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Arts Management

The Power and Limits of Social Media

Michael Kaiser | Posted 11.09.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

Yes, social media can amplify the impact of any of these activities but a single tweet or Facebook post is not enough to bring wide acclaim.

Sustainability: A Conversation

Michael Kaiser | Posted 11.03.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

We are living in a very competitive world -- there are so many forms of entertainment available. If we are not interesting to our group of friends and supporters, they have many other places where they can give their money.

It's a Small World

Michael Kaiser | Posted 10.26.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

It is an honor to be a part of this remarkable fraternity (sorority?) of dance people -- directors, managers, dancers, choreographers -- bound together by a love of dance and shared experiences.

When Board Members Poach

Michael Kaiser | Posted 10.19.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

If half as much effort that is devoted to trying to fix things was devoted to fundraising, most of the problems facing the organization would disappear. In fact, rarely have I observed a board member trying to take over the fundraising effort!

Time to Stop Blaming the Economy

Michael Kaiser | Posted 10.12.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

For the vast majority of arts organizations, most of their audience members and donors are still employed and are enjoying strong returns on their investments. They have rising levels of disposal income and consumer spending is increasing as a result.

The Power of a Challenge Grant

Michael Kaiser | Posted 10.05.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

Turning around arts organizations is mostly about changing the psychology of an organization. If we can get people who are closest to us to believe in our work and proceed with confidence, we can find the resources we need.

Good News from Kansas City

Michael Kaiser | Posted 09.28.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

At this difficult time when so many orchestras are facing economic turmoil, the Kansas City Symphony is balancing its budget and just signed a three year contract with its musicians.

My Visit to Prague

Michael Kaiser | Posted 09.21.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

They all agreed that the most important thing they learned at the Kennedy Center was courage, the courage to ask for money, the courage to embrace a new funding paradigm, the courage to do something different than others in the Czech arts ecology.

Are the Wealthy Obligated to Support the Arts?

Michael Kaiser | Posted 09.14.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

Arts institutions -- and all not for profit organizations for that matter -- must make it engaging, fun, enlightening and inspiring to participate. They must earn their donors.

One Role of the Chair

Michael Kaiser | Posted 09.07.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

As the pressures facing arts organizations increase, it has become more important than ever that the selection of a Chair of the Board be made with care.

The Power of a Special Campaign

Michael Kaiser | Posted 08.31.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

I have become increasingly convinced that special, targeted fundraising campaigns can be effective ways to galvanize board and staff and to ratchet up the level of fundraising.

Detroit Institute of Arts, Part 2

Michael Kaiser | Posted 08.24.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

Every child should have the opportunity to make a habit of arts participation. Every city and state should be able to boast about its cultural patrimony and use it to attract businesses and tourists.

Problems in England

Michael Kaiser | Posted 08.17.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

Does the Arts Council "reduce from the bottom," zeroing out grants to the smallest grantees (effectively putting them out of business), or does it make drastic cuts to the largest organizations, which presumably have the easiest time raising private funds?

What to Do if a Season Is Boring

Michael Kaiser | Posted 08.10.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

It is the mark of the well managed institution that it addresses its problems head on, and refocuses the attention of its family members on the exciting programming to come. It is when we ignore our problems that our family members tend to drift away.

Problems in Motown

Michael Kaiser | Posted 08.03.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

The Emergency Mayor of Detroit is considering selling off a large portion of the collection of the Detroit Institute of Art to pay off the city's $15 billion debt. Kevyn Orr has said he is investigating whether the collection could be sold to help ease the city's burden of debt.

A Win-Win Scenario

Michael Kaiser | Posted 07.28.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

The current media agreement in force in the United States has severely limited the amount of orchestral music (and opera performances) on public television, radio and the Internet. Most orchestras cannot afford to do any broadcasting anymore.

The Arts and the Edifice Complex

Michael Kaiser | Posted 07.20.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

The situation facing the Nashville Symphony is sad and frustrating. Unfortunately, it is also not atypical. Symphony officials recently announced that it would default on the bonds for its performance hall -- the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

An Astonishing Performance

Michael Kaiser | Posted 07.13.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

Every once in a while I attend a performance that is so remarkable that I forget about ticket sales, fundraising, budget cutting or any other aspect of my job. A recent performance of Le Corsaire by American Ballet Theatre was such a moment.

Advocating for the Arts

Michael Kaiser | Posted 07.06.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

This multiplier effect has been discussed for decades. We know that arts organizations are critical for local restaurants, parking, taxis, hotels, etc. Yet it is equally clear that the economic importance of the arts is not fully understood in most cities across the globe.

An Uplifting Moment

Michael Kaiser | Posted 06.29.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

Dancers try things in rehearsal that they may not feel comfortable attempting in performance. And watching dancers in rehearsal clothes always strips the movement to its barest, most wonderful essentials.

A Smart Joint Venture in Los Angeles

Michael Kaiser | Posted 06.22.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

Reducing staff time and cost is only one of the benefits. The exciting innovation of this new venture is that all member theater companies will also be allowed to borrow the stored items of the other companies, as needed.

A Transitional Decade

Michael Kaiser | Posted 06.15.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

The leadership of the Metropolitan Opera recently announced that they were lowering most of their ticket prices for next season. At the same time, they announced that it is now clear that their highly successful movie theater broadcasts are cannibalizing ticket sales for their live performances.

Artwork Is Work

Nora Younkin | Posted 06.10.2013 | Arts
Nora Younkin

Artwork is work. Art does not come into existence in a single fell swoop of expressive resolution. Art is not a hobby to a professional artist. Art is labor. Choreographer, painter, composer: these are occupations.

Executive Directors Need to Dream Too

Michael Kaiser | Posted 06.08.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

Without a clear vision for the future, executive directors are doomed to making marginal changes that do not truly move their organizations forward. And without a bit of dreaming, it is difficult to create this vision.

Doing Too Much

Michael Kaiser | Posted 06.01.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

The desire of arts managers and artists to want to do more is important, attractive and draws people to our organizations. Controlling these impulses is vital, however.