This Is How I Get Things Done has a long running feature titled “How I Work” and it routinely produces some fascinating content focusing mostly on creatives and tech professionals. That’s great, but wouldn’t it be nice to have something along the same lines but about arts managers?

Well today’s your lucky day!

Over at, we kicked off the first of a new monthly feature: How I Get Things Done, an ongoing series that examines how arts managers stay productive and outfit their workspaces. Although the series will certainly cover the existing ArtsHackers, it will reach far (far) beyond that to a wide range of arts pros in every department and field we can uncover.

The first installment covers my own workspace and you can keep track of all articles in the series via its dedicated archive page. If you’re interested in having your own workspace featured, keep an eye out at ArtsHacker’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for an announcement.

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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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