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June 16, 2009



I know exactly where you are coming from! I always budget on three year averages. I get a lot of argument from staff and board, but I refuse to do it any other way. If I have enough history, I will use a separate average for musicals vs. plays. But other than that each show is the same.

I think it is vital for everyone to realize some things land and some don't. Often due to factors out of your control.

I think we spend so much time in the moment that we don't assess our efforts on a multi-year basis. By budgeting on average you can get ahead or behind but you have real data to compare to from previous years.

Often I am asked if I keep a separate set of my guesses about shows - I don't. I do however do a lot of analysis on show performance schedules, length of the performances, and other trends.


I think that's also why so many arts orgs are saddled with so much debt. As a field we tend to spend what we hope to make ('cause they're all gonna be hits)Instead of budgeting with what we have.



We use a three *show* average where I work, but I like the three year average as well.

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