#TBT How To Succeed At Artistic Planning Without Really Trying

I can’t begin to express how satisfying it is to see so many readers connecting with Rob Deemer’s guest author article earlier this week announcing the official release of the Women Composers Database. I have no doubt it will go a long way toward improving the representation of women composers in mainstream artistic programming.

Hopefully, it will help the field see less programming that resembles artistic decision making along the lines of this ironic diagram from 2009.

A Guide For Programming In The “New Economy”

But hey, if you’re looking to break into the field of orchestra artistic administration and you really dig risk-free programming that slowly bleeds away your audience, then you’ll want to keep this updated version handy at all times:

Orchestra Artistic Planning Visualized 2018

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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