New Artistic Director. Dynamic Pricing. International Resources

This month I thought these articles and two international resources could be put to good use in class or for your own research interests and edification.

New Artistic Director

The recent appointment of Khori Dastoor as the General Director for Opera San José is an excellent example of an artist-to-arts manager transition. (Chapter 8 – Leadership). Dastoor started as a performer with the company in 2007 as a principal artist and became GD in the fall of 2019. The story provides a few glimpses of the range of activities she is juggling in the position. I also checked Opera San José on Guidestar and found that it had $6.2 million budget in 2018 and it has had significant growth in its contributed income since 2016 – it more than doubled its contributions. The company had sizeable deficits in 2015 and 2106. As an FYI, I also included a link to an article that was The Atlantic about the city of San José which you may find interesting.

Dynamic Pricing and Museums

The marketing representatives from the Indianapolis Zoo and Children’s Museum offer their perspectives on using pricing to help generate more revenue and to attract people who are more sensitive to the cost of admission. The Indianapolis Zoo is using dynamic pricing while the Children’s Museum is using discounting to encourage advanced purchases. Both examples of pricing provide connections to concepts in Chapter 10 (Economics) and Chapter 11 (Marketing). There is also an example in the article of a KPI Dashboard showing the Zoo’s pricing variation by day which can be related to the topic of MIS, which is covered in Chapter 9 (Controls, Operations, and Budgeting).

International Resources

If you or your students are interested in exploring international arts management topics, I included two links to websites I thought had timely information. The first is the National Arts Council of Singapore’s case studies of 12 community-based arts projects. It is a well-organized report about creative placemaking which contains a great deal of detail about the scope of activities.

The second international source I came across is called IETM, which functions as a networking resource for the “contemporary performing arts worldwide: theatre, dance, circus, performance, interdisciplinary live art forms, new media.” The link below is to their “Publications” page. The range of report topics seemed to me to be relevant to issues America arts organizations are grappling with. The “Toolkits” link also leads to reports that offer interesting research insights.  

Well, that’s it for this month. I hope these articles and resources are of some use to you. Thanks again for being a subscriber to these updates from Management and the Arts.

Bill Byrnes


A bold new director takes the reins at Opera San José

Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, January 21, 2020 – Updated: January 22, 2020

Khori Dastoor got her start as a professional singer at Opera San José a dozen years ago. Now she’s running the company, and she’s ready to shake things up a little.

Since taking over as general director in October, Dastoor, 39, has been on a tear behind the scenes — beefing up staffing levels, setting ambitious financial goals and consulting with members of the tech community for data-driven ways of attracting new subscribers to the 36-year-old company.

 “I think it’s time for us to get away from the old model of a company of resident artists and get more into the zone of risk — believing in talent and investing in it,” she said during a recent interview in her office.

“I’m moving away from the formula that has existed for many years, but I feel like I’m retaining the core values of the whole project and reimagining them for the modern era.”

Here is the link to the full article:

For more information about San José, this article from 2016 offers a fascinating profile of the city.

Budget Woes in One of America’s Wealthiest Cities

If San Jose can’t afford its basic public services, what city can?

Alana Semuels, The Atlantic, February 25, 2016


Museum Pricing for Affordability and Profit

What does it cost to buy an airline ticket, book a rideshare service, or make a hotel reservation? Nowadays the answer to that question may vary minute-to-minute, as companies use data analysis and clever algorithms to calibrate their pricing to demand. Disney recently introduced such variable pricing for its theme parks, pricing tickets on a sliding scale based on ‘value’, ‘regular,’ and ‘peak’ dates. Museums are beginning to follow suit, using historic attendance data to forecast demand, and set pricing accordingly. This practice can help provide affordable options to visitors while ensuring the museum isn’t leaving money on the table by selling tickets for less than people are willing and able to pay.

Today’s post explores how two museums implemented dynamic pricing, based on interviews with Lisa Townsend, vice president of marketing and external relations at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and Dennis Woerner, director of marketing at the Indianapolis Zoo.

Elizabeth Merritt, VP Strategic Foresight and Founding Director, Center for the Future of Museums

Here’s the link the interview:



Impacting Communities Through the Arts II

National Arts Council of Singapore

Following the first set of case studies published in 2018, Impacting Communities Through the Arts II captures the good practices of another 12 community arts projects in Singapore. The artists and arts groups featured have worked with a variety of profiles – from seniors with dementia to residents of various neighborhoods – and have in their projects demonstrated the value of the arts in engaging people and impacting lives.

The National Arts Council hopes that this publication provides artists, community organizations, place-owners and policy-makers with inspiring ideas and approaches to community arts.

Link to download the report:

IETM – Brussels, Belgium

IETMInternational network for contemporary performing arts – is a network of over 450 performing arts organizations and individual members working in the contemporary performing arts worldwide: theatre, dance, circus, performance, interdisciplinary live art forms, new media.

Our members include festivals, companies, producers, theatres, research and resource centers, universities and institutional bodies.

Link to publications and Toolkits: