Three wishes (at least).

Inspired by both Bill Eddins and Drew McManus, I’ve got three wishes (at least) of my own for 2011:

For the musicians/management of the Detroit Symphony:

That you find a realistic and fair solution before the end of this month. By “realistic and fair”, I mean one that takes into account the concept of cooperation and compromise while still acknowledging the very significant challenges facing the orchestra business today and the vital role the DSO occupies in the cultural and economic landscape of Michigan (and beyond).

And by “compromise”, I do not define that as one side saying the same thing over and over in order to teach the other side a lesson or prove a point. Whether or not you realize it yet, you are all stakeholders, and time is getting short.

For musicians everywhere else:

That we all learn from the DSO saga, and apply that knowledge as best we can. Obviously, playing really well isn’t enough anymore- we must accept that technology, the economy, and cultural shifts over the past 20 years have had a tremendous effect on the arts business and its workforce. Many of those changes are positive, but we must harness them to our advantage. Creativity and innovation must be valued, and the fact is that many of the old rules simply do not apply anymore. Intelligent and forward-looking thinking (especially on a local level) must be embraced and cherished.

For anyone in the arts management field:

See above, and stop with the generic sloganeering and trendy programming.

Finally, for the torch and pitchfork crowd scribbling all those comments Tim Smith writes about:

You hate the arts and think they’re a waste of time? Fact-free thinking is what you prefer? Fine; please go back to watching Jersey Shore and making widgets. But let the rest of us get on with it and do something meaningful with our lives. We’ll still be here after the next election.

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