The Oft Overlooked Value Of Grass Roots Outreach

More often than not, whenever we talk about outreach and making connections with our community, those conversations unfold in a very top-down prescribed manner, not unlike a list of boxes to tick off on a grant application. Although there are plenty of good conversations to have within those parameters, they tend shortchange meaningful grassroots efforts and we end up missing out on making sincere long-term connections.

Case in point, Holly Mulcahy published an article at Neo Classical on 10/18/15 titled It’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood that does a better job at not only explaining what genuine, grassroots connections are, but provides a variety of first-hand examples for when and where they can be employed.

If you’ve ever struggled with explaining why connecting with a community matters in a way that illustrates why orchestras matter, this is defiantly a post you will want to keep handy on your phone.

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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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