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ACSO Strategic Planning Consultant RFP

The Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) has begun the process to draft a new strategic plan.

The ACSO Board and Staff have already completed Phase 1 of a three-phase strategic planning project. This RFP is to employ services to lead the organization through Phase 2 and 3 over a six-month time period.

Phase 1 (completed March – August 2017): Setting a Framework
Board discussion to outline vision and goals for strategic planning process (see Core Objectives section below). Board committee formed and project timeline established.

Phase 2 (September – December 2017): Data Gathering & Analysis
Gain a better understanding of the current needs of our members – or potential members – through quantitative and qualitative research. Quantitative data gathering through member-wide survey, engaging all stakeholders (see Target Audiences & Stakeholders section below). Qualitative data gathering through statewide “listening tour,” i.e. professional development workshops with a facilitator-led discussion forum component.

Phase 3 (December 2017 – January 2018): Strategizing & Detailed Planning
Findings and themes from data presented to committee. Full board discussion and planning at January convening. Plan to be finalized by committee by March 1 for presentation to the full board at the March board meeting.

How to Apply?
Please download the full RFP to read the full scope of the project and how to apply.

Proposals are due by Friday, August 18, 2017 at 5:00PM PST.

Upcoming Webinar: Avoiding the Iceberg

Thursday October 5, 2017 10:00 am to 11:00 am

Don’t let the tip of the iceberg become your organization’s Titanic – instead, understand and be able to identify whether your business is Healthy, at a Crossroads, in Conflict or has a full-blown Crisis. Over 90% of all organizations can be saved and taught to prosper despite the size of the organization, condition of the economy or its competition. Explore real-life examples of how to minimize challenges and maximize opportunities for revitalization. Join Paul Jan Zdunek, managing director of BDO and ACSO board member for this hour webinar. This webinar is only promoted by ACSO and solely produced by BDO USA.

Webinar Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the health of an organization
  • Understand and identify the signs of a looming crisis
  • Learn how to avoid your organization’s version of the Titanic
  • Learn about real-life case studies and the consequences of ignoring tell-tale signs

Click here for more information or to register for this webinar.

 

Thank You! 2017 Annual Conference

Thank you to those who attended the 2017 ACSO Annual Conference in Los Angeles on July 20-22! We hope that you found the conference rewarding, had a chance to connect with your colleagues, and came away recharged and ready to help lead your organization to greatness during the next season.

This year the Annual Conference was hosted by the Los Angeles Philharmonic in conjunction with the Take a Stand Symposium, which brought together leaders, teachers, and key stakeholders from around the world with a vested interest in the El Sistema movement and progressive practices in music education. Joint keynote presenters included Gustavo Dudamel, music and artistic director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Thomas Wilkins, principal conductor of the Hollywood Bowl; and Gail Samuel, acting president & CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Conference included two general plenary sessions, including addresses by Salvador Acevedo, vice president of cultural strategy at Scancion, on interculturalism, and a panel on the state of the arts in Los Angeles, moderated by Gail Eichenthal, chief engagement officer, KUSC Group, with panelists Rachel Fine, managing director, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts; Grant Gershon, artistic director, Los Angeles Master Chorale; Chad Smith, chief operating officer, Los Angeles Philharmonic; and Lora Unger, chief executive officer, Pasadena Symphony and POPS.

The inaugural Kris Sinclair Leadership Award was presented to the Community Women's Orchestra. The Kris Sinclair Leadership Award is given to an ACSO member organization that demonstrates impactful leadership initiatives, which advance the goals of the organization, including, but not limited to, finance, governance, staff development, audience development, education, and community engagement. Also, given at the conference were the annual MVP award, which are designed to give recognition to a few of the hundreds of dedicated, hardworking, and committed volunteers that orchestras depend on every day. Winners included Mary Jane Cooper of the Santa Barbara Symphony, Pat and Sandy Gage of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Pat Hager of the Mill Valley Philharmonic, David Hamilton of the San Luis Obispo Symphony, Ronda Latham of the Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra, Becky Novy of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Affiliates, Joseph Svehla of the Pacific Symphony, and Judith Valles of the San Bernardino Symphony.

Over twenty breakout sessions were presented on topics around orchestra management, including governance, marketing, fundraising, and advocacy. Session highlights included:

Telling Your Story: Making the Case to Individual Donors, Corporations and Foundations
Make your best case to individual donors, corporations, and foundations. Too often, arts non-profits make the mistake of approaching donors from a position of weakness, using a crisis as leverage to secure gifts. In this session, we’ll give you the framework and tools for telling the kind of compelling story that will get supporters on board for the long term and make them want to invest in your organization.
• John Mangum, president & artistic director, Philharmonic Society of Orange County
• Aashika Patel, vice president, CCS Fundraising
• Julia Ward, director of development communications and strategy, Los Angeles Philharmonic

Social Media: What is Our Goal and What Should We Share?
Is your orchestra struggling to keep up with the various social media outlets? Do you need help strategizing your content and identify what social media sites to use? Join these marketing and communication professionals to help you shape your social media goals and assist in creating a plan of what to share and where to share it.
• Patrick Brown, director of marketing, Los Angeles Master Chorale
• Sasha Hnatkovich, communications manager, Kronos Quartet
• Brian Lauritzen, producer/host, Classical KUSC

The Executive's Role in Board Governance
Join Arts Consulting Group Vice President Shawn Ingram as he moderates a discussion about the executive director/CEO’s role in encouraging and sustaining strong board governance. Bring your thoughts, ideas, and issues as stories will be shared, solutions will be offered, and questions will be answered.
• Paul Ideker, executive director, Redlands Symphony
• Kevin Marvin, executive director, Santa Barbara Symphony
• Don Nelson, executive director, Stockton Symphony
• Shawn Ingram, vice president, Arts Consulting Group (moderator)

We collaborated with the League of American Orchestra's Essentials of Orchestra Management Program. This immersive ten-day program, hosted by USC, prepares orchestra professionals with the tools they need to be effective administrators and leaders. The curriculum explores the fundamentals of orchestra management; the changing nature of orchestras and new values, roles, and practices that are emerging as orchestras evolve. The ACSO conference included sessions on education and community engagement, presented by Jennifer Barlament, executive director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and Simon Woods, president & CEO of the Seattle Symphony. Jesse Rosen, president & CEO of the League of American Orchestras, welcomed conferees and discsussed upcoming advocacy issues happening at the national level.

It wouldn't be an ACSO conference without music, and conferees were treated to a performance by a string quartet from the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra at this year's annual meeting. Conferees also attended a concert at the Hollywood Bowl in which the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Master Chorale performed stirring choral and instrumental selections from Wagner’s mythic music dramas: Tristan und Isolde, Tannhäuser, The Flying Dutchman, Lohengrin, and Die Meistersinger.

For questions about the 2017 Annual Conference, please contact us at 800-495-2276 or conference@acso.org. Also, check out the conference website at www.acso.org/conference.

Join us next year in Sacramento for the 2018 Annual Conference - August 9-11!

ADVOCACY ALERT

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.

ACSO Awarded California Arts Council “Statewide and Regional Networks” Grant

The California Arts Council announced its plans to award $27,000 to the Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) as part of its Statewide and Regional Networks program.

The Statewide and Regional Networks program supports arts service organizations that provide specialized, practical services to working artists, constituent organizations and cultural community. Collectively, these networks help to activate California Arts Council constituents, the arts community, stakeholders, and the public.

ACSO is one of 33 grantees chosen for this competitive program, which received applications from 47 organizations statewide. The news of ACSO’s grant was featured as part of a larger announcement from the California Arts Council, which can be found online at http://arts.ca.gov/news/pressreleases.php.

“Our Statewide and Regional Networks grantees are just that—a network,” said Donn K. Harris, Chair of the California Arts Council. “An invaluable network. These are nerve centers of arts and culture that are crucial to growing and sustaining California’s artistic landscape. We’re proud to support the work of ACSO.”

In addition, the California Arts Council funded 30 of ACSO’s members and affiliates with grants totaling $421,487. Member and affiliate organizations include: American Youth Symphony, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, California Chamber Orchestra, California Symphony, Carmel Bach Festival, El Sistema/USA/Salinas, Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, Long Beach Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Marin Symphony, Monterey Symphony, New West Symphony, Oakland Symphony, Orange County Women’s Chorus, Pacific Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, Philharmonic Society of Orange County, Sacramento Master Singers, San Bernardino Symphony, San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, Santa Cecilia Orchestra, Santa Rosa Symphony, Street Symphony, Vallejo Symphony, Young Musicians Foundation, and Youth Orchestra of Fresno.

Click here to view ACSO member and affiliates' funded projects.

ADVOCACY ACTION ALERT: 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.

As you may recall, the FY 2018 was released in March and called for a total elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and other cultural grant-making agencies. Today's full budget proposal was no different.

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.

Your voice can make a difference. Speak out to Congress and #SAVEtheNEA! Congress will now officially begin hearings on this request, so your message to your elected officials is timely!

ACSO is a member of the Arts Action Fund.

ADVOCACY UPDATE

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 here to read more at the Arts Action Fund.

ACSO is a member of the Arts Action Fund 

Intern with ACSO this Summer - and Get Paid!

We are recruiting a conference and membership intern through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission Summer Internship Program (lacountyarts.org/arts-internship-program). We are offering one full-time internship for 10 consecutive weeks beginning no earlier than June 5, 2017 and ending no later than August 25, 2017. The hourly rate is $12 per hour.

The conference and membership intern will play an essential role in preparing for and executing ACSO’s 2017 annual conference, a signature learning experience for orchestra professionals throughout California. The intern will also work closely with the membership manager to prepare for the fall 2017 annual membership renewal campaign and to successfully serve and support ACSO’s members.

Information about the internship as well as how to apply can be found here. The deadline to apply is May 1, 2017.

This internship is sponsored by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. 132 undergraduate interns will participate in the program this year at 119 performing, presenting, and literary nonprofit arts organizations and municipal arts agencies throughout LA County. In addition to their full-time 10 week paid internship, interns will participate in educational events as part of the program, which is funded by the Getty Foundation. The educational events are designed to provide interns with a broader perspective of the vibrant arts and cultural landscape of the County. For additional information on the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Arts Internship Program, and for a complete list of all the internships offered this summer, visit the Arts Commission website at www.lacountyarts.org.

Apply for the Kris Sinclair Leadership Award

Apply today for the the Kris Sinclair Leadership Award that is given to an ACSO member organization that demonstrates impactful leadership initiatives, which advance the goals of the Organization, including, but not limited to, finance, governance, staff development, audience development, education, and community engagement.

The award will be presented at the annual ACSO conference at which the recipient’s Leadership must be present. The winning organization will receive a cash award of $5,000 which advance the goals of the organization as stipulated in its submitted application.

Through an online application, applicant organizations must demonstrate how they have achieved recent, measurable successes applicable to the Kris Sinclair Leadership Award. Additionally, the applying Organization must demonstrate how the award funds from Kris Sinclair Leadership Award will be used to further advance the goals of the Organization. Phone interviews with finalists might be requested.

Click here for more information or to apply. The application deadline is April 15, 2017.

Advocacy Action Alert: White House to Eliminate National Endowment for the Arts

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.

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.

The federal appropriations process does not end here. ACSO is a member of the Arts Action Fund and will promote a concerted grassroots effort to convince Congress to #SaveTheNEA.

ACSO executive director Mitch Menchaca will attend next week's National Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. and be one of the many delegates representing California to talk to federal lawmakers and share the stories about the impact and transformative power that the arts and classical music have in their communities and districts.

What actions can you take?

1. The most important thing you can do is to take two minutes to send a customizable message to your elected representatives in Congress and urge them to oppose any attempt to eliminate or cut funding to the NEA.

2. Post on Facebook and Twitter to help rally national support to save the NEA. There is strength in numbers and your social media friends can help.

Click here to read a statement from Jane Chu, National Endowment for the Arts Chair