From Collaboration to New Business Models
November 2, 2020 In: Sound Bits
A common thread of the last eight months has been the opportunity for new and unique collaborations. While the damage to our profession from physical isolation is still unknown, what was lost has also spurred innovative and compelling work. From a virtual opera created by a team of fifty across four continents, to the New York Philharmonic’s Soundwalk installation and “Bandwagon” series, new, unique, and exciting collaborations have highlighted the resiliency and ingenuity of many artists and arts organizations.
In some cases, collaborations have spurred new business models. The August 2020 announced closure of Columbia Artists Management, Inc. (CAMI) sent shockwaves through the arts world—CAMI is considered one of the world’s leading artist management companies, having represented such venerable artists as Leonard Bernstein, Vladimir Horowitz, and Leontyne Price. An interesting counter-narrative to the CAMI closure was the October 20 announcement of a strategic alliance between the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Opus 3 Artists. Billed as the first alliance as its kind, SFCM’s acquisition of Opus 3 Artists “creates a new operating model committed to artistic excellence from the training of young musicians to the premier representation of professional artists around the world.” The alliance will enable Opus 3 Artists to collaborate and develop their projects on the SFCM campus, and will include a new Apprentice program where SFCM students will received mentorship by Opus 3. The alliance will also lead to a new Arts Leaders Professional Degree Program at SFCM and support research and innovation focused on music’s role in child development.
The SFCM/Opus 3 alliance raises the question of what new business models or structures might be possible—or necessary—in our new arts ecosystem. Might the removal of some of the traditional siloing that occurs in our arts ecosystem—orchestra, school, artist management—create more sustainable and relevant arts organizations? How can the immense short-term challenges that our arts organizations face be leveraged to identify and realize long-term opportunity. While the question for some arts organizations might focus on viability and sustainability, the possibility for deep and long-lasting partnerships have the potential to re-shape our arts landscape and increase access, relevance, and equity in the profession.
Learn more about the SFCM & Opus 3 Alliance: