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Arts Management

The Power of Implementation

Michael Kaiser | Posted 05.18.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

One of the frustrations of being a consultant is that one doesn't have control over the implementation of the plans you develop.

The Busiest Time of Year

Michael Kaiser | Posted 05.11.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

Just putting on stage a full complement of performances is enough to tax us. And mid-season is when we (should) acknowledge where we are falling short in terms of financial performance.

Head vs. Heart

Michael Kaiser | Posted 05.04.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

The mystery surrounding fundraising has led many people, usually board members, to ask: What makes a good fundraising executive?

Development Directors and Their Challenges

Michael Kaiser | Posted 04.27.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

A fascinating article recently published in the L.A. Times evaluated reasons why arts organizations and other not-for-profit institutions have problems meeting their fundraising goals.

What I Hope My Search Committee Thinks About

Michael Kaiser | Posted 04.21.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

I hope the Search Committee finds a remarkable person to run the Kennedy Center, someone who can take the institution to new places and can educate and entertain our audience in ways I could not even imagine.

An Update From Miami

Michael Kaiser | Posted 04.13.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

Eight months ago, the Miami City Ballet was a mess. The remarkable Edward Villella was beginning his last season as artistic director, the organization had run out of cash, its executive director had left and the survival of the institution was truly in doubt.

Taking Endowment Earnings: How Much Is Too Much?

Michael Kaiser | Posted 04.06.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

While reading the financial reports of numerous arts organizations recently, I have been alarmed at how many of them are taking large percentages of their endowment as income each year.

Fundraising: Oui or Non?

Michael Kaiser | Posted 03.30.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

As government funding for the arts has fallen (as it has in most European countries), museums are trying to fill their budget gaps by asking the public to contribute.

Premature Vultures Circle Cirque du Soleil

Howard Sherman | Posted 03.24.2013 | Arts
Howard Sherman

It is unfortunate that "zirkusschadenfreude" is not an actual German word, because there seemed to be a lot of it flying around last week, that is to ...

My Visit to Penumbra Theatre

Michael Kaiser | Posted 03.24.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

I have been anxious about the precarious nature of this country's arts organizations of color; it is ironic that while minorities are becoming a majority and playing increasingly important political roles, arts organizations of color are at a low ebb.

The Value of Ensemble

Michael Kaiser | Posted 03.16.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

So much great art is dependent on the need for ensemble. The great orchestras and dance companies are great not simply because of the agglomeration of talented artists but also because of the amount of time these artists have worked together to create an aesthetic.

Shooting Yourself in the Foot

Michael Kaiser | Posted 03.09.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

I have tremendous sympathy for arts organizations that are facing fiscal challenges. But it is difficult to feel much sympathy for an organization that causes its own demise by failing to fill out basic paperwork.

Thank God There's No Black Monday in the Arts World, or Maybe There Should Be?

Jade Simmons | Posted 03.04.2013 | Arts
Jade Simmons

What the arts world needs is fresh vision that can adapt to the new crop of talent being cultivated, continually inspire the guard currently in place and make innovative, rather than obligatory use of new technology and ways of communicating.

The Problem With 'New Models'

Adam Huttler | Posted 02.17.2013 | Arts
Adam Huttler

Simply slashing budgets cannot save us from fiscal ruin. But it's disappointing that Michael Kaiser continues to dismiss the possibility that salvation may be more complex or require more radical innovation than simply doing more of the same, better.

What I Want for Christmas

Michael Kaiser | Posted 02.16.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

I do hope we can bring together managers, musicians and board members from orchestras large and small and begin a coherent, comprehensive, solution-focused discussion on how we are going to maintain and build this vital sector of the arts ecology

The Arts Face Their Own Fiscal Cliff

Michael Kaiser | Posted 02.09.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

It is not uncommon to read about huge deficits and cancelled seasons. Not surprisingly, orchestras are suffering the most. This has left many suggesting that we need new models for running arts organizations and others looking for draconian cuts.

Miami Arts on the Move

Michael Kaiser | Posted 02.02.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

Unlike in many other cities, where the arts are suffering and trying desperately to hold on to audiences and donors, many arts organizations in Miami believe their best days are ahead of them.


Michael Kaiser | Posted 01.26.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

What is a LYBNT? It is someone who gave Last Year But Not This (year). This is a crucial list in our fundraising strategy. The easiest people to raise money from, in general, are those who have already given to an organization.

What I Am Giving Thanks for This Year

Michael Kaiser | Posted 01.19.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

While there is much that gives us concern in the current environment, we who work in the arts truly have a great deal to be thankful for this and every year.

My Visit to Pregones Theater

Michael Kaiser | Posted 01.13.2013 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

If Pregones Theater can emerge from the current recession far larger and stronger than they entered it, then why can't every arts organization in America?

Where Are the Senior Arts Managers?

Michael Kaiser | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

In a field where few of us have the resources to engage a 'number two' executive, there is no large pool of trained leaders ready to move up to the top spot without some risk.

The Earned Income Ratio

Michael Kaiser | Posted 12.29.2012 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

Over a period of years, I found that the earned income ratio has lost its place in the pantheon of useful arts management concepts and was rarely discussed by board members or arts managers. But recently, the concept is making a comeback.

Revisiting the Royal Opera House

Michael Kaiser | Posted 12.22.2012 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

It was, by far, the most challenging assignment of my life and I am proud of the remarkable work of the Board, staff and artists during that difficult period. They all worked hard under great pressure, convinced that the Royal Opera House was, and would continue to be, a great institution.

Creative Arts Managers

Michael Kaiser | Posted 12.15.2012 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

While I still believe the best arts managers are those who come to solutions that are based on their organizations' unique situations, there are many arts managers who do not bring that level of creativity to their work.

Artists and Staff Are Family Too

Michael Kaiser | Posted 12.09.2012 | Arts
Michael Kaiser

Unhappy employees almost always lead to an unhappy family.