The Cost Of Fear And Hubris

Last week, the Kennedy Center’s executive leadership decided to set aside established stakeholder relationships and strike out on its own by unilaterally declaring that most employees would be laid off or furloughed within a week’s time. Health care would be terminated one month following the official layoff date if the shutdowns continued. Fast forward to today and it’s a very different story. When announcing the cuts at the very end of …

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This Might Be Awkward

  It looks like the New York Philharmonic has been compelled to hire back two musicians it dismissed in 2018 for misconduct. Principal oboist, Liang Wang, and associate principal trumpet, Matthew Muckey were dismissed following an investigation overseen by former federal judge Barbara Jones of the Bracewell law firm. Fast forward 18 months and arbitration has compelled the orchestra to reverse its decision. A statement from the orchestra published at …

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State Of Employment Poll April 6 – 12

While it’s a sensitive topic, we all know performing arts orgs have been laying off and reducing hours for arts admins and musicians. What I’m not seeing is very much data about where things are from week to week and while I’m not able to set up a scientific poll right now, that doesn’t mean we can’t get a sense of where things are. To that end, I put together a …

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Good Governance In The Age Of Teleconference Meetings

Scheduling board and committee meetings is a chore under normal operating conditions. Add the pressures of shelter-in-place orders along with the sorts of heavy agenda topics most boards are facing, and you have ideal conditions for making shortsighted decisions based more on frustration and fear than stewardship. Having said that, there are a few pointers to help keep your board and committees on track and above reproach: Record Every Teleconference Meeting …

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Good News Friday

After posting a link on my Facebook wall to Zach Finkelstein’s list of opera and choral groups that have decided to pay artists even though their performances had to be scrapped, Washington Opera Orchestra trombonist, Doug Rosenthal, reached out and suggested I should put together a similar list of opera companies that were paying the musicians. He even compiled the beginnings of a list and sent it my way. After thanking …

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