Continuing The Discussion About Measuring Artistic Quality

Yesterday’s post about measuring artistic quality in the wake of contentious labor disputes generated quite a bit of fascinating discussion, both in the comment section and via social media.

Clearly, the topic touched a few nerves as the number of direct private messages and emails spiked over 100 by mid-day. I do hope many of the individuals I encouraged to post their observations and thoughts publicly do so. While it’s easy to understand their reticence, the variety of viewpoints are exactly what the field needs. All of this emphasizes why I feel this is such an important topic that while delicate, is worth wading into.

While the comments posted directly to the article are publicly available, you likely missed the much longer thread that unfolded at by Facebook wall. Fortunately, that’s easy enough to rectify by simply embedding it below. Feel free to join in on the discussion there or in the blog posts’ original comment section.

And don’t be fooled by the comment count, the entirely of discussion takes place as replies to the first response. But Facebook doesn’t accommodate embedding a nested discussion thread so you have to actually go top the thread and open up the chain the read. Sorry about that, but it’s definately worthwhile.

Posted by Drew McManus on Monday, July 15, 2019

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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