Creating Concert Programs Doesn’t Need To Be A Pain

If you’ve ever been responsible for creating a concert program in Microsoft Word, you probably know how tricky it is to align everything in a way that conforms with traditional program layouts.

The harder you try; the more elusive alignment becomes but you can’t figure out why. Here’s a tip to know when things start snowballing toward word processor hell: you’re using a lot of consecutive spaces.

Fear not! There is a way to achieve program layout Nirvana and it involves tab stops.

A few days ago, I noticed friend of the blog, David MacDonald, posted a quick video on this very topic on his Facebook wall. It was such a useful tool I asked him to create a more formal version for ArtsHacker and he graciously accepted. David jumps right into the useful stuff but also takes the time to not assume while covering each step in the process.

How To Make Concert Programs The Right Way

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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