New President, New Agenda for the Kennedy Center

Deborah Rutter will be the Kennedy Center’s third president. This is really interesting because she’s coming from a very successful run as the head of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; she has an MBA; and according to the article in the Washington Post, she’s being hired as much for her management skills as her expertise in the arts. The Kennedy Center is an interesting organization to me because it’s separated in so many ways from all of the pressures that most …

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The Importance of Reaping Revenue From the ‘Other’ Category

In contrast to the gloomier news in other spots in the symphonic world, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has reported increases in revenue from both tickets and donations and a much, much smaller operating deficit. In fact, this year’s ticket sales record of just over $22 million surpassed last year’s sales, which were also a record. Very interestingly, to me, about $10 mm in revenue came from what I’d call the “Other” category, which included “tour fees, merchandise sales, space rentals, …

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