Sinclair Award


The Kris Sinclair Leadership Award is given to an ACSO Organizational Member that demonstrates recent and measurable leadership initiatives by its staff and/or board in one or more of the following areas: finance, governance, staff development, audience development, education, or community engagement.

The use of award funds is restricted to a specific purpose: to invest back in the capacity and skill building of the awardees’ staff and board. The way the awardee makes this investment is open-ended and up to the most relevant needs of the Organization.

Some examples of ways you could use the award include, but are not limited to, paying for staff/board members to attend conferences (other than ACSO’s Annual Conference) or other kinds of training opportunities, holding a board retreat or board-specific professional development, or hiring a consultant to help with planning or strategy.

The $5,000 award will be announced in September 2020.

This award is made possible by the Kris Sinclair Fund for Professional Development that consists of contributions intentionally made in Kris Sinclair’s name to support professional development and technical assistance offered by the Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO). Sinclair was the executive director of the Association for 31 years and provided members with technical assistance, professional development opportunities, and consultation on myriad orchestra management topics.


Applicants must be current ACSO Organizational Members at the date of the application and must remain a member in good standing throughout the award period.

Deadline and How to Apply

Through an online application, Organizations must:

  • Demonstrate how, through “above and beyond” efforts by staff and/or board, it has achieved recent, measurable successes in one or more of the following areas: finance, governance, staff development, audience development, education and community engagement.
  • Describe how the award funds from Kris Sinclair Leadership Award will be used to invest back in the development of its staff and board. The awardee may ultimately use the funds to build staff and/or board capacity in a different way than initially indicated, but should let ACSO know if the plans change significantly.

Applicant Organizations will be reviewed on the impact that their recent accomplishment had on the overall viability of their organization, in addition to a compelling case for the Organization’s use of the award funds. Phone interviews with finalists may be requested.

The winning Organization will be asked to submit a final report by September 30, 2022 detailing the use of the funds and the impact of receiving the funds. The winning Organization may also be called on to provide future Conference or webinar reports and/or testimonials on the impact from its Kris Sinclair Leadership Award.

Applications closed on Friday, August 21, 2020.The Kris Sinclair Leadership Award Committee will review applications and will determine the award winner by September 25, 2020, and applicants will be notified shortly thereafter.

Questions? Contact ACSO at [email protected] or 800-495-2276.