Inauguration Day’s Lessons In Streaming

It isn’t as though this Inauguration Day isn’t filled with enough significance, but there’s an something special for performing arts orgs in the form of the several live-stream broadcasts that need to operate inside pandemic health and safety guidelines.

The inauguration schedule is available at official event website, and was kicked off by an event last night that according to the website, operated as a Donate To Watch event. At the time this article was written it was unclear what sort of paywall access was in place or if it would be made available free of charge in any format. If it does end up being a paywall event, I’ll try to see what platform they are using.

Free events begin tonight with a MLK Day celebration and on Tuesday, there’s a COVID-19 memorial.

Things really take off on Wednesday with the official inauguration ceremonies. Typically, all the performing arts elements are done live and outdoors, albeit often with musical artists performing to recorded versions due to how cold Washington D.C. is in January.

Considering heightened security, none of the day’s events have details but it does appear the evening’s entertainment will be broadcast in traditional studio conditions.

But the really interesting parts happen during the ceremony. What we know so far is there will be performances by singers Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, an invocation by Rev. Leo O’Donovan, a poetry reading from Amanda Gorman, and a benediction by Rev. Silvester Beaman.

Traditionally, additional musical performances are scattered throughout the afternoon and I’m particularly interested in seeing if they are rolled out from remote locations.

If nothing else, it will be fascinating to see how the inauguration handles the myriad of challenges performing arts orgs are wrestling with.

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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