Time To Level Up Your Contract Knowledge

Did you know ArtsHacker has a contract category? The bulk of content is authored by Joe Patti and covers a wide range of contractual considerations for everything from individual artists through presenters and touring groups.

Inside the classical music field, it never ceases to amaze me how little some key executives, board members, music directors, and musicians know about their own collective bargaining agreements and basic labor law.

The amount of harm I’ve witnessed first-hand stemming from nothing more than willful ignorance collectively costs the field hundreds of thousands of dollars every season. Those number spike during seasons where particularly egregious infractions come with especially high price tags to settle.

Yes, the situation is that bad.

But back to the ArtsHacker articles, there’s plenty to keep you engaged and here are a few highlights I found especially useful:

What Are The Parts Of A Contract?

Primer On Ethically Contracting Engagements

Always Revise This Contract Language

MOU vs Contracts

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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