sage advice, and not just for minnesota

I would think that the board and management would understand that you cannot cut your way to prosperity. When you have some of the world’s finest musicians and conductors making world-class music, it is not a lack of a quality product that is the problem. You need to look inward — it is management’s responsibility to sell tickets, raise money and balance the budget. Very few organizations cut their way to more success. Great music is not found on a spreadsheet.

Lee Henderson, lawyer and arts lover, in today’s Minnesota Star Tribune.

6 Replies to “sage advice, and not just for minnesota”

  1. I agree that cutting isn’t the ideal way to prosperity… there is a slight disconnect with Henderson’s line of reasoning. What if a community is unwilling to buy tickets & fund programing based on past history? Moreover if an organization chronically is over budget perhaps the focus should be on sustainable programs that the community will support.

        1. warhorses, you say?

          alrighty then, test drive this box office stampede:

          pink martini mounts a listener’s digest, gangnam style meets lounge version of walkure while ridin’ bareback on glow-in-the-dark rocking horses.

          how dat, pardner?

      1. more and more, large performing_arts.orgs are taking advantage of the sweet-hart leases they’re extended from publicly funded venues to expand their fund raising into the business of presenter, e.g., “Oregon Symphony presents Boz Scaggs” – https://www.boxofficetickets.com/bot/wa/event?id=222763

        if that’s what they gotta do to support their .org. – Mozart to Mahler, et al; heck, why not? seems artistically more honest than cross-over flirtations; and seriously, a world-class symphony backing up a pop band (?) seriously, 200 Motels not withstanding

        yeah, players from both bands might enjoy a little buzz – band feels more legit, classical dudes get to go slummin’ (for a night) – symphony gets some new audience, who’ll never come back for Mahler (even though their yuppie parents bathed the slumber of their infancy with Mozart-effect CDs) and you have to trust that your ‘real’ audience will respect you in the morning; but again, seriously… isn’t it a bit like delivering newspapers out of a Lamborghini?

        1. Who is this ‘real’ audience – “Classical music only” elitists?

          God knows there are a *ton* of them out there. They pack the Schnitz like commoners pack a sold out JEN-WELD for ‘world-class’ futbol.

          How about we drop the ‘real’ and recognize that ‘the audience’ is the community at large? Perhaps PDX would then support a capital campaign for a world-class concert venue… for Bob’s glow-the-dark show.

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