Coming To A PBS Station Near You…

I didn’t realize I missed posting yesterday until early this morning. Right now my team and I are really busy preparing for a concert which is being taped for PBS.  This show, A Night of Georgia Music, features violinist Robert McDuffie; Chuck Leavell (Allman Brothers, Rolling Stones) and Mike Mills (R.E.M) backed by an orchestra  from a conservatory bearing McDuffie’s name. They had performed the show in other places and had their plans to do it here in Macon curtailed by Covid.  Somewhat fortunately, that delay provided additional time to arrange for the taping.

Let me tell you, the process of getting this produced is far more complicated than you might imagine. The securing the rights for the songs being performed alone is mind boggling. The person handling the clearances does it for a living and even she had a hard time determining if what rights applications might be necessary for all the nuanced forms the concert might manifest. There is obviously broadcast rights for PBS stations. There was also the question of whether DVDs and other types of recordings might be issued and what format they might take. Would the concert be streamed by stations? Would recordings be offered as premiums for pledging or used during a pledge drive? There was even a question of non-mechanical royalties if the cameras caught a clear shot of the sheet music being used.

While shuffling of VIP seating, (I don’t know how many times I have reassigned the same blocks of tickets to different people), special meet and greets, and navigating audiences around cameras and recording equipment is definitely going to be a challenge, these are familiar activities. We are somewhat relieved that we are only responsible for handling that piece of the puzzle.

Even though it has been a tight squeeze to pull it off, the fact that our historic venue would appear on television provided a little leverage in getting some repairs made. So there has already been a little bit of a benefit from the event.

I will let folks know how things turn out and when to start looking for the concert on your local PBS affiliate. I am sure it will be awhile before it does.

If you are interested in learning more, there was a radio interview with the three principal performers that just came out.

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.


Leave a Comment