The Latest Take A Friend To The Orchestra Archive Update Is Live

Thanks to a recent tweet from Sam Bergman, I decided to comb through the Take A Friend To The Orchestra archives:

Turns out, it’s been four years since the site had a design update so I decided to put some time in over the weekend to give it a new logo, bring it into WCAG compliance, and provide a better all-around mobile experience.

But the real draw is the content, which is every bit as engaging and inspiring as before.

If anything, the pandemic provides a new perspective to so many of the contributions. Likewise for historical context.

So many of the early contributions focus on the importance of breaking down pretense and barrios to engagement. Today, these are commonplace ideas but in the early 2000’s, they were downright radical...or heresy depending on who you were talking to.

If it’s been a while since you’ve been through the archives or the entire program is new to you, set aside some time to get inspired.

The Idea

Index By Year

Index By Author

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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