Comm profiles ME
Director of Marketing and Communications
Portland Symphony Orchestra
Years in current position: 3.5
Years in the field: 6
I did a lot of management training (Cornell, etc.) early in my publishing career, which has been really helpful even though it was 20 years ago!
Managing Editor, Ziff-Davis Publications
Vice President/General Manager, Pegasus Internet
Consultant (technology integration for arts organizations)
Director of Internet Projects, From the Top
Senior Marketing Director, Lincoln Center, Inc.
What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
How many people think tickets should be cheaper or free. Or that we should advertise in every single, tiny media outlet and website. How many people don’t know how to plan a project or maintain a budget.
What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
The opportunity to move to Portland (quality of life) and really have an impact through my work here. (The PSO is Maine’s largest performing arts organization.)
Would you have done anything differently?
I was so fixated on performance in college that I didn’t really realize I could have a career in the arts (PR, arts management). Would have been nice to know that earlier.
What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
Don’t go to grad school for Arts Administration unless you’re getting an M.B.A. Just get a job. Remember that at the end of the day, players and management are on the same team, even if it seems like nobody else feels that way. Go to the concerts!!!
Any other advice?
Be prepared to move if you want to stay in the field. Most communities only have one orchestra (if they’re lucky).