The Do's and Don'ts of Arts Management


Kevin Maifeld runs a master’s program at Seattle University that trains people in arts management. Photo by Hayley Young


> Regularly communicate the good and bad news with staff and board. No one likes to be surprised, particularly with bad news.

> Carefully review the financial statements every month and ask questions until you fully understand the answers.

> Attend as many arts and community events as possible. A strong network of colleagues is a terrible thing to waste.

> Gather as much information as possible, verify it and then make a decision. Inaction and indecision paralyze organizations.

> Remain flexible. Just because you did it that way last time doesn’t mean it is still the best way to do it. Things change.


> Assume that no information means everything is all right.

> Avoid courageous conversations with staff and board members who need your expertise and guidance.

> Lose sight of the big picture. Understand the details but don’t get lost in them.

> Take your staff and board for granted. There are many other organizations that will value their talents.

> Lose your sense of humor. This is hard work and it helps to laugh.

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