Orchestra Administration Visualized

Over the weekend, Facebook pulled a blog post from 2009 I had completely forgotten about but was popular at the time: Orchestra Administration À La Venn Diagram. After re-posting it as a Facebook memory, the feedback reminded me why it was popular and thanks to those comments, I put together an updated version for 2017 that includes patrons among the stakeholder groups.

Venn Diagram of Orchestra Administration
Where orchestra administrators and stakeholders intersect.

Granted, this is a tongue-in-cheek chart for the purpose of having some fun. If you’re genuinely interested in learning about the duties and responsibilities of each orchestra administration department, the essays on orchestra governance are still the standard for learning.


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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