Independent Contractors Are Feeling The Squeeze

Along with tracking orchestra manager and musician employment rates here at Adaptistration, I’ve been running a similar survey at ArtsHacker.

In addition to a much broader cross section of arts admins, it also measures the impact among independent contractors such as consultants, service providers, practitioners, etc. One fascinating detail to emerge is how much harder independent contractors are getting hit.

For example, 20 percent of independent contractors indicated their existing contracts have been terminated while an additional seven percent working in a temporary position capacity here laid off.

That’s almost twice the number of admins identifying as full or part time employees.

You can see the full breakdown in the review article and if you’re an orchestra manager or independent contractor, take a moment to complete that survey in addition to the one here that only measures orchestra positions.

Arts Admin State Of Employment Poll, Update 2

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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