Elaine Calder, hired as a consultant by the Oregon Symphony, thinks so.
Link to Oregonian article
Link to Playbill article
Link to Daily Observations' roundup of generally negative blogosphere feedback on Ms. Calder's ideas
A few questions:
1. Why did Ms. Calder present her ideas to The Oregonian before presenting them to the board? Wasn't she hired by the board in the first place?
2. Why does she list a problem of the orchestra as being too "Portland-centric" when she is also recommending the orchestra get into the community more?
3. Ms. Calder's comment that "the balance of power has shifted to the consumer." Really? Didn't the balance of power always lie with the consumer in arts organizations? Maybe she should be saying that the Oregon Symphony needs to find their market.
4. Notably missing from the list of fixes is the desire to find more possible donors. It worked for the COC and it worked for Tapestry (as seen with their hearty surplus this year).
5. Why change the musicians' contracts? Putting their livelihood on the chopping block might sound good on paper but they're the ones that do the playing and really bring the audiences in. Rather, why not focus on excellence in performance?