This post is addressed to anyone and everyone in Columbus who wants to see the Columbus Symphony survive and thrive.
The Art of the Turnaround, by internationally famous arts revival expert Michael Kaiser, is a must read for anyone in Columbus who wants to see the CSO through the continuing crisis. The book has detailed descriptions of each of his 10 basic rules, with longer chapters on Kaiser's successful turnarounds with the Kansas City Ballet, Alvin Ailey Dance, American Ballet Theater, Royal Opera House and The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
The musicians have given back a huge sum toward the effort of invigorating the CSO. Additionally for my part, I have ceased writing critically of the organization.
To nudge CSO leadership in the right direction, I list the 10 "rules" suggested by Kaiser as a critical foundation toward healing a sick arts organization. I hope we can all agree to the proven value of these foundational conditions for moving forward. Some are obvious, but others go against current thinking used to help the Columbus Symphony.
1 Someone must lead
2 The leader must have a plan
3 You cannot save your way to health
4 Focus on today and tomorrow, not yesterday
5 Extend your programming planning calendar
6 Marketing is more than brochures and advertisements
7 There must be only one spokesperson and the message must be positive
8 Fund raising must focus on the larger donor, but don't aim too high
9 The board must allow itself to be restructured
10 The organization must have the discipline to follow each of these rules
If you are in a position to help the CSO, or can influence someone who is, please consider getting this book and reviewing Kaiser's ideas. We need all the help we can get!