This morning, the Kennedy Center's Michael Kaiser spoke to Tennessee arts management professionals in Nashville. The impresario has an impressive track record, including the Kansas City Ballet, Alvin Ailey Dance Company, and the Royal Opera House. The most useful advice I got from his talk was to plan further ahead--gives you more time to excite your constituencies--and to do more "Institutional Marketing"--building the reputation of the organization, and not just its productions. He also said that arts organizations should not retreat from adventurous programming during challenging times.
All in all nicely inspiring and worth the six hours of driving. Yesterday, I heard someone say that Memphis has the third largest number of trucks passing through it, and today on I-40, I could see that was likely the case.