Desert Island Culture Blogs

I’ve been reading culture blogs for more than 15 years and while it’s normal for most to cycle in and out of my regular reading routine, a few have remained constant. I like to think of them as my desert island culture blogs. No matter what, the authors examine consistently thought-provoking material and offer observations that evolve over time and challenge conventional wisdom.

One of those blogs is celebrating its 14th anniversary today: Joe Patti’s Butts In The Seats; Musings on Practical Solutions For Arts Management. It’s one of a handful of arts admin blogs that should be on every arts manager’s reading list.

In addition to his primary blog, he’s one of the fantastic senior contributors at

Happy anniversary Joe!

What are some of your desert island culture blogs and why?

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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