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As a special thank you for those donors who give $250 or more, ACSO and Santa Rosa Symphony Board Member Alan Mason will host a special gathering at River Myst Haven. This organic vineyard and farm is situated on 25 acres in the heart of Sonoma County, nestled in the beautiful Russian River Valley just outside of Healdsburg.
If you're interested in attending this event while also supporting ACSO, you can make your contribution here. Please note that the $70 membership fee is included and any previous contributions in 2013-14 will count toward the $250 minimum.
Free 30-minute consultations. Sign up in the Resource Room (Vineyard).
Balance your day with a short yoga class (the physical, mental, and spiritual practice or discipline which originated in ancient India with a view to attain a state of permanent peace of mind in order to experience one's true self). Class held on-site at the hotel.
Meet challenges head on; seize opportunity; eliminate risk! Your first Conference task is preparing yourself to make the most of this experience. Appropriately, our orientation session will provide all the tools necessary to customize these three days of learning and sharing into an enriching journey of discovery, inspiration, and encouragement.
Kelly Ruggirello, executive director, Long Beach Symphony; president, ACSO
Maintain equilibrium, stay poised, and keep steady on the path to achieving your personal and organizational goals. Our Conference focus is all about bringing balance into all aspects of our lives. Feel yourself teetering? You are not alone. Sometimes the best business/life lessons come from colleagues who are navigating the same waters. Our Peer Forums are designed to help us help each other and ourselves.
There are lessons to be learned from our libations. The fruit of the vine yields its finest vintages when the winemaker achieves the perfect balance of alcohol, acid, tannin, and fruit to create a pleasing taste. There are lessons to be learned from academic study and research. Understanding our actions/choices/motivations helps us gain clarity, stay focused, and address potentially harmful issues and situations. Our opening presenters – consummate professionals in two seemingly unrelated fields – set the tone for ACSO’s 46th Annual Conference with their true-to-life tales that underscore the leading role balance plays in a successful life and career.
Robert Rex, winemaker, Deerfield Ranch Winery
Join the master and author of The Art of the Turnaround for a candid discussion about the need for arts organizations and arts leaders to be mindful about reinventing themselves for growth, market share, and life-work balance. Michael Kaiser – cultural arts leader, teacher, author, and now human capital manager – shares how he has reinvented his professional and personal life throughout his career to successfully transform organizations from surviving to thriving. This balanced, holistic approach to life is not to be missed!
Programming is so romantic, isn’t it!? Choosing hair-raising works, engaging world-class artists, performing in stellar halls – what could be more fun and easy? Or not. What may seem appealing, uplifting, enticing, surprising – even obvious – on the season brochure likely came together only after discussion, deliberation, bartering, myriad changes, and a few Excedrin headaches! Join three veterans of the presenting industry who will help us identify the artistic planning matrix to strike the right balance between risk-taking, popular programming, marketing, community demand, artist needs, routing, and so much more.
Michael Kaiser, former president of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; co-chairman IMG Artists; president, De Vos Institute of Arts Management (U of Maryland)
Enjoy the talents of the Santa Rosa Symphony and conductor Mike Berkowitz as they are joined on stage by Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez.
Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
Free 30-minute consultations. Sign up in the Resource Room (Vineyard).
Clothing is a tool for non-verbal communication. What message do you and your staff send – to each other and to the public? In this session, you’ll learn how to master the art of presenting yourself to the world in a way that supports your individual and corporate goals. We’ll also discuss how to develop a dress code for your organization (from posture to perfume) that helps you put your best foot forward.
Adrienne Valencia, wardrobe stylist & image consultant, Nothing to Wear?; director of education & community engagement, San Diego Symphony
Creative Placemaking is a powerful movement sweeping across the national landscape, engaging artists in the reimagination and renewal of their communities, elevating community identity and voice in the process of community development. Major funders are enthusiastic about its potential impact. In this session, we will cover the principles of this inclusive approach to community involvement and explore its ramifications. What’s in it for orchestras? Discover the possibilities as we define, clarify, exemplify, and analyze this exciting concept!
Jamie Bennett, executive director, ArtPlace America
Even the tightest and most thoroughly constructed budget can leave an organization open to cash flow fluctuations that may severely impact its ability to conduct smooth ongoing operations. This session is a primer in the art of recognizing and interpreting signals in your organization’s Balance Sheet, and providing increased visibility into future pressures to your bank accounts. It is a Q&A based workshop in the practical implications of cash flow.
Please note: This session is hands on. Bring a calculator or a device with a spreadsheet to get the most out of the material.J.F. Coffin, IV, principal, Arts Finance Resources
Ah, the pitfalls of our boardrooms! Take your pick: Too many board or committee meetings? Too few? Too little board turn-over, or too much? Not taking advantage of the technology to make board work more streamlined? Leadership that is out of balance? Often board culture makes it difficult to deal with roadblocks to success – no one wants to talk about the “elephant in the room”– for fear of hurt feelings or treading on sacred ground. How do you introduce needed changes in your board practices while honoring and respecting the contributions of valued volunteers? Join your peers for this fast-paced, interactive workshop for trustees. You will leave with practical ideas for increasing your board’s effectiveness and reinvigorating your board’s leadership.
Leyna Bernstein, founder & principal, Leadership Search Partners
Many otherwise sophisticated fundraising programs run aground on their inability to create and implement systems for asking their donors to consider giving bigger gifts. A development director or executive director can work with the top tier of major donors, while a program can be set up to work with the long-time smaller donors. But what about all the people in-between – those who typically give $100 to $2,500? Thousands of dollars are left “on the table” because an organization does not have the people power to ask those donors for more money. Attend this important session to learn solutions to these missed opportunities and also discover how to enjoy asking! This workshop is designed for organizations that have a donor base but don’t have a large development staff. It will work best if staff and a board member or fundraising volunteer attend together.
Kim Klein, consultant, Klein & Roth
No question about it – our ensembles sound best in acoustically superior concert halls. But where’s the outreach? Balance your offerings between your traditional and non-traditional performance venues to bring music to the widest possible audiences (and help grow your concert hall attendance, too). The Long Beach Symphony offers POPS concerts in a former ice hockey arena. In their chamber series Sounds and Spaces, they pair appropriately themed musical selections with venues as diverse as aquariums and fire stations. They will share their expertise to help you navigate the joys and challenges of producing artistic excellence in banks, fire stations, libraries, ranchos, restaurants, aquariums, lobbies, social halls – and any place a group is likely to gather.
Julie Feves, musician, Long Beach Symphony
"Call & Response: 15 Years of New Music Commissions"
Tom Stone, violin
Ethan Filner, viola
Jennifer Kloetzel, cello
Cecily Ward, violin
Launched in 2000, Call & Response was born out of the CSQ’s commitment to present music as a dynamic and ongoing process of inspiration through championing the voices of living composers. Through this innovative program, the CSQ uses the “call and response” format – a musical pattern usually associated with jazz and gospel music – to relate newly commissioned music to older works of music. Each year, the organization selects one or more established masterpieces (the “call”) and commissions a composer to create a “response” to these masterworks. After a series of public outreach events in the community and schools throughout the region, the newly commissioned work is given its world premiere in San Francisco, and subsequently is included in the CSQ’s touring repertoire.Cypress String Quartet
You know for a fact the old “business as usual” model no longer works. The corporate world has undergone massive changes – changes that strongly affect philanthropic approaches, goals, and procedures. How do arts organizations break through the new paradigm and engage business leadership for support?
Jonathan Weedman, board member, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Colburn School, and Inner City Youth Orchestra of LA; chair emeritus, Young Musician's Foundation; senior vice president, Wells Fargo Foundation
The world of volunteerism is ever-changing. The San Francisco Symphony has recently completed a deep-dive study on the shifting priorities and motivations of volunteers and will share important data on the latest culture and trends in volunteerism nationally, with a special focus on the arts. Join us as we discuss ROI, expectations, new sources of volunteers, and more.
Marni Cook, director of special events and volunteer services, San Francisco Symphony
In two generations, we’ve gone from Western Union and newspaper routes to Twitter and smartphones. If your brand hasn’t kept up with the times, you’re in danger of looking like a Sears catalog from the days of the Wild West. In this session, get a generational overview of what’s happened with consumers, what’s coming next, and how best to adapt your look and sound to fit in with today's style.
Lora Unger, chief operating officer, Pasadena Symphony and POPS
You tweet, post, like and share. You’ve successfully linked in, pinned it, and managed your circles. You even know the difference between a sharp and a hashtag! Social media – it’s as relevant and useful for an orchestra as for a restaurant. You’re doing it, but is it effective? In this session, we’ll cover setting social media objectives and evaluating different tactics and channels to help you maximize return on investment of time and resources. Our examination of trends and best practices will give you ideas for what's coming down the pike and how your orchestra can be ready to take advantage of where 'social' is going.
Nancy Roberts, principal, Sustainable Communications
From founderitis to malignant board members to strategic streptococcus, this clinic will explore the common legal and business ailments of tax-exempt non-profits and help you identify, cure, and prevent them. Topics will include healthy non-profit/for-profit partnerships, the truth about unrelated business income, the warning signs of a diseased board, the risks of fair use and copyright, avoiding conflicts of interest, prescriptions for better management, avoiding liability exposures, and how to think outside of the box without euthanizing your 501(c)(3) status.
Brian Taylor Goldstein, partner & managing director, GG Arts Law
Is your office harmonious, hard-working, efficient, cohesive, top-notch, enthusiastic, and always ready for new situations and challenges? If your answer is “no,” you need to examine how your orchestra finds its staff and develops talent. What are the paths to arts administration in your organization, the opportunities for mobility and advancement? Dead ends create demoralized, disinterested employees. Our trio of experts will discuss the nuts and bolts of creating a dynamic office team of seasoned professionals, mixed with up-and-coming hires, interns, and understudies, with a special focus on how you groom for advancement.
Chris McCrum, consultant; former hr director, Barclays Global; former board member, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
We heard winemaker Robert Rex talk about balance in his wine at our first Plenary Session. Now we get to see – and taste! – his principles in action. Buses will take delegates to Deerfield Ranch Winery for the Overture Party, an evening of food, wine, and live music. Musicians from the Santa Rosa Symphony will be wandering the grounds, serenading attendees as they go. Come join the fun and mingle with colleagues new and old!
We take this opportunity to thank ACSO Individual Members at an informal gathering. Upon returning to the hotel from Deerfield Ranch Winery, finish off the evening with more socializing, drinks, and dessert. Become an Individual Member today to attend this special event!
Free 30-minute consultations. Sign up in the Resource Room (Vineyard).
The life of the Leader is a constant balancing act, full of critical decisions and decisive actions that bring about (hopefully) effective results. However, do we really understand the genesis of actions and the results they bring? Moreover, how do we get effective results in an age of incessant distraction and disruption? Can we train our minds to be more effective? This interactive seminar will unleash a powerful tool that enables you to see your actions more clearly, allowing you to create a new world of possibilities. Immediately put to use these practical methods that will help positively transform your lives and your organizations. Never again ask yourself, “Am I losing my mind?!”
Sometimes patrons just want to have fun – especially when they’re donating money! It seems, however, that long ago the scales tipped heavily to the side of the tried and true fundraising methodologies in all corners of the nonprofit universe. Fortunately, some of our California orchestras’ creative minds have tossed aside the all-too-familiar charity events in favor of surprising and successful alternatives. If you’re looking for inspiration; a fresh, new approach; or just want a little push in another direction, come join the fun!
Marilyn Chiotti, president, Santa Rosa Symphony League
Summer is no longer a time to close up shop for youth orchestras. More and more programs are adding summer sessions to complement their school-year traditional offerings. What do these programs look like and how do they complement existing programming? Two organizations from different parts of the state share their processes for identifying a need for summer programs, implementing, and recruiting for them. These programs are both experiencing exceptional growth and artistic success -- what can the rest of us learn from them?
Megen Balda, executive director, Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies
The excitement of a World Premiere is palpable, and adding quality new works to the repertoire is laudable. But what all do we need to consider when programming – and commissioning – new music? Join our experts for a wide-ranging discussion on high art versus commercialism, commission expectations, and our audiences’ experiences. Hear what these professionals have to say about crafting a balanced approach to performing new music.
Nolan Gasser, composer
Youth orchestras nationwide increasingly are looking at their alumni network as an untapped resource for recruiting, PR, marketing, development, and more. Most of us know the whereabouts of our recent grads, and we often invite them back to sit in. What if we look deeper and further back? Where are our alumni from 10 years ago, or 20? How can youth orchestras locate and identify these alumni, and what do we do once we’ve found them? Stop the guesswork! Our panelists will discuss different strategies for searching for alumni and ways of reaching out to them and activating your network.
Varina Bleil, executive director, American Youth Symphony
"Strings Attached – Why Music is the Key to Success"
Strings Attached tells the inspiring true story of a music teacher who overcame unspeakable tragedy in his own life to leave a legacy of success and joy for his students.
Reconvene with your Peer Groups to digest the Conference and to make plans to keep your new network intact!
Special Table: Singing your Tune amid the Cacophony: Join Classical KUSC’s Gail Eichenthal and Jeffrey Freymann-Weyr of Classical KDFC for a roundtable chat about getting your group’s message out there in an increasingly competitive and crowded media environment. Hear about Bay Area Mix, KDFC’s new series showcasing regional orchestras and chamber ensembles, which expands to a monthly broadcast beginning later this summer. Coffee and snacks will be served.