The Mankato Symphony Orchestra has a great thing in conductor Ken Freed, who is an artistic and public relations powerhouse with a formidable sweater collection. He’s also a stunning violist and you can see that for yourself when he solos at Sunday’s concert. I don’t know what he’s planning to wear that day. We can only hope.
What I think is really working for the Mankato Symphony right now, though, why nobody’s locking anybody out or getting audited, is executive director Sara Buechmann’s strategic and visionary sense of style.
These aren’t even shoes. These are architecture. On their own, they’re breathtaking, and juxtaposed with Ken’s woolens they represent the kind of diversified portfolio every organization needs. I know that usually refers to investments and programming and the like but you can start judging based on what the staff is wearing. No, you really can. This is a true thing. You get a team that spans homemade knits and posh Mary Janes, you can guarantee that team will defy odds. They’ll transcend whatever messes plague their contemporaries and get the work done. A hothouse natural order will dominate:
Take this cue, Minnesota Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Drive down here and see how your outstate colleagues dress and then go back to the negotiating table fresh and woolen and polished. Ready to focus. As Chicago Symphony Orchestra President Deborah Rutter recently said, “…these are issues of art, not finance. And if you try to overlay finance all the time, you will never make a good case in the world of art because it just doesn’t work that way.” Right on, sister, and if you’d like Mankato Symphony leadership to take you shoe shopping to overlay that tweed jacket with some hot wicked prairie style, let me know.
Come witness the Mankato Symphony in action on Sunday, April 21 at 3:00 p.m. at Mankato West High. Ken might wear a sweater. Sara will most definitely wear something you want.