More Of This Would Be A Good Thing

While it’s heartening to see nonprofit performing arts organizations demonstrate an ability to roll with the punches throughout the pandemic, it’s good to see municipalities begin to step in and provide guidance in the wake of the latest variant,.

New York City will become the first city to require vaccinations for indoor activities, which include concerts. According to an 8/2/21 article in Rolling Stone by Jon Blistein, NYC’s plan is to require attendees to produce their printed vaccination cards or use digital options adopted by New York earlier in the pandemic.

In San Francisco, the opera recently announced their decision to require proof of vaccination for anyone after 12 or older in order to attend events. Joshua Kosman provides details in an article for but given that California doesn’t have the same digital options pioneered by New York, patrons need to bring their printed vaccination cards or a photo of their card.

If nothing else, it’s good to see NYC take the lead by taking the burden of making this decision off arts org’s plates. Moreover, it provides an indisputable benchmark for enforcement, which is another pain point governments have been happy to pass along to commercial and nonprofit businesses alike.

At this point, the more decisions we get at the city, state, and federal level, the better. Provide business with the tools and mandate to keep patrons safe and maintain confidence.

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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