Arts Admin Merit Badges Will Be A Thing

What a pleasant surprise to see such a positive response to last week’s Arts Admin Merit Badge article I published at ArtsHacker. By far, the most common question was if the merit badges were actually available.

Desire was intense. Here’s one of my favs:


How can you say no to someone using an Office Space reference and all caps?

Consequently, I am happy to announce Arts Admin Merit Badges will become a thing in the form of laptop stickers. And while plans are still fluid, I anticipate two ways you can get them:

  1. Meet me in person. I’ll bring them along to all my conference, workshop, and lecturing appearances. You can find where I’ll be via my Where’s Waldo? style event schedule or keep an eye out for announcements here at Adaptistration. Or if you live in the Chicago area, find a way to cross my path.
  2. Order them. This one is still taking shape but assuming it isn’t too difficult to keep up with, I’ll make shipped versions available for sale online. #BestStaffGiftsEver

Beyond that, I am open to suggestions so if you’ve done something similar and found an additional option, I’d love to hear about it.

In the meantime, here’s a design teaser…

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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