Waiting For Tickets And Healthcare

This weekend I happened upon a few websites and stories which I felt were interesting enough to expound upon. However, under the harsh light of Monday, they didn’t really excite me much any more.

There were two tidbits I liked that explain themselves well enough without any help from me.

First was a letter reprinted on Producer’s Prospective by Ken Davenport from a woman who expresses her amazement that tourists go to NYC and stand online at the TKTS without an idea what any of the shows are about. “They were going to buy tickets and they had budgeted the money, so they were going to spend it. It didn’t really matter on what.”

She makes some suggestions about why tourists might not completely trust the young people who provide those in line with information and how things can be better handled. Probably some lessons there for all of our ticket office operations.

The second thing I wanted to point out in case it got lost amid all the other static on the topic is that Americans for the Arts was joined by a coalition of 20 arts organizations in advocating the federal government for better health care for artists.

We call on Congress to pass:

* A health care reform bill that will create a public health insurance option for individual artists, especially the uninsured, and create better choices for affordable access to universal health coverage without being denied because of pre-existing conditions.
* A health care reform bill that will help financially-strapped nonprofit arts organization reduce the skyrocketing health insurance costs to cover their employees without cuts to existing benefits and staff while the economy recovers. These new cost-savings could also enable nonprofit arts organizations to produce and present more programs to serve their communities.
* A health care reform bill that will enable smaller nonprofit and unincorporated arts groups to afford to cover part and full-time employees for the first time.
* A health care reform bill that will support arts in healthcare programs, which have shown to be effective methods of prevention and patient care.

One of my earliest blog posts was about artists exchanging their skills in a hospital for health care. The rancorous debate raging about health care should concern a lot of people because the plans being discussed in Congress represent the best hope for artists to get health care since Fractured Atlas came on the scene.

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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