Guest Blog Series: Community and Continuance for Small Budget Orchestras by Donald Marshall

Note from ACSO: Our membership network is full of incredible people with a wealth of life experiences, talents, and diverse perspectives and backgrounds. We want to share their insights, points of view, and wisdom with all of you, as well as raise the voices of individuals who are making a difference for the classical music field. Our guest blog series features people from different communities throughout California and the western region, from different sizes and types of classical music organizations, and with different jobs and responsibilities. They will share what they have learned, express their opinions about the sector, and ask challenging questions that will help us shift our thinking and be better advocates for this art form that we all love.
   
Community and Continuance for Small Budget Orchestras
Donald Marshall, President, Downey Symphonic Society   

One of ACSO’s many admirable features is the support it gives small budget orchestras (SBOs) like mine, the Downey Symphony Orchestra (DSO). To an extent, all orchestras share the same challenges and opportunities, though on different scales and with different resources. But SBOs have to be especially close to the communities that they serve and that sustain them.  


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Special Report from Californians for the Arts: AB5 and the Arts Industries

As you may know, Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) was signed into law in September and goes into affect on January 1, 2020, making it more difficult for employers to classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees.
   
In the past few months many of ACSO's members have reached out to us with concerns about how this law will impact the way they currently employ contract educators, musicians, production support, and many other types of workers. We know many of you rely on contractors to carry out your missions and programs and to bring classical music to your communities. We have heard your concerns and we have been in ongoing communication about them with Californians for the Arts, our statewide arts advocacy organization, and California Arts Advocates, their lobbying arm.
  
Last week, Californians for the Arts issued an important report summarizing their efforts over the past year to draft exemption language for AB5 on behalf of performing arts workers. And even though the bill passed without as much support and clarity for the arts sector as we all wanted, they are still working to advocate and educate the legislature on the ways that arts do business in California and to hopefully seek corrections and add exemptions to the bill.
  
But they need our help. Here are three things you should do right away:

  1. Take a short survey to share data with Californians for the Arts about how AB5 will impact your organization. This will help them with case-making.
  2. To stay informed about this issue, read a white paper that Californians for the Arts contributed to that clearly explains the background of AB5, how it could impact arts nonprofits, why worker classifications matters, and how organizations can comply.
  3. Sign up for a free webinar on December 3 at 10:00 AM PST called Dealing with the Drama: How the New Independent Contractor Law Affects the Arts Community with attorneys Vida Thomas and Bryan Hawkins. Californians for the Arts is also conducting workshops and town halls about AB5 all around the state. Click here for more information.

Also, consider joining with ACSO by becoming a member of Californians for the Arts. They advocate and lobby at the state capital for all of us to raise public awareness of the importance of the arts, to increase state funding levels, and to influence legislation that will benefit the arts.
  
There could be more changes to AB5, including cleanup language and new exemption in the future. ACSO will continue to work closely with Californians for the Arts and share with our members the latest developments.

Guest Blog Series: So…What Exactly is a Youth Orchestra? by Cheryl Marvin

Note from ACSO: Our membership network is full of incredible people with a wealth of life experiences, talents, and diverse perspectives and backgrounds. We want to share their insights, points of view, and wisdom with all of you, as well as raise the voices of individuals who are making a difference for the classical music field. Our guest blog series features people from different communities throughout California and the western region, from different sizes and types of classical music organizations, and with different jobs and responsibilities. They will share what they have learned, express their opinions about the sector, and ask challenging questions that will help us shift our thinking and be better advocates for this art form that we all love.
   
So…What Exactly is a Youth Orchestra?
Cheryl Marvin, Executive Director, Conejo Valley Youth Orchestra    

People often assume they know what a youth orchestra is simply by the words “youth orchestra." While “youth orchestra” or “youth symphony” may seem self-explanatory, misunderstandings even among the musically inclined are surprisingly common.
   
It is often assumed that a youth orchestra is synonymous with a local school orchestra, but a youth orchestra is a different animal entirely. To borrow from sports jargon, youth orchestras can be thought of as the “minor league” when compared to professional orchestras, the “major league.” 
    
It is true that youth orchestras work with young musicians, typically ranging from pre-teens or teenagers to those in their mid-20s. However, these musicians are accepted and placed based on their auditions, allowing directors to program music appropriate for the ensemble. 
    
You may be wondering what the primary function of a youth orchestra is. In brief, they provide an opportunity for young musicians to study and perform music at a high level. They also provide homeschooled musicians a place to play with an ensemble. The typical youth orchestra will have multiple ensembles ranging from entry level to a pre-professional level of orchestra. Often, they participate in community outreach and education programs.
   
Youth orchestras also vary between organizations. Some are sponsored by a professional orchestra or a university, while others are stand-alone. Many youth orchestras, like the Conejo Valley Youth Orchestra, have a long and rich history in the community, while others are new to the scene. More established youth orchestras may have over 700 musicians, 12 ensembles, and a staff of 20. By contrast, a newer youth orchestra may only have 30 musicians, one ensemble, and be run by one or two people. In almost all cases, youth orchestras charge tuition and require fundraising to participate. 
   
In addition to size variations, youth orchestras perform at widely differing levels. For example, the American Youth Symphony located in Los Angeles draws musicians, mostly in their 20s, from all over the world. These musicians receive a stipend. Contrast this with a small youth orchestra serving its local community, and it is easy to account for the different performance levels. 
   
Youth orchestras face some of the same challenges that professional orchestras face: concert ticket sales, donor cultivation, board governance, and strong leadership, just to name a few. Perhaps the biggest challenge common to all orchestras is the public perception that classical symphonic music is only for the elite. Many orchestras, whether youth, community, university, or professional, have responded with creative performances and marketing to combat this issue. 
   
Youth orchestras help develop student musicians by giving them an experience modeled after professional orchestras. Musicians earn their place within their orchestra, exercise leadership skills, and, as they advance, have the opportunity to study and perform original literature written by the Masters of classical symphonic music. Not all youth orchestra musicians continue on to study music for their profession. However, youth orchestras serve as a gateway and conduit for serious student musicians to achieve their full potential by giving them the experience they need to be successful in their college and university ensembles. 
   
Let me close by conveying just how fun youth orchestras are to watch! The excitement from the musicians is contagious and the performances are generally excellent. The youthful exuberance and amazing talent on stage gives patrons a glimpse into the future that these budding leaders will usher in. 
   
About the Author: Cheryl Marvin has been with the Conejo Valley Youth Orchestra since 2002 serving as a volunteer, board member, treasurer, and business manager. In 2014 she accepted the position of executive director for the orchestra. In 2003, Cheryl started the first elementary strings program in Moorpark, CA. From there, she expanded the programs to include both the middle and high school levels. In 2012, the Ventura County Arts Council awarded Cheryl the Arts Stars Award for Music Education. Being a musician from a young age, Cheryl has experienced what a profound affect music programs can have on growing musicians. She is passionate about the positive influences the Conejo Valley Youth Orchestra has not only the musicians, but the community as a whole.

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Up & Down the Scale: July through September 2019

We are excited to share the latest developments and changes in the professional lives of our members. This edition covers announcements made July through September 2019. If you want to share the administrative, board, or staff member happenings at your organization, send announcements to [email protected]
   

INDIVIDUALS

Aubrey Bergauer has stepped down from her role as Executive Director of the California Symphony. She plans to to deploy her revenue-generating and audience-building strategies in greater service to the field as an advisor and consultant to other arts organizations.
    
The Santa Rosa Symphony, as it enters its 92nd season, announced four new appointments to its board of directors. They are Garth Bixler, Pam Chanter, Barb Spangler and Mark Wardlaw. New board officers are as follows: Al Seidenfeld, Chairman of the Board; Corinne Byrd, Vice-Chairman; Sean Pryden, Treasurer; Linda Castiglioni, Secretary; and Jamei Haswell, Immediate Past Chairman.
    
The Las Vegas Philharmonic announced that Christina Castellanos has been appointed as Principal Flute.  A member of the orchestra since 2001, Castellanos joined the LVP when she was a senior at UNLV.  Castellanos has played with opera legends Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli, and Renee Fleming. Castellanos is currently principal flute for both the Salt Lake Symphony and the Nevada POPS and plays flute and piccolo as the first call substitute for Utah Symphony, Utah Opera, Ballet West, Orchestra at Temple Square for The Tabernacle Choir and the Boise Philharmonic. 
    
Marin Symphony Association announced that with its expansion of Pops programming, Stuart Chafetz has been appointed to the new position of Principal Pops Conductor of the Marin Symphony. Chafetz also serves as the Principal Pops Conductor of the Columbus Symphony and is increasingly in demand with orchestras across the continent. This season he will be on the podium in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Naples, Philly Pops, and Pittsburgh. 






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Legislative Updates on SB 1343 and AB 5

ACSO has been tracking two pieces of legislation that could have a big impact on orchestras and other classical music organizations in California. The latest developments are outlined below.
 

 
SB 1343 - Employers: Sexual Harassment Training Requirements
On August 30, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 778, extending California employers’ obligation to provide employees with sexual harassment training from January 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021. This means your organization now has an additional twelve months to comply with the recently legislated sexual harassment training requirements laid out in SB 1343. Click here for more information on the extension, courtesy of the National Law Review. Click here to learn more about the original legislation and the training requirements. Please note that SB 1343 was passed into law a year ago and SB 778 extends the timeframe in which the training must be carried out.   


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Guest Blog Series: If You Do Only One Thing This Season by Aubrey Bergauer

Note from ACSO: Our membership network is full of incredible people with a wealth of life experiences, talents, and diverse perspectives and backgrounds. We want to share their insights, points of view, and wisdom with all of you, as well as raise the voices of individuals who are making a difference for the classical music field. Our guest blog series features people from different communities throughout California and the western region, from different sizes and types of classical music organizations, and with different jobs and responsibilities. They will share what they have learned, express their opinions about the sector, and ask challenging questions that will help us shift our thinking and be better advocates for this art form that we all love.   


If You Do Only One Thing This Season
Aubrey Bergauer, Independent Consultant
   
I recently had a realization. I was working on an upcoming talk I’m going to be giving, and in one of my dry-runs I rattled off a line about how we need to really get our arts marketing into the 21st century. And then it occurred to me: the 21st century is about to be 20% over.  One fifth of the century is behind us come next year. Is that crazy to you? It is to me. All of a sudden this realization felt so urgent. We can’t keep talking about how to update our marketing practices; rather, it’s imperative that we actually do it, because for a lot of our organizations, we’ve wasted nearly the last twenty years only tweaking how things used to be done, while consumer behavior and marketing trends are passing us by. Sadly for orchestras, most of us have the declining revenue numbers to support this thesis.
   
In a time when there are so many different challenges facing orchestras, if you only do one thing this upcoming season, no matter your budget size, let it be to double down on marketing. I don’t mean update the copy on the copy-filled season brochure (although as an aside, all of our materials would be stronger if we dropped about half the copy and about 99% of the exclamation points…for the love of orchestras, seriously, please stop the forced enthusiasm exclamation points). What I do mean is that now is the time to catch up on what other industries have been doing for the last decade or two. The good news is that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel because we get to emulate what has already proven successful again and again in other sectors, which covers three areas.   





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New ACSO Leadership Elected for 2019/20

At the ACSO Annual Meeting held at the 2019 Annual Conference in Monterey on August 8, ACSO welcomed four new board members, re-elected a board member, elected officers for 2019/20, and said farewell to several outgoing board members. New board members include:

Loribeth Gregory-Beck currently serves as the Director of Education & Community Engagement at the Santa Barbara Symphony, where she oversees programs and cultivates community partnerships. With experience as a teacher, arts administrator, and in business management, Loribeth brings a breadth of knowledge and practice to her work in education. At the Los Angeles Philharmonic, she led the Young Composer Programs (Composer Fellowship Program, National Composers Intensive) and projects for the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA), through which she worked with prominent artists in the classical music industry, such as Andrew Norman, Gabriela Ortiz, Tania León, and the International Contemporary Ensemble, and prepared students for performances at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Hollywood Bowl, and Ojai Music Festival. In addition to her work in music education, Loribeth has presented original research papers at conferences for the Society for Ethnomusicology and the Association for Asian American Studies. Loribeth earned an M.A. in Ethnomusicology from University of California, Riverside, where she was a lecturer, and a B.A. in Music, magna cum laude, and a minor in Anthropology from Webster University. 

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Guest Blog Series: Don't be Afraid to Break Old Habits by Rei Hotoda

Note from ACSO: Our membership network is full of incredible people with a wealth of life experiences, talents, and diverse perspectives and backgrounds. We want to share their insights, points of view, and wisdom with all of you, as well as raise the voices of individuals who are making a difference for the classical music field. Our guest blog series features people from different communities throughout California and the western region, from different sizes and types of classical music organizations, and with different jobs and responsibilities. They will share what they have learned, express their opinions about the sector, and ask challenging questions that will help us shift our thinking and be better advocates for this art form that we all love.

Don't Be Afraid to Break Old Habits
   
I’m someone who loves a challenge, whether it’s learning to conduct a new work or bench pressing 150 pounds. Yes, me. Just shy of 110 pounds was *challenged* recently by my trainer to do just that. While it was difficult, and didn’t think I could do it, I did. It was quite life affirming and opened a whole new mental and physical avenue for me.
   
Was I afraid? Yes. The thought of pulling something (or worse breaking something) was first and foremost. The thought of doing something that might threaten my career was very real. But, I decided I need to do this, and boy I’m glad I did. Not only did this newness inspire me to hit the gym more, it challenged me to think differently about HOW I go to and experience the gym.
   
You might be thinking, "What on earth does this have to do with anything music related?" A whole lot actually.
   
Oftentimes, we, as musicians, music directors, executive directors, boards, get stuck in a rut. We let our creative muscles atrophy.
   
We—and I count myself in the “we”—are in the habit of repeating our successes, even if they become less successful and stale over time. Season in and season out, presenting and doing the same thing year after year. This is a habit we need to break.
   
Are we challenging ourselves to offer new experiences or seizing different opportunities to connect to our audiences or new audiences in different ways?
   
If we want reach new audiences and stay relevant to our communities, we, as creative organizations and musicians, need to make this a priority. Much like I took on lifting 150-pound weights, we need to have the confidence to lift the giant weight of doing things in more creative and inventive ways.
   
I feel strongly that our arts organizations should serve our communities, and this may mean we need to think and present music differently. Let’s embrace a new “spirit of creativity” that is meaningful to these communities. In my position of Music Director of the Fresno Philharmonic, and as I approach my third season, there is even more momentum to instill this “spirit of creativity” to all that we do. Little by little, program by program.
   
Always thinking creatively and assessing if there is a rut can be exhausting and unnerving. It can be hard to be honest and even harder still to accept what you find. 
   
Think of it this way: Say there is a new restaurant in town, but you always had good food at one that you often frequent. You’re hungry and you want to eat, but the thought of being disappointed at a new place is making you avoid something new. So, instead of going to the new restaurant and having some potentially exciting new food, you go to the same old, same old. Did you eat? Yes. Was it good? Yeah, perhaps, but not exciting. However, would you have found a new place to go to and had a new experience? No. (And, for the record, I would always try the new place; I’m a foodie through and through!)
   
The mark of a good and successful business is its ability to adapt and grow, change and challenge itself. And I firmly believe music is a creative business. As arts leaders, we MUST continue to push our creativity and bring in new ideas!
   
I truly believe that those in artistic leadership roles should be the role models for our musicians, our boards, our audiences. The fear of failure or experiencing something unsuccessful should not be our first thoughts, and truthfully, they often are. We need to stop looking at change as being a disruptive impediment. We must expand our thinking beyond our monetary value and place the lasting impact in our communities squarely in the driver’s seat.
   
Don’t worry, I’m not recommending we throw all caution to the wind. I’m just encouraging you to do something, try something different and challenging. No matter how small All it takes is one step. Like we did in Fresno. One small change had a huge impact!
   
In Fresno, we had a “Meet the Artist Luncheon” series. It was held at the same place and in the same way year after year. While it was attended, the event started to feel stagnant and was not relevant to the dynamic changes that were taking place on stage.
   
So, we decided to try a new approach. Thanks to my awesome staff – Stephen Wilson and Annie Schmidt  we started holding our luncheons in places in the community that were relevant to what was happening on stage. We formed new alliances and partnerships with these spaces and organizations, opening up and expanding our reach and making many new connections. The result has been overwhelmingly positive.
   
We broke the habit of always falling back on what we knew, we challenged our creative muscles, and we had a fabulous work out -- and the rewards have been wonderful!
   
About the Author: Rei Hotoda, the newly appointed Music Director of the Fresno Philharmonic, is rapidly becoming one of America’s most sought after and dynamic artists. She has appeared as a guest conductor with many of today’s leading ensembles, including the Symphony Orchestras of Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Edmonton, Jacksonville, Utah, Toronto, and Winnipeg, as well as the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the St. Louis Symphonies, among others. She most recently made her conducting debuts with the Nashville and Asheville Symphonies. Read more here.

Up and Down the Scale: April through June 2019

We are excited to share the latest developments and changes in the professional lives of our members. This edition covers announcements made April through June 2019. If you want to share the administrative, board, or staff member happenings at your organization, send announcements to [email protected]

Individuals

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ACSO Member Projects Receive Over $400,000 in California Arts Council Grants

The California Arts Council has invested a projected $24.5 million in arts funding for 2019/2020, and it will fund more than 1,300 grants in support of strengthening California’s arts sector. This year's projected total award amount marks an increase of more than $8.1 million over last year's investment and represents the second highest investment in statewide arts programming, surpassed only by the 2000/2001 fiscal year.   

Awarded project designs span the whole of the arts and cultural fields, with funding offered in 14 unique grant program areas. ACSO members have received grants in six categories totaling more than $400,000 for their incredible projects! Please join us in congratulating ACSO members Carmel Bach Festival, Pasadena Symphony, Fresno Philharmonic, Long Beach Symphony, Monterey Symphony, Music in the Mountains, Pacific Symphony, Redlands Symphony, San Bernardino Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, California Symphony, Mill Valley Philharmonic, San Diego Youth Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, Santa Monica Youth Orchestra, Golden State Youth Orchestra, and Youth Orchestras of Fresno! More on their projects below, courtesy of the California Arts Council.

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Sexual Harassment Training Now Required for all Organizations with 5 or More Employees; For Orchestras, This Includes Musicians

Last year the California legislature passed SB 1343 expanding the requirement for who has to be trained on sexual (and other) harassment issues, largely in response to the #MeToo movement. Previously, only supervisors had to complete the training, and it was only required for organizations with 50 or more staff members. Now it is required for all employees in organizations with five or more paid staff. Since the bill includes temporary or seasonal employees, it means that orchestras must ensure that paid musicians receive the training as well.
   
The required training has to be completed by January 1, 2020. The training must meet certain standards and must be repeated every two years. New employees must be trained within six months of hire or promotion to a supervisory position. Non-supervisor training is a one-hour session; supervisor training is a two-hour session.
   
Organizations with five or more employees will also need to update their employee manuals with the training requirements and anti-harassment and retaliation policies, plus post updated notices and hand out the California sexual harassment brochure (all available here). 
   
The Department of Fair Employment and Housing will be developing sexual harassment trainings by the end of the year, but those are not yet available.
   
In the meantime, there are many vendors and companies that provide the training. If your organization is a member of CalNonprofits, as ACSO is, your supervisors can take the required harassment training for free and your non-supervisory staff can get discounts on the required training. Learn more here. 

NEA Awards $130,000 in grants to ACSO and Seven of its Members

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced $80.4 million in grants as part of its second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2019. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $15,000 to the Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) to support its 2019 Annual Conference which provides professional development for orchestra staff and board members.

“Reflecting the diverse artistic richness of our nation, these Arts Endowment-funded projects are varied in their size, scope, and artistic discipline,” said Arts Endowment Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “The projects also illustrate the unique geographic reach of Arts Endowment funding, serving Americans in places large and small in all corners of the country.”

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Summer Music Festivals Abound in California

Explore Baroque to Contemporary Compositions in Beautiful Settings
Festivals Are a Unique Way to Experience Classical Music
    

The days are getting warmer and longer, and for classical music fans that means one thing: it's festival season! From June through August, California comes alive with festivals. Each summer, artists from all over the world flock to picturesque California communities to experience a unique blend of music-making, camaraderie, and fun. ACSO is pleased to announce this summer's offerings from our festival members, highlighting a vital and vibrant way for artists and audiences alike to deeply engage in classical music.
   
No two are exactly alike, yet each shares one common thread: a love and respect for composers, musicians, and the communities in which they are rooted. In every corner of the Golden State, there are opportunities to experience world-class performances and connect with the artists who bring these great works of art to life. The nine festivals below (listed in alphabetical order) showcase a rich and impressive spectrum of live music in delightful destinations. 

   
Michael Morgan, Bear Valley Music Festival

Bear Valley Music Festival, Bear Valley, July 14-August 4 - Maestro Michael Morgan conducts another dazzling set of concerts in the High Sierra, including Ravel's Tzigane and Florence Price's 2nd violin concerto with soloist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, Mozart's Double Piano Concerto with soloists Olga Kern and Vladislav Kern, the Pulitzer-winning musical Of Thee I Sing by George and Ira Gershwin, Beethoven's Fourth Symphony and Fourth Piano Concerto with soloist Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner, and other orchestral favorites. Non-classical concerts include tributes to Carole King and James Taylor, Dolly Parton, Neil Diamond and Billy Joelwww.bearvalleymusic.org; (209) 831-0554
    
Carmel Bach Festival, Carmel-by-the-Sea, July 13-27 - The 82nd season presents more than 40 events, including main concerts and recitals in venues throughout Carmel, Monterey, Seaside, and Pebble Beach. Repertoire includes Haydn's Creation, Bach's Christmas Oratorio, film music including a new work by Mark Mancina, and guest artists Jason Vieaux, guitar, and actress Francesca Faridany who will narrate Mendelssohn's music to A Midsummer Night's Dream.  "The 2019 Carmel Bach Festival celebrates the spirit of creativity with two weeks of concerts centered on artistic and spiritual enrichment, creation and joy!" said Paul Goodwin, artistic director and principal conductor. www.bachfestival.org; (831) 624-1521



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San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra Receives ACSO’s Sinclair Leadership Award

The Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) announced today that the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra is the recipient of the 2019 Kris Sinclair Leadership Award for its successful implementation of a new strategic direction, which has led to impressive growth in concert attendance and community engagement over the past three years.
   
This award is named in honor of Kris Sinclair, ACSO’s longtime former executive director, and 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 San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra is a great example of how orchestras that have been in operation for decades can still continue to evolve and grow and provide relevant and meaningful art experiences for their diverse audiences,” said Sarah Weber, executive director of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras. “In the last few years, the leadership of the orchestra has programmed innovative concerts, provided music education for thousands of at-risk youth, and increased community awareness and ticket sales through expanded media coverage. They did hard work to make a plan for improvement, and that plan is yielding amazing results."
   
With the Sinclair Award comes a $5,000 prize, which the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra will use to install new software for ticketing and to train staff to effectively utilize the system.

Your Action Needed to Oppose NEA, NEH, and CPB Budget Cuts!

Call to Action from Americans for the Arts:
   
For a third straight year, the current administration has proposed to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and the Corporation of Public Broadcasting (CPB). It is time to ask Congress—as it has done in the past two fiscal years—to again reject this short-sighted budget request in a bipartisan, bicameral manner, and increase funding for the Endowments. 
   
Use this easy tool to contact your member of Congress today to urge them to reject the president's proposal.
   
Saving the cultural agencies happened because thousands of arts advocates made their voices heard on Capitol Hill. Congress not only dismissed these initial calls for termination, but in fact gave steady increases in funding to several cultural agencies. Check out a brief history of budgetary proposals and final funding for these agencies for the past three years. 
   
Also, be sure to check out Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch's statement regarding the president's budget proposal.

   

Meet the ACSO staff

We have some new faces at ACSO, so we thought this was the perfect time to (re)introduce the team working for your professional service organization. We asked each team member to tell us what they like most about working at ACSO and what kind of music, classical or otherwise, is their favorite. 
  

Sarah Weber, Executive Director Some of you may know Sarah in her previous ACSO role as membership and development manager. She stepped into the executive director role in January and is excited to lead the organization into its 50th year and beyond. Sarah’s favorite thing about ACSO is the passion that our members bring to their work and the camaraderie and support they bring to each other. Sarah’s favorite classical composer is Vivaldi because his fiery red hair matches his music, making it the most fun to play.
  


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Up and Down the Scale: January through March 2019

We are excited to share the latest developments and changes in the professional lives of our members. This edition covers announcements made January through March 2019. If you want to share the administrative, board, or staff member happenings at your organization, send announcements to [email protected]

Individuals

Festival Mozaic named Jeri Corgill, a Festival Mozaic board member, as interim executive director. With a varied background in finance, public policy, city government, travel and tourism and nonprofit consulting, Corgill will lead Festival Mozaic until the board’s search for a permanent executive director is concluded.

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NEA Funds ACSO Organizational Members and Announces Upcoming Grant Deadlines

Eight ACSO Organizational Members have been awarded $275,000 in Art Works, Part 1 and Challenge America grants by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in the first round of major grant funding in the 2019 fiscal year. Direct grants from the NEA are a crucial form of support for many community-based arts organizations, enabling grantees to leverage additional financial support from state, local, and private sources.

Art Works Grant, Part 1

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Kris Sinclair Leadership Award Applications Due March 8

The Kris Sinclair Leadership Award is given to an ACSO Organizational Member that demonstrates recent successful 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.

This $5,000 award is made possible by the Kris Sinclair Fund for Professional Development, consisting of contributions made in Kris Sinclair's name to support professional development and technical assistance offered by the ACSO. Sinclair was the executive director of the Association for 31 years and provided members with technical assistance, professional development opportunities, and consultation on a myriad of orchestra management topics.

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April is Officially Arts, Culture, and Creativity Advocacy Month in California

Californians for the Arts has announced that starting in 2019, April will officially be Arts, Culture and Creativity Month in the state of California and April 23 will be Advocacy Day in Sacramento. ACSO joins with our arts partners around the state in supporting these efforts. 

Visit Californians for the Arts' website to learn more about what we are advocating for and how you can get involved. One of the best ways to make the case for supporting the arts is to share your Arts Impact Stories. Submissions will help bring public awareness of the importance of the arts; to ensure that the arts are an ongoing part of the public dialogue; and to encourage Californians to care about the arts as a critical component of their own lives and the lives of their communities.

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