We hoped that giving our international students the opportunity to learn basic concepts, return home, get frustrated and return to us for another 'dose' three years in a row may help them have a better chance to experiment and learn and change their organizations.
Fundraising is a new concept in Spain; like most European countries, the government has been, by far, the major underwriter of arts programming. But major fiscal challenges facing the nation have forced the government to make substantial cuts to arts funding
I'm happy to offer a few thoughts about what exactly is broken with the traditional arts organization construct: administrative bloat, unhealthy risk-aversion, and chronic undercapitalization, to name the first three that spring to mind.
With the gap between the haves and the have nots changing, with too few arts organizations building the size of their funding families, with the advent of new technologies that can help us but also compete with us, we will have a very different arts ecology 20 years from now.
What exactly do these people mean by 'old models' anyway? Do they mean that arts organizations are all going to die and that there will be no more arts institutions in the future? I doubt that will be the case.
Simply having a Facebook page and a few hundred friends does not guarantee that new people are being moved to buy tickets, give funds or volunteer for the organization. If an email blast is deleted before it was even opened, was it worth the effort to create it?
Every time you read about or visit the new Signature Theater, think of Edward Norton and one of his most powerful performances -- as a family member of staggering importance.
I know asking for money can be uncomfortable; I know looking for board members or planning an institutional marketing effort can be time-consuming and challenging. But unless one acts on a board development, marketing or fundraising plan, the effort to develop it is wasted.
Spending two days with these students in classes and lecture was exciting and enlightening. They know far more about arts management than I could have dreamed of at that age.
Harvey was best known as the inspirational leader who turned the Brooklyn Academy of Music into one of the great arts institutions of the nation. Before becoming an arts manager, he was a dancer who collaborated with choreographers like Merce Cunningham, Eliot Feld, Bill T. Jones and Pina Bausch.
What is especially exciting is that the rationale for the Center has little to do with the millions of people who travel to Las Vegas every year to enjoy the hotels, gambling and shows for which Las Vegas has become famous.
The symphony was funded, to a remarkable extent, by one individual. When this philanthropist was killed in a car crash last year, the major source of funds for the symphony was cut off. No arts organization can rely on simply one donor, no matter how generous.
People who think the arts ecology will return to what it was when the recession finally ends are setting themselves up for major disappointment. Those who do not prepare for a new world order are not acting in the best interests of their organizations.
One student called the session "revolutionizing" and almost all came up to me to tell me how much they had learned and how this new way of thinking about arts management was so helpful.
It is not unusual to see tickets for major opera companies cost $250 or more. For two tickets to an opera you can now buy a computer and watch Leontyne Price and Joan Sutherland on YouTube for free!
Virtually every arts organization has a mission, and I dare say that a majority of board and staff at most arts organizations could not tell you what that mission is.
Barney Simon was the founder and artistic director of the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, where for several decades, he produced and directed many of the most important works of indigenous South African theater.