"Professional networking, resource sharing, and finding (and suggesting) solutions to common challenges are just three of the reasons I joined ACSO. As purveyors of classical fare, we need to be able to unite and speak with a single voice to legislators, funders, and audiences to ensure that this rich culture we steward is preserved."
Teddy Witherington, San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus


Speak Out

Advocacy is on-going relationship building. Arts organizations must be diligent in building and maintaining good communication with arts agencies, legislators, and local officials.

The public needs to know that your organization is a linchpin of the community—over and over again. Our goal is to provide the orchestra and chorus community with information and resources to keep elected officials, community and business leaders and voters informed about the music programs that raise the quality of life for Californians.

ACSO members have a combined budget of more than $286 million in 2014/15. Orchestras create jobs; increase the tax base; boost tourism; spur growth in related businesses, such as hotels, restaurants, and printing; revitalize urban centers; and build community cultural bridges.

ACSO members contribute to the music education of California’s 6 million school children through school partnerships, performances, and education outreach.

Advocacy Action Alerts

CLICK TO TAKE ACTION: July 12, 2017 - House Subcommittee Rejects Call for NEA Termination
The U.S. House Interior Appropriations Committee advanced a bill to provide funding for our nation's natural and cultural resources, proposing $145 million to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for FY2018. This is a $5 million cut from current levels and $10 million less than the request supported by a record number of members of Congress this year. Take two minutes now to urge your congressional members to pass a budget that invests in our nation and supports access to the arts in America for all.

May 23, 2017 - President's Budget Confirms Arts Cuts
Today, President Trump released the full version of his FY 2018 budget proposal, A New Foundation for American Greatness. The President’s FY 2018 budget takes the NEA from its $150 million appropriation to $29 million. Take action now by contacting your Member of Congress and Senators telling them to #SAVEtheNEA. Be sure to include your own stories of how the NEA has brought the arts to your community. You can find specific examples for your state by clicking here to see a breakdown of NEA grants for 2016.

ADVOCACY UPDATE: May 1, 2017 - Arts Increase
Congress has reached a bipartisan agreement on a bill to fund the nation’s federal agencies and programs for the remaining balance of the current FY2017 fiscal year, which ends on September 30, 2017. None of the nation’s arts and cultural agencies nor programs incurred a budget cut. In fact, many of them received funding increases for this year. Special thanks to House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA) for initiating a funding increase for many of these cultural programs in the House Interior bill.

CLICK TO TAKE ACTION: March 16, 2017 - #SAVEtheNEA
The White House released its proposed budget to Congress today, officially recommending full termination of funding for both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for FY2018. This is the first Administration in history to propose zeroing out all funding for the nation's federal cultural agencies. ACSO is a member of the Arts Action Fund and will promote a concerted grassroots effort to convince Congress to #SaveTheNEA.

CLICK TO TAKE ACTION: January 31, 2017 - Support Federal Funding for the Arts
Federal cultural agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) are in danger of being eliminated by the new Administration. The NEA funds nearly $10 million dollars in federal grants to California’s nonprofit arts community and serves every congressional district in our state. These funds support arts education and every artistic discipline, including classical music.

Questions? Contact us at advocacy@acso.org.