Busy, Busy, Busy

It’s been a whirlwind week thanks to approaching the finish line for a major project (which I’ll be writing about shortly after it’s complete). As such, my original idea for today’s post will have to wait and instead, I wanted to point out a few items of note.

Adaptistration People 017First up is some dark news from Venezuela where reports indicate the government is beginning to truncate el Sistema by way of consolidating the No. 2 and No 3. flagship ensembles (h/t Norman Lebrecht). We’ve been keeping an eye on how music has been playing a role to push back against government oppression and this latest move indicates the potential for subsequent punitive measure. Details can be found in a post at jonathangovias.com.

Next up is the slew of recent arts admin listings at Arts Admin Jobs. There have been seven new jobs posted over the past seven days that cover one of the widest swaths of opportunities I’ve seen over such a short period of time. There are full time, part time, and internships available along with everything from an assistant conductor opening at the Buffalo Phil to Ops Manager at Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute.

If you feel like you’re not getting enough mansplaining, check out the comment thread for the Your Orchestra Says It’s Progressive, Your Audition Requirements Say Otherwise article, which I linked to yesterday. Between the comments there and the hundred+ I’ve come across on Facebook, it’s difficult to miss that most of the push-back against the idea of using something other than music from dead, white, male composers for audition rep comes from living, white, male musicians.

Granted, that’s just an observation but what’s equally difficult to miss is the impressive number of thoughtful and passionate discussions going on among minority and women musicians in response to these issues. I don’t have permission to repost links to their respective discussion threads, but I strongly recommend you do a Facebook search for “Your Orchestra Says It’s Progressive, Your Audition Requirements Say Otherwise” and you’ll likely run across many of them.

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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