Using Collaboration To Raise That Tide

Get Your Magic is a collaboration of Annapolis Performing Arts organizations joining forces to get you back inside our venues for the best entertainment Annapolis has to offer. Participants include Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, The Ballet Theatre of Maryland, Classic Theatre of Maryland, and Live Arts Maryland.

Their idea was straightforward: patrons buy three or more shows from across their collective event list and all seats are priced at a flat $29 per ticket. It’s always good to see arts orgs cooperate to this degree, it goes to show that rising tide lifts all boats is a very tangible benefit of this approach.

The only hitch was none of their existing ticketing providers could handle those requirements, but it wasn’t a problem for UpStage, the new Ticketing CRM my company is in the final stages of developing. We were able to put the minimum purchase requirements along with custom reporting function that allows each group to export purchase records for just their events in three short weeks.

This project demonstrates a tiny fraction of the flexibility and power UpStage is bringing to the nonprofit performing arts sector.

From a design perspective, I love the event card grid layout (very Netflix), dark and light theme options, along with the ability to filter events by group. The backend offers per event sales metrics, inventory control, and those custom reports mentioned above.

Visit to experience it first-hand.

I’m grateful and excited to be in the right place and the right time to help this idea come to fruition instead of being relegated to the bin of “What if…?”. And kudos to the quartet of arts orgs for being willing to step up and embrace something new.

Sign up at to get on our mailing list to be the first to get notified when we’re ready to begin accepting new users in the Fall of 2021.

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.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment