You know, in my many years as an arts administrator, I’ve seen my share of wrong-headed thinking about the arts. I’ve seen ideas that seemed good at the time turn out to be disastrous. I’ve seen great ideas languish because too little effort was done to make them work.
But the last couple of weeks watching the leadership of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) flail around has been truly awe-inspiring.
This week, the true extent of this galactically bad thinking was laid out in an article in the Baltimore Sun. An article where supposed leaders of the organization openly muse on folding up a 103-year old organization and (maybe) creating a replacement.
This isn’t a case of not being able to see past blind spots. This isn’t a case of being overly ambitious.
No, this is a case of willfully embracing a wrong-headed strategy solely on ideological grounds, and being willing to burn down an existing organization to possibly create a hypothetical new one more to their liking.
To be blunt, this is an example of astonishingly short-sighted thinking, warped by ideology, presented by way of a bad-faith argument, that shows profound ignorance of how the world works, and is setting up the organization for an epic failure.
Let me draw directly from the article to explain.
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