Friday, February 19, 2010

Michael Kaiser: My Peers Are Angry With Me

Kaiser writes about frustrated nonprofits. In full disclosure, I'm a mentor with the Kennedy Center's Arts in Crisis program, and truth be told, I have not had much problem convincing nonprofits I speak with to increase programming and marketing. Here are some of Kaiser's thoughts:

Many arts managers are angry with me. They do not appreciate my advice not to cut programming during this recession. I continue to say that creating large, important projects is central to creating fiscal health. Especially when there is less money for the arts (and there is less money for the arts today), arts organizations must compete harder. As donors decide which organizations to continue to support, the institutions that are doing vital, important work are the ones who will continue to be supported. Not only must the work be interesting but the marketing of that work and of the institution as a whole must be aggressive and creative.

One arts leader accused me publicly of living in a parallel universe. He was quite upset that his artistic director and his unionized artists threw my advice in his face when he felt he had to make programming cuts. He was dealing with a substantial budget shortfall and saw no other recourse than to cut programming. He was not amused that his artists kept saying, "Michael Kaiser says this, Michael Kaiser says that."

The rest of his thoughts are at The Huffington Post.


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