Drew McManus may be Venture’s Principal 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, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Dallas Daily News, The Guardian Unlimited, and the Melbourne Age along with more than 100 additional newspapers, trade journals, and magazine outlets. Broadcast appearances include NPR’s All Things Considered, NPR’s Weekend Edition, MPR’s Morning Edition, WQXR’s Conducting Business, WNYC’s Soundcheck, CBC One’s Definitely Not The Opera, and SoundNotion.TV along with two dozen additional regional market appearances.
As a sought-after speaker and panelist, he has worked with Opera America, Americans for the Ats, National Arts Marketing Project Conference, National Performing Arts Conference, Chamber Music America, NewMusicBox, The Conductors Guild, the Organization of Canadian Symphony Musicians, and the International Conference of Symphony Orchestra Musicians. I’ve 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 presentater 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 an arts business incubator, and loves a good coffee drink.
He currently reside in the Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood with his wife, Chattanooga Symphony & Opera concertmaster, Holly Mulcahy.
Aaron Overton is responsible for Venture’s system design and programming architecture, including internal platform development, updates, and all custom programming. On larger projects, he leads and mentors an expanded team of programmers.
His technical talents are broad. He is able to write specifications, design and implement databases, develop user interfaces, and write code in a variety of languages.
Aaron has been a programmer for over twenty years, including three years at Microsoft developing web-based community engagement software. His has worked with organizations that include the National Academies of Science, the Federal Home Loan Banks, Discovery Communications. His development efforts have also been employed by several government agencies include the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and the Nuclear Regulatory Agency.
Beyond these large organizations, Aaron’s work has benefited hundreds of smaller businesses, local government agencies, and non-profit organizations. He has recently contributed user-interface expertise to Uber Entertainment for the video game Planetary Annihilation.
In addition to his work as a developer, Aaron has published tabletop miniature wargames (Shock Force and GWAR: Rumble in Antarctica,) directed television programs produced at Montgomery Community Media, appeared as a regular panelist on Montgomery Week in Review, taught advanced computer programming at Wheaton High School in Maryland, and served as Cubmaster for Cub Scout Pack 1758.
Ceci is a multi-faceted marketing professional with over 10 years of experience successfully marketing the arts, nonprofits, and small businesses utilizing innovative and cutting-edge initiatives. She is nationally recognized as a leader in digital and social media marketing and specializes in the integration of digital marketing and technology into traditional marketing methods.
A frequent public speaker, Ceci’s recent and upcoming engagements include the OPERA America Conference, National Arts Marketing Project Conference and Social Media Day South Florida in addition to many other local and regional appearances. Known for her easy going and vernacular style, she creates open learning environments with an emphasis on information sharing and useful takeaways.
A chronic early-adopter, Ceci has a passion for discovering ways that technology can be used to create meaningful arts experiences. TheCurated Arts Experience focuses on collecting real-world case studies about how organizations around the world are using technology to engage the participant or enrich the experience at an arts event.
She is on the National Arts Marketing Project Advisory Committee, the Palm Beach County Cultural Council Marketing Committee, is the Immediate Past President of Femfessionals West Palm Beach, the Immediate Past President of the South Florida Chapter of the American Marketing Association, and served for many years as the OPERA America Marketing Network Chair. She is the Chapter Leader of the West Palm Beach Chapter of Girl Develop It which is a nonprofit organization that teaches women how to code. She was recently appointed to the West Virginia University College of Creative Arts Visiting Committee.
Ceci was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from West Virginia University with a music degree in vocal performance.
From the New York Times to the Edmonton Globe and Mail.
Venture’s admin and user interface is designed by Drew McManus, the leading authority on arts organization websites. His work with performing arts web sites has been recognized in dozens of major media outlets and trade journals.
Support at every stage of your project.
Although we can provide a quote for direct project management, we still help all of our users evaluate and brainstorm ideas along with implementation at each step in the process.
Support channels go way beyond basic tech questions.
You won’t be wasting any of your precious time explaining to someone who doesn’t know ballet from Brahms why you need something to work a certain way.
No middle men here.
One of the real benefits of becoming a Venture user is direct access to all of our key members including our principal, Drew McManus.
We provide a safety net of telephone and online support solutions that keep you in touch with our experts to create an environment that bridges social, cultural, & generational divides. All of which offers Gen Y a way to work that’s second nature while providing more experienced employees an accessible way to connect so you can maximize Venture’s full potential.
Power and Ease of Use
We’re not solely tech gurus, we’re experts in the field of performing arts. This allows us to provide features and functionality which meet the unique needs of arts groups via an intuitive user interface that provides tremendous control. No one out there knows better what arts professionals need which makes Venture the ultimate force multiplier for arts organizations.
Supreme Quality and Value
Doing more with less isn’t what you need to hear right now. So Venture capitalizes on the very best of cutting edge proprietary and open source technology solutions and when combined with a responsible business model that favors sustainability over blind profit margins, we deliver a platform that will do for arts groups what Henry Ford’s Model T did for the auto industry.
We take playing nice with others to heart so Venture has been designed to be infinitely extensible and will seamlessly interface with thousands of applications and every major browser (including iPhone and iPad). We constantly update our core functionality so users are assured that they can always take advantage of the latest and greatest online standards.