Drew McManus may be UpStage’s CEO but don’t let that title fool you into thinking he’s just a tech geek. He brings 20 years of global broad-based arts consulting experience to the table and helps clients break the cycle of choosing one-size-fits-none solutions and instead, deliver an option that allows them get ahead of the tech curve instead of trying to catch up by going slower.
With the vision of legacy support strategy and the delights of creative insights, his mission is to deliver a sophisticated next generation technology designed especially for our business. The first step in that journey began in 2010 when he released The Venture Platform, a purpose-designed managed website development solution designed especially for arts organizations and artists.
His expertise spans across multiple sectors and regularly quoted as an industry expert in media outlets including New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post and The Chronicle of Philanthropy along with more than 100 additional newspapers, trade journals, and magazine outlets. Broadcast appearances include NPR’s All Things Considered, NPR’s Weekend Edition and MPR’s Morning Edition
As a sought-after speaker and panelist, he has worked with Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network, Opera America, Americans for the Arts, National Arts Marketing Project Conference, Southeastern Theatre Conference, National Performing Arts Conference, and Chamber Music America. He’s been a featured lecturer at University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Bolz Center for Arts Administration, Northwestern University School of Music, Eastman School of Music, and Arizona State University. In 2011, he was featured presenter for Chicago’s TEDx Michigan Ave conference.
For fun, he writes a daily blog about the orchestra business, provides a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, leads a team of intrepid arts pros to hack the arts, founded a free arts admin jobs board, and loves a good coffee drink.
He currently reside in the Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood with his wife, violinist Holly Mulcahy.
“We’re only as good as our users’ success stories.”