How low will you stoop to finance new music? I’m not suggesting armed robbery or anything, but would you consider corporate signage? Advertising partnerships are increasingly visible in professional athletics both here and abroad; it strikes me that arrangements with local businesses could be turned to similarly mutual advantage by new music ensembles.
If I ever find myself at the helm of such an ensemble, my first act will be to christen the group with the name of our largest corporate sponsor. I will sell advertising space on our concert attire (the conductor’s back will be prime real estate). I will cover every visible inch of the performance space with entreaties from our commercial partners. As long as they keep their hands out of our programming and management, I will kowtow at every opportunity to the appropriate monied parties.
Of course, it may not be a question of pride, entirely; I imagine sponsorship is more difficult to secure for new music than it might be for NASCAR. I guess I’d also have to run my ideas by the performers, who may not share my mercenary mentality. Maybe new music groups are already exploring these avenues—if so, I hope their representatives will speak up and let the rest of us know. Conversely, is anyone from the private sector reading this? If so, can we work something out?