#TBT UK Adds Injury To Insult For Artists Suffering Under COVID Job Losses

The 10/12/2020 edition of The Guardian published an article by Lanre Bakare that examines a tone-deaf media campaign from the UK government pushing citizens toward careers in cybersecurity. The reason why is pretty straightforward:

This isn’t the first time a career in the arts has been a punching bag for “real jobs.”  Do you remember the Old Navy campaign promoting a series of children’s t-shirt they were selling that displays the slogan “YOUNG ASPIRING ARTIST.” in big, bold Serif font but the word “ARTIST” is scratched out and the career choice of either “Astronaut” or “President” is written below in a sans-serif handwritten font.

We examined that and the resulting backlash at the time and it seems that corporations and governments are destined to learn the same lessons every now and again, it’s worth bringing up the discussion from that time.

What A Way To End 2015: Old Navy Dissuades Children From A Career In The Arts

With any luck, the time between each installment in this learning cycle will get larger.

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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