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P&L

Doing Pretty Well for Somebody Who’s Dead

Cincinnati is a small market, not known for fabulous wealth or la-di-da citizenry. In 2009, according to this article, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, like many orchestras nationally, was "facing an existential question" and " ... had to make dramatic course corrections quickly for us to continue on," according to Trey Devey of the CSO. They focused on growing audiences, not necessarily ticket buyers but those aware and engaged with them in any form, to grow the financial base. They increased...

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P&L

No Special Rules Apply to “High Culture”

This article about the closing of the New York City Opera's interesting because it explores several different themes about why the organization failed recently. It compares the death of the New York City Opera itself to the tragic life story of Anna Nicole Smith, who was the subject of the New York City Opera's final performance. It may be intellectually interesting to try to find the broader cause of a failure like this one, but until someone does and shares...

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Bright Ideas

Why The Death of an Arts Org Is Like a Plane Crash

Howard Sherman compares the death of an arts organization to an airplane crash, and I think it’s a very strong metaphor. Here’s the key tidbit: “…a crash doesn’t occur because of any single event. Typically, they emanate from some failure which then triggers others.” Likewise, he says that, “arts organizations crash because of event cascades as well. It is rarely a single unforeseen occurrence which brings down companies; it is a series of actions, or lack thereof, that result in closure.” Of...

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