The Arts from the Bottom Up

Three Little Books about Labor, Management, and Mission in the Arts
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Author Marsha Schweitzer built a career as a professional musician, arranger, arts administrator, and journalist that has spanned more than fifty years. During that time, through her many roles, she saw vast shifts in the landscape of the arts.

The Arts from the Bottom Up presents a collection of articles, letters, essays, and notes Schweitzer wrote between 1978 and 2017 as she journeyed through the nooks and crannies of the arts. Working in three parts, she begins at the bottom, with the mundane day-to-day aspects of the arts, and moves up to the organizational and spiritual aspects. "Power Play" explores the artistic workplace, with emphasis on unions and labor relations. "In Service to the Art" considers the arts from a broader perspective, addressing issues of organizational structure, governance, finance, and administration. "Peregrinations of a Pensive Artist" deals with the nature and meaning of the underlying and overarching art that ties artists, organizations, and audiences together. Throughout, she seeks to help artists break out of the deep ruts of tradition and conformity and look at problems from new and different angles.

“A potential takeaway for every artistic pro … This three-book exploration of the arts enlightens newcomers and informs experts ... This trilogy of mini-textbooks on the arts is an educational trove.” – The BookLife Prize

“I have been reading a few chapters a night of your amazing book. I have never read anything so comprehensive or searingly insightful about our art/profession. I just read your "Playing behind the Beat" essay and wanted to yell HURRAY!!! Thank you for a much needed, revelatory and astonishing book.” — JoAnn Falletta, Music Director, Buffalo Philharmonic and Virginia Symphony, Artistic Adviser, Hawaii Symphony.

“Marsha writes from vast experience in the arts, and has gained the respect of all who have worked with her, allies and adversaries alike.” – Raymond Hair, International President, American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada.

"Marsha, you have an uncommon wealth of experience, and this very comprehensive book reflects the perspectives of those experiences. Congratulations on creating an intelligent, stimulating, and enlightening way to see our universe." – Steven Monder, Manager (1971-1976) and President (1976-2008), Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

“Your book provides very interesting analogies and perspective on capital in nonprofits. It is easy to read, in layman’s terms, and a wake-up call to nonprofits to value investment capital!” – Catha Combs CPA, Wikoff Combs & Co., LLC.

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