Culture Monster’s Mike Boehm reports on Michael Kaiser’s being called out by fellow arts directors who are a little tired of having Kaiser’s admonition that cutting programming is suicidal thrown in their face when Kaiser’s Kennedy Center is Federally funded in a way that few other organizations are:
It seems that Kaiser’s fundamental rule — a damn-the-torpedoes tack which holds that it’s suicidal to cut spending for programming and marketing, because that’s what brings in the crowds and the money and the donors in the first place — isn’t going over all that well among fellow arts managers who’ve seen no alternative than to do just that.
“One arts leader accused me publicly of living in a parallel universe. He was quite upset that his artistic director and his unionized artists threw my advice in his face when he felt he had to make programming cuts,” Kaiser writes.
Kaiser doesn’t say it in his post, but the fact that the Kennedy Center typically rakes in more than $37 million a year in federal funding for operations and construction projects — the Smithsonian Institution being the only other arts organization with a guaranteed mainline to federal millions — and that Kaiser’s pay package came to $1.11 million in 2007-08, the most recent documented figure, might indeed set it and him apart.
Arts Management Guru Michael Kaiser Says He’s Sorry (Culture Vulture)