Don’t Wait, Register To Vote Now!

We’re rapidly approaching the November 6, 2018 election and if you haven’t registered to vote or need to update your registration info, don’t put it off until the last moment. National Voter Registration day was Sep. 25 but that doesn’t mean it’s too late.

Adaptistration People 001You can kick off the registration process at or, check your local state’s reference information, or look on Facebook to see if you have a friend serving as a Deputy Registrar. If so, they are certified to help you register or update your information. I’ve been amazed, and awed, at how many of my friends and colleagues are volunteering to serve as Deputy Registrars this election cycle.

While there are no shortages of hot button topics this election cycle, don’t forget to investigate your candidates’ respective arts policies.

For some candidates, positions are well known such as Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ), who is running to fill the Senate seat vacated by Republican Jeff Flake.

If Rep. McSally’s name rings a bell, that’s because she has been the driving force behind efforts to gut the US Armed Forces music programs.

McSally has a consistent track record of open hostility toward military musicians and has no problem publicly denigrating their value and the music program’s mission. If elected to the Senate, she’ll be in an even stronger position to see her plans to fruition.

Not only should McSally be denied that seat, she should be replaced in the House of Representatives with a candidate that understands the arts, both private and within the US Armed Forces, are essential to the proper functioning of our society.

If you live in the Arizona district Rep. McSally is pursuing, please take the time to register and vote for a candidate that publicly acknowledges the value of arts and culture and has a responsible policy.

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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