahy).

mFind your sanity amidst bad news

I have been asking myself a question lately in the face of overwhelmingly bad news recently.

I read in your paper about shootings in Charleston, S.C., Chattanooga, etc. Our elected officials are threatening to shut down the government if they don’t get their way. Presidential candidates have zero tolerance for diversity. Television news tries very hard to get you to say, “Oh my God!” every minute of every day. Court clerks take the law into their own hands.

My question for fellow readers is, “How does one stay sane in the face of all this insanity?”

Here is what I did after I had had enough: I turned off all media and turned on a CD of soothing music. Then I went outside to pull weeds. I bought season tickets to the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera so I have something beautiful to look forward to.

By taking the time to care for and love myself I am better able to face the world and make it a better place. Perhaps if mental health were the goal instead of “my way or the highway,” we would have a healthier America.

Mary C. Caliandro, Ooltewah

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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