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Question: What’s the Biggest Topic on Broadway?

Answer: Diversity and Inclusion. Each year, all applicants for our Young Professional Program are asked, “What’s the BEST Broadway can be?” By an overwhelming margin, their answers relate to diversity and inclusion. Over our 8-year history, we’ve explored the topic from many different angles, and from myriad speakers, who’ve shared their remarkable and moving insights. But it was at TEDxBroadway 2019 when Oshoke Pamela Abalu challenged us to question the words we’re using when talking about diversity and inclusion. It’s …

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#MondayMotivation

#MondayMotivation: Start From a Baseline of Zero

Looking for a little #MondayMotivation? We’re pulling out past stories that are still just as relevant today. Here’s a pearl from Jim: Go Big or Go Home? Fixing a Broken Business Model. When people inside an organization either can’t or won’t confront the reality of their business model, bad things tend to happen. Symphonies and orchestras are having an increasingly hard time balancing their P&Ls. Here are two unfortunate but typical recent stories detailing these challengs, about the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra and the Delaware Symphony …

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News

Long Beach Ballet Wins 12th Annual “Nutty” Award

Long Beach Ballet has won the 12th Annual Goldstar National Nutcracker Award! As the winner of the only award that honors live performances of the seasonal classic, Long Beach Ballet will receive a cash prize to go toward education and accessibility programs; the coveted “Nutty” statuette; and is officially named the best-loved Nutcracker in the U.S. for 2018. This production competed in a field of more than 65 nominees to take top honors in the audience-favorite competition. “This is indeed …

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Experience

Is There a Right Way for Audiences to Behave?

Kaya Oakes got shushed at a Yo-Yo Ma concert, and she wrote an article about how the churchlike atmosphere that audiences expect at these concerts is killing classical music. Oakes shares how disruptive the shushing is (the woman does it to others in the audience) and about how the day before Yo-Yo Ma had performed at a strikingly different venue: a street party. Oakes writes, “I wish I could tell the shushing woman we need ways of experiencing classical music …

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Marketing

Are You Spending Enough Dollars on Digital?

For David Postill, the vice-president of marketing for Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the answer was clearly no. Since stepping into his role in January 2015, he’s put digital first. Now, more than one quarter of its annual marketing budget is dedicated to digital media, reports Chris Powell for Marketing Magazine. “One of Postill’s first priorities was re-launching the TSO website with an emphasis on mobile functionality, followed by … embracing what he called ‘relationship-enriching’ technology,” the article continues. For instance, the …

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Marketing

When Jeans and a T-Shirt to the Symphony Is Good

When audiences clap at inappropriate times or wear jeans and a T-shirt to E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall, the folks with Akron Symphony Orchestra are happy: “They got someone who has never experienced classical music … and they’ve enticed another person away from his or her smartphone, laptop, iPad or other device for live music,” reports Crain’s Cleveland Business. “Clap at the wrong time — that’s awesome!” Paul Jarrett, executive director of the ASO since 2012, told Crain’s. “We know that …

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Marketing

Symphony Orchestras Get a Boost From The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses — a concert event culled from nearly three decades of music and images from Nintendo’s Zelda video game series — is making its way across the U.S. (we’ve listed a few tour stops on Goldstar). The 74-piece orchestra is loved by many, drawing huge crowds. But, as Jess Joho reports for Kill Screen, some orchestras and classical concertgoers are not so happy with this “medium that is almost single-handedly bringing [orchestras] back …

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News

Inspiring Story of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra

In 2010, the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra in Sioux Falls was running out of cash and out of time. But recently Jodi Schwan of the Argus Leader shared the miraculous story of how they managed to keep operating and are now almost back to normal. Their methods may not work for everyone but it’s always great to see live entertainment and culture triumph. A standout quote from the piece: “The lesson I’ve learned is … don’t avoid making the tough …

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Bright Ideas

Programming Decisions Should Be Reconsidered Every Couple Centuries

A lot of discussions occur about how to save classical music institutions, but I think the one that is so obvious that it almost avoids being discussed at all is content. This article makes the point that there are a handful of “Great Men,” as the author calls them, whose music is the only music that orchestral institutions tend to play, at least if they’re expecting to be taken seriously. Without even touching the questions of sexism or cultural elitism …

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News

Priority No. 1 Should Be Developing Audiences

Milwaukee Symphony in crisis — again. Greg Sandow, call your office. I hate to be harsh, but the orchestral world must obsess about delighting and developing audiences as much as it obsesses about saving orchestras. Audience first.

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