Survey of Arts Management

Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the WAC Governing Board

I thought this article, about the current (prolonged and continuing) tensions between the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Woodruff Arts Center’s Governing Board, tied really well into what we read this week.  Even after ASO president and CEO, Stanley Romanstein, resigned last Monday after being “a target of some of the harshest musician critiques” on social media and in the press, the tensions have still remained high. Romanstein resigned stating that he didn’t want to impede negotiations, however, the musicians aren’t fully satisfied because they seem to think the WAC Governing Board is the real problem.

From what I can tell, there appears to be a real disconnect between the Governing Board/management and the artists, and a lot of pointing fingers and attempts to shift blame. As our reading suggests, they really need to be one cohesive unit in order to find collaborative ways to remedy their financial issues and to further the company’s mission and goals.  So my question is: is the Board too focused on the monetary issues that they’ve lost sight of the mission and the artists?  And should they be focusing instead on re-evaluating the company’s mission/goals, ticket costs, and donor’s program?  If the size of their current donor population is too small to help supplement the ASO’s income, perhaps they need to find better ways to reach individuals who might be passionate about the ASO’s work and willing to contribute to help keep it alive (even if their donation is smaller than the norm).

The U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service will be stepping in to help mediate the negotiations beginning this week. I’m very curious to see what comes of it.


About Jenni

My name is Jenni. I am a writer, dreamer, and theatre enthusiast. I love life. I love to travel. I love to laugh. And I think life is beautiful. Follow my Twitter: @imRoseNCrantz


This entry was posted on October 5, 2014 by .
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