Is it only my 3rd day?

It should come as no surprise to any of my readers that the first week of a new job at an arts organization doesn’t leave much time for actually writing blog entries. To say that I have spent my last three days writing up a calendar listing for local media makes me sound like a lazy bastard. In reality, I have been doing more than meeting new people and been becoming familiar with the details of my job.

In the pursuit of trying to write up calendar listings, I have essentially been developing my budget for the year. The budget had been set up to a certain point, but there have been additions and substitutions. To simply advertise a ticket price in a newspaper calendar, I have had to develop (read: make educated guesses) a fair part of the budget from incomplete information. And of course, since the info is incomplete, I spend most of my time asking a lot of questions that lead to answers which lead me to ask a lot of other questions about things not actually related to my original purpose for asking, but simply flesh out my knowledge of what the heck I am actually doing here.

I don’t have much new wisdom to impart today except to point people in the direction of some really exciting groups that I will be presenting over the coming year. Some are more familiar to me than others, but all seem pretty interesting.

First you have world renowned folks like The Flying Karamazov Brothers ( and Ladysmith Black Mambazo (

Really high energy international musicians — New Zealand’s Te Vaka ( who surround the traditional pate (log drums) with acoustic and electric guitar and toss in high energy and dance which makes it tough to sit still. I also think it will be hard to sit still during Les Yeux Noir’s ( visit as well since their part gypsy, part klezmer, part swing jazz music is described as infusing the audience with their frenetic energy.

My theatre is known for the dance performances it puts on so we will be hosting the Dayton Contemporary Dance company ( and Rennie Harris Puremovement ( All that time I lived near Philadelphia and I had to travel to Hawai`i to hear about them!

This isn’t everyone we are presenting–I will link to my website once I finish building it–but these are among those which look exciting enough to spread the word about.

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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