Talking About 2019 With Rachel Katz From A Tempo

I had the pleasure of talking to WWFM’s Rachel Katz for her program, A Tempo via a retrospective of 2019. Granted, there was a lot of ground to cover but she did a good job at keeping me in-line and on track with topics that covered labor disputes, diversity, discrimination, and quite a bit more.

The classical music world grappled with a variety of issues in 2019 – increasing diversity and inclusion, strikes and lock-outs at major symphony orchestras including Chicago and Baltimore, and allegations of sexual misconduct and discrimination. This Saturday (12/28 at 7 pm) on A Tempo, host Rachel Katz chats with Chicago-based arts consultant Drew McManus about these and other 2019 headline-makers, and also looks ahead to what’s to come in 2020.

Adaptistration People 143I have to admit that I was a bit stumped when Ms. Katz asked me about some of the positive developments from 2019 since so much of the year was dominated by some very heavy topics. You’ll have to listen to the segment in order to find out which silver linings we found.

But I’m curious to know what you would have identified as some of the high points in 2019. Leave a comment or reply across social media.

You can listen to the program via WWFM’s streaming library.

Listen To The Program

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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