That Time When You Had A Realization

After 18 years, 10 months, 17 days, and 4,821 posts it’s time to wrap things up. I was listening to the original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton and the track One Last Time came on. If you’re unfamiliar with the song, it’s a conversation between George Washington and Alexander Hamilton where Washington informs Hamilton about his intention to not seek re-election.

The two go on sing about Washington’s desire for Hamilton to help write his farewell address and the importance of knowing how to exit the stage. That’s when the thought started poking the back of the head, slowly at first, but with enough intensity to know it wasn’t going away.

Having said that, it still feels very odd to reach the realization that it’s time to stop while simultaneously having no shortage of ideas and topics that deserve attention…but it’s also clear that now is the time to let new voices step in and pick up that conversation. The emerging practice of audition fees, virtual audition practices, underpaid/overworked staff, the post-pandemic compensation reports, and so much more are all issues that need the sunlight of public examination in a non-partisan environment.

Without that, the field risks moving through some very dark times over the next generation. But moving forward, something besides Adaptistration will need to fill that role.

I’m most certainly not retiring (if only!) and that means keeping entirely silent is…highly unlikely, but the days of a reliable daily blog are at an end. The next step includes writing a proper farewell, which will come in due time.

Until then, I can say things won’t change with Inside The Arts, ArtsHacker, and Arts Admin Jobs. Each of those outlets and their respective authors will continue as usual. In fact, there’s a new regular contributor coming at ArtsHacker that specializes in finance related content. I’ll also keep Adaptistration’s blog archive, Who’s Minding The Score?, and the Take A Friend To The Orchestra resource site available indefinitely as well as updating the Counting The Costs resource site to adjust for the rate of inflation.

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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2 thoughts on “That Time When You Had A Realization”

  1. Drew, I’d like to thank you for the service you’ve provided. I’ve learned a lot about our business from reading your daily blog, and it will be missed. I hope someone else (or multiple someones) “pick up the conversation,” but it would take an extraordinary person to fill the void you’ve just announced. Best wishes for your well-deserved retirement, if not from work, from the daily work you’ve done here, and much appreciation.
    Tod Brody

    • Thank you very much for the kind words. Knowing that readers found the content useful was always one the most valuable benchmarks over the years. And to be clear, the blog has never been a vocation in that it was a source of revenue, rather, it was more of an avocation so from that perspective, I’m not retiring (I only wish), rather just not continuing the blog in this format.

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That Time When You Had A Realization