International Arts Manager

December 2003/January 2004

artist manager

Getting personal

Rebecca Agnew talks to two experienced US artist managers who have joined forces to launch a company offering artists a fresh approach


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VEN OVER THE TELEPHONE, AN infectious enthusiasm emanates from John Luckacovic and Eleanor Oldham, directors of 2Luck Concepts. Two years ago, the duo, who are partners in life as well as business, decided that the time was right to set up their own company in New York.
‘We had been working for large agencies and realised that, as time went on, we were getting more constrained creatively,’ Luckacovic explains. ‘We got into this business because of our passion for the projects, but found we were spending less and less time with the artists. In traditional management/booking situations, the need to promote the project supersedes the need to nurture and present the artistic and commercial potential of the work.’ 2Luck Concepts aims to remedy this by offering a more personal service.
So in 2001, Oldham, whose career credits include working as an artist manager in London, Paris an New York, two years as artistic director of the Maurice Ravel International Music Academy in Saint Jean de Luz and developing acts such as the Three Mo’


Tenors, quit her day job to begin 2Luck Concepts. Luckacovic joined her six months ago after 19 years with Columbia Artists Management, where he was a vice president and member of the board of directors. His career credentials also include producer of the international sensation Stomp and Twyla Tharp and Mikhail Baryshnikov’s 36-city tour.
They admit that getting the new agency of the ground was not too difficult. Luckacovic explains: ‘We both have strong reputations in the States and overseas, have worked with major projects and were offering more personal and focused attention.’ Oldham adds: ‘We didn’t really publicise what we were doing – people were interested and enthusiastic from the start.’
‘The first few months were a little tough,’ recalls Luckacovic, ‘but we are on a roll now. We find things either by word of mouth or recommendation.’ Interest has also come through the company’s striking website.
2Luck Concepts’ current portfolio includes such diverse acts as innovative dance duo Ballet Boyz, KAASH (IF) – a collaboration between choreographer

Akram Khan, composer Nitin Sawhney and artist Anish Kapoor – and the London-based Shakespeare’s Globe’s production of Twelftb Night.
Rather than being the usual list of one-night stands in traditional venues, the tour of Twelftb Night, which Luckacovic and Oldham have devised, has taken the theatre company into unorthodox performance spaces for week-long residencies, which also incorporate educational and outreach work. For example, the performances in Ann Arbor, Michigan were given not in one of the town’s two traditional theatres, but in a 500-seat spaces built into a former ballroom, which enabled the play to be seen ‘in the round’ in true Shakespeare style rather than behind a proscenium arch. ‘That’s what makes us unique,’ Luckacovic says.
Luckacovic and Oldham booked, managed and produced the entire Globe tour, but on other projects they have worked in conjunction with some of the larger agencies. In the pipeline, for example, is six to eight-week tour of Amazones, the women master drummers of Guinea, which 2Luck Concepts is to produce and manage on behalf of IMG. Other plans include Zurich Ballet’s first tour of the USA with Heinz Spoerli’s production of Goldberg Variationsand a drumming show from Korea.
Both partners are still relishing the freedom setting up 2Luck Concepts has granted them and admit that their complementary skills have helped things run smoothly. ‘After 35 combined years working in an office, it has been an adventure,’ Luckacovic enthuses. ‘When it comes to choosing projects, we both have to be passionate about it or we won’t do it. It has to hit us right in the gut, otherwise it’s not fair on the artist.’ IAM
For more details on 2Luck Concepts visit www.2luck.com

John Luckacovic and Eleanor Oldham are relishing the freedom setting up 2Luck Concepts has granted them

John Luckacovic and Eleanor Oldham are relishing the freedom setting up 2Luck Concepts has granted them