#TBT: Maybe It Wasn’t A Joke After All

Recently, a reader reached out with an ironic life imitating art observation that connects the whole Juilliard student protests in response to tuition increases with an April Fool’s post here from 2018.

The gag focused on a tongue-in-cheek music conservatory, “Juiliard Institute” (spelling error intentional), that started offering students financial aid with repayment in the form of securing a percentage of their future earnings.

New Tuition Assistance Program Aspires To Reinvent Escalating Education Costs

I certainly can’t claim any special clairvoyance, but it perhaps indicates an even greater need for the entire higher education sector to reexamine the risk/reward considerations that go into a music performance degree.

Food for thought.

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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