Colleague and friend Steven J. Tepper released a rather extraordinary book this August on the dynamics and anatomy of controversy surrounding the arts. Not Here, Not Now, Not That! Protest over art and culture in America is an exhaustive and extensive sociological study of conflict around culture, built on data from 71 cities between 1995 […]
One of the oddities of nonprofit accounting practice is the way it bundles all kinds of money into a single blob. Earned income, annual contributed income, and incoming capital money all show up in the Income Statement in a way that can cloud analysis of financial health, and distract us from a frank assessment of […]
Most conversations that try to connect ”the arts” to ”the economy” are exercises in frustration. For arts enthusiasts, the conversations seem cold and disconnected, but necessary to advance the cause. For non-enthusiasts interested a strong economy, the conversations seem like sales pitches more than substance. But in his lovely collection of essays entitled Economies of […]
Business planning books are generally linear things, stepping you through the motions of starting or extending a business from insight to implementation. But we all know that reality is not like that, particularly in artistic enterprise. When artists and creative individuals consider starting their own business or profit-generating activity, vision, business, purpose, life, passion, and […]
Many of us have complained about the metrics we use in the arts to inform our management and measure our success. Number of tickets sold. Growth/decline in audience numbers year over year. Overall budget growth. These are inelegant and off-mission indicators that distract us rather than focus our work. But our complaints always ended the […]
Lots of communities and consultants talk about ”cultural vitality,” and the benefits of achieving that status for their local economy, education system, creative workforce, and quality of life. But few have actually detailed what they mean by the term, or by what measures they would know that they had achieved their goal.
Learn the basics of intellectual property law without falling asleep. Bound by Law is a copyright tutorial in comic book form. A fun and informative read for anyone in the business of creative expression.
I posted back in 2004 about the idea of ”the long tail,” advanced by Wired magazine’s Chris Anderson. The gist of his theory was that emerging (primarily Internet) distribution models were dramatically altering the revenue potential of non-blockbuster material. In other words, while space-limited retailers like Walmart and Best Buy had to focus on selling […]
Jim Collins’ business best-seller, Good to Great, is an inspiring read for cultural managers. But even better is his specific monograph on the application of his thinking to the social sectors. It’s only 35 pages, but it contains volumes of insight and action steps.
This exceptionally interesting case study of Steppenwolf’s first 25 years of growth and dynamic change is a great learning tool for any organization considering getting bigger.