Having trouble? Let us help.

Thought Leadership

Today We Made History

Don Youngberg reflects on the meaning of “history” in the business of arts and culture

Watch Don's Talk
Don Youngberg

Don YoungbergVice President Community

TitleToday We Made History


Read/View Time12 min

History is often just the first time something was recorded,”

observes Don Youngberg. “What we call ‘history’ is often just a convenient milestone for a project, process, or movement that has been developing over a long period of time.”

Artists, scientists, and scholars from decades or centuries ago did not know that their work would eventually be decreed by others to be of historic note, or would pave the way for historic events in the future. But their work was no less historic.

The business of arts and culture has not always existed, and how we do business today is different from 10, 100, or 1,000 years ago. Everything we do today in our jobs was started at some point by someone. History was made on February 16, 1998 when the staff of the Metropolitan Opera went live with Tessitura.

“We can’t predict what programs from our world of arts and culture might be labeled as historic a year, a decade, or a century from now. But I do believe that the work we are doing now will contribute to historic moments.”


Don delivered this talk during the closing session of the 2018 Tessitura Learning & Community Conference in Orlando in July 2018.

Don Youngberg

Don Youngberg

Vice President Community

As Vice President Community, Don Youngberg facilitates peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and collaboration between members of the worldwide Tessitura user community of arts and cultural organizations.

Don heads a dedicated and hard-working team with responsibility for managing our community initiatives and cultivating community connections, including the Tessitura Regional User Groups and events around the globe, our active online community and the annual staging of the highly successful Tessitura Learning & Community Conference (TLCC), of which he is Chair. Don and his team have grown TLCC over the years into the largest, annual global gathering of arts and cultural professionals, promoting sharing of innovative best practice amongst Tessitura users from around the world.

Don joined Tessitura Network in 2003, bringing with him extensive ticketing and fundraising software leadership experience in arts and entertainment markets. He had managed software Installation, training and client support for multiple ticketing and fundraising products. Previously, he had worked in a number of production positons in arts organizations, following his graduation as Master of Fine Arts from Yale School of Drama in Technical Design and Production. Don served as Production Manager in several theatres, and held backstage production roles in various theatre and opera companies, including one of the first adopters of Tessitura, Santa Fe Opera.

Singing and live performance are two of Don’s great joys. He grew up in a household in which everyone sang or played and music was a significant part of his childhood. Today, choral singing remains his passion and is another manifestation of the community values he holds dear. In Connecticut where he lives, Don has been singing in his church choir for 30 years and grabs the opportunity to participate in hymn sings or multi-choir events at Yale whenever he can. Don also takes any opportunity to attend live performances, cultural events and museums in the cities he travels to as part of his work.

Show More
The facade of the Science Museum, London, on a sunny day
book iconThe Culturephiles

Superpowers of Observation

Arts & Culture / Museums 3 min

How a clever museum exec looked up from the numbers and saw the story of the solution.

assorted doughnuts
bell-iconThought Leadership

Planning for High-Volume On-Sales (The Donut Problem)

Arts & Culture / Business Strategy / Customer Service / Digital / IT & Systems / Technology / Ticketing & Admissions 2 min

Kristin Darrow offers her advice for managing a large ticket on-sale where demand outstrips supply, while maintaining a good customer experience throughout

Des Moines Performing Arts, aerial view of exterior at night
starSuccess Stories

Passionately smashing every expectation

Digital / Business Strategy / IT & Systems / Presenting & Performance / Theatre / Ticketing & Admissions 3 min

Denise Smithson Green describes how Des Moines Performing Arts achieved a record on-sale for Hamilton