Jennifer Arnold

Director of Artistic Planning and Operations, Richmond Symphony
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Jen was privileged to spend 15 years performing in the Oregon Symphony viola section which was the best arts administration training she could ask for. She participated in almost every EDCE activity orchestras are doing across the country because she believe music touches people, sometimes when they need it most. Jen participated in asks and have spent substantial time interacting with board members and have seen how boards need to be invested in their musicians to sustain an organization through tough times.

She spent 5+ years learning the CBA as an orchestra committee representative and served on three negotiating committees. The highlight of her committee duties was spending six seasons on a very active orchestral artistic advisory committee that made her fall in love with all aspects of creative programming. Now she wants to spend the next decade highlighting BIPOC composers and artists whose music is often left out of the classical canon. She’s interested in using music to tell the stories of everyday people, their joys and sorrows. She believes classical music is for everyone and plans to continue to dedicate her life to making it feel more inclusive and welcoming.

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.