Time To Review

I am feeling a bit under the weather so I am not of a mind to blog very long today. However, while I was having trouble sleeping last night, it occurred to me it has been awhile since I revisited and revised our front of house procedures manuals for house managers and ushers and more importantly, our emergency procedures. The latter is especially important since we just had an Automated External Defibrillator installed on the lobby wall.

While I ask the house managers to refresh their memories every year and we review procedures with our ushers at the beginning of every season, we are actually operating on instructions I wrote when I first assume my current position. Those instructions in turn were adapted from a manual I used at another place of employment. There is nothing unsafe about the procedures I initially generated, they just may not be the most appropriate for interacting with our community in our specific physical plant.

My suspicion is that practice has diverted from the letter of my instructions. The next step is likely to be bringing the instructions more inline with reality while injecting bits of structure where it might be lacking so our service to audiences is a little sharper.

I have given the task of revising the instructions to our assistant theatre manager. He deals with front of house staff and their activities much more frequently than do I. He also hasn’t had a hand in writing any of the procedures where the rest of the staff has so he has no investment in any of the work. I have suggested he might want to call meetings to discuss revisions.

So I figured I would encourage everyone to consider reviewing and rewriting your procedures both for safety sake but also to ensure you are meeting your audience’s current expectations for their experience with your organization.

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 (artshacker.com) 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. (http://www.creatingconnection.org/about/)

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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