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ACSO Announces Slate of New Officers for 2022-23

During ACSO's Annual Meeting on Friday, September 7, 2022, ACSO members welcomed new board officers for 2022/23 and elected four renewing board members to another three-year term. Congratulations!

2022/23 BOARD OFFICERS


Elizabeth Shribman
President
Chief of Staff
San Francisco Symphony



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ACSO Celebrates National Arts & Humanities Month 2022 By Highlighting Our Members' October Concerts

National Arts & Humanitites Month logoACSO joins thousands of arts organizations and communities across the nation to recognize October as National Arts & Humanities Month (NAHM). NAHM is coordinated by Americans for the Arts, the national organization working to empower communities with the resources and support necessary to provide access to all of the arts for all of the people. It is a coast-to-coast collective recognition of the importance of art and culture in America during the month of October and was launched more than 30 years ago as National Arts Week in honor of the twentieth anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1993, it was reestablished by Americans for the Arts and national arts partners as a month-long celebration with goals of:

  • FOCUSING on equitable access to the arts at local, state, and national levels;
  • ENCOURAGING individuals, organizations, and diverse communities to participate in the arts;
  • ALLOWING governments and businesses to show their support of the arts; and
  • RAISING public awareness about the role the arts and humanities play in our communities and lives.

ACSO is participating by compiling and sharing the below list of our members' concerts throughout the month of October. We are thrilled to share a wide variety of concerts and events happening this month from ensembles of all sizes. Scroll down to find a concert near you!

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ACSO Announces 2022 Awards Recipients

The Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Executive Leadership Award, Emerging Professional Award, and Most Valuable Player (MVP) Volunteer Awards. ACSO’s annual awards program recognizes remarkable individuals within ACSO’s membership network for their meaningful contributions to the orchestra field.

Executive Leadership Award: Jenny Darlington-Person, Executive Director, Music in the Mountains
Emerging Professional Award: Tiffany Fajardo, Patron Services Manager, Berkeley Symphony
MVP Volunteer Award: Michele "Mikki" Andina, Santa Barbara Symphony
MVP Volunteer Award: Mary Jane Cooper, Santa Barbara Symphony
MVP Volunteer Award: Mary Eichbauer, Vallejo Symphony
MVP Volunteer Award: Lloyd Garrison, San Bernardino Symphony
MVP Volunteer Award: Janet Garufis, Santa Barbara Symphony
MVP Volunteer Award: Nancy Israel, New West Symphony
MVP Volunteer Award: Nancy McAleer Golden, Santa Barbara Symphony
MVP Volunteer Award: Renee Rymer, Marin Symphony
MVP Volunteer Award: Marilyn Solter, Redlands Symphony










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Up & Down the Scale: January through June 2022

We are excited to share the latest developments and changes in the professional lives of our members. This edition of Up and Down the Scale covers orchestra administrative announcements made from January through June 2022. If you want to share the administrative, board, or staff member happenings at your organization, send announcements to [email protected] or add us to your PR lists.

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ACSO Annual Festivals Guide 2022: CA and NV are Alive with Summer Festivals

Music festivals are live and in-person in 2022! Artists from all over the world are coming California and Nevada to experience a unique blend of music-making, camaraderie, and fun. The Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) is pleased to share this summer's live offerings from our festival members, highlighting a vital and vibrant way for artists and audiences alike to deeply engage in classical music in picturesque, unique communities.

No two festivals are exactly alike, yet each share one common thread: a love and respect for composers, musicians, and the communities in which they are rooted. There are many opportunities to experience world-class performances and connect with the artists who bring these great works of art to life.

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NEA Announces $500,000 in Federal Relief Grants to 6 ACSO Members

The National Endowment for the Arts announced on Thursday, January 27 the American Rescue Plan (ARP) recommended awards totaling $57,750,000 to 567 arts organizations to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic. The organizations may use this funding to save jobs, fund operations and facilities, health and safety supplies, and marketing and promotional efforts to encourage attendance and participation. Of the 567 recipients of these grants, 6 ACSO members received grants totaling $500,000.

“Our nation’s arts sector has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Endowment for the Arts’ American Rescue Plan funding will help arts organizations rebuild and reopen,” said Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, chair of the NEA. “The arts are crucial to helping America’s communities heal, unite, and inspire as well as essential to our nation’s economic recovery.” 

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Up and Down the Scale: September through December 2021

We are excited to share the latest developments and changes in the professional lives of our members. This edition of Up and Down the Scale covers announcements made September through December 2021. 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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NEA Announces $195,000 in Grants to 5 ACSO Members

For its first major grant announcement of fiscal year 2022, the National Endowment for the Arts recommended more than $33 million in project funding to arts organizations nationwide. Five ACSO members have been selected for these grants, totaling $195,000 in funding (see below). For the full announcement from the NEA, please click here.

“These National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grants underscore the resilience of our nation’s artists and arts organizations, will support efforts to provide access to the arts, and rebuild the creative economy,” said NEA Acting Chair Ann Eilers. “The supported projects demonstrate how the arts are a source of strength and well-being for communities and individuals, and can open doors to conversations that address complex issues of our time.”

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ACSO Guest Blog - Betting Big: How Calculated Risks Paid Off For The Sequoia Symphony

 By Joshua Banda, Executive Director, Sequoia Symphony

I’m a risk-taker by nature. I tend to take calculated risks and, when I really believe in something, I like to “bet big.” So, just like everyone else in our field, when the pandemic forced the Sequoia Symphony  to shut our doors and we couldn’t count on ticket income in 2020, we were faced with the question of what to do. Do we just save the money we have left and wait it out (hoping that the funds in our bank account and grants would be enough)? Or do we adapt and make a plan to spend the money we have on a new kind of programming that has the potential to help us meet our budgetary needs during these unprecedented times and into the future?

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ACSO Celebrates National Arts & Humanities Month By Highlighting Our Members' October Concerts

National Arts & Humanitites Month logoACSO joins thousands of arts organizations and communities across the nation to recognize October as National Arts & Humanities Month (NAHM). NAHM is coordinated by Americans for the Arts, the national organization working to empower communities with the resources and support necessary to provide access to all of the arts for all of the people. It is a coast-to-coast collective recognition of the importance of art and culture in America during the month of October and was launched more than 30 years ago as National Arts Week in honor of the twentieth anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1993, it was reestablished by Americans for the Arts and national arts partners as a month-long celebration with goals of:

  • FOCUSING on equitable access to the arts at local, state, and national levels;
  • ENCOURAGING individuals, organizations, and diverse communities to participate in the arts;
  • ALLOWING governments and businesses to show their support of the arts; and
  • RAISING public awareness about the role the arts and humanities play in our communities and lives.

ACSO is participating by compiling and sharing the below list of our members' in-person and virtual concerts throughout the month of October. We are thrilled to see a safe return to live music with a wide variety of concerts and events happening this month from ensembles of all sizes. Scroll down to find a concert near you!

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Revisit Michael Morgan's Closing Plenary Talk from the 2021 Annual Conference

On August 6, the final day of 2021 Annual Conference Conference, Oakland Symphony's executive director, Mieko Hatano, and music director, Michael Morgan, reflected together on the challenges of the past year for the orchestra sector. They recognized the ways California orchestras worked to innovate and continued to bring music to their communities during the pandemic and discussed how the world has changed for orchestras and how we can rise to meet those changes head-on and be more mission-centered and relevant in the years ahead.

 

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Up and Down the Scale: May through August 2021

We are excited to share the latest developments and changes in the professional lives of our members. This edition covers announcements made May through August 2021. If you want to share the administrative, board, or staff member happenings at your organization, send announcements to [email protected]

Individuals

Michelle Baldonado has concluded her time as Board President with the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra.

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New ACSO Leadership Elected for 2021/22

During ACSO's Annual Meeting on Friday, August 6, 2021, ACSO members elected six new board members, renewed five board members, welcomed new officers for 2021/22, and said thank you to several outgoing board members.

2021/22 board officers

Alice Sauro, President
Executive Director
Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera





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ACSO Announces 2021 Award Recipients

The Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 Kris Sinclair Leadership Award, Executive Leadership Award, Emerging Professional Award, and Most Valuable Player (MVP) Volunteer Awards. ACSO’s annual awards program recognizes remarkable individuals and organizations within ACSO’s membership network for their meaningful contributions to the orchestra field.

Kris Sinclair Leadership Award: Sequoia Symphony Orchestra
Executive Leadership Award: Julia Copeland, Executive Director, Youth Orchestras of Fresno
Emerging Professional Award: Virginia Evans, Operations Manager, Reno Philharmonic
MVP Volunteer Award: Terry Brown, Founder and Board Chair, Music in the Mountains
MVP Volunteer Award: Linda Burroughs, Board President, Santa Cruz Symphony
MVP Volunteer Award: Dee Lacy, Board President, Youth Orchestras of Fresno
MVP Volunteer Award: Leslie Lassiter, Board Chair, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
MVP Volunteer Award: George Lucas, Chair of the Performing Arts Docent Tours, San Francisco Symphony
MVP Volunteer Award: Charles Schimmel, Treasurer and CFO, Monterey Symphony
MVP Volunteer Award: Paradise Symphony Society Board of Directors
MVP Volunteer Award: San Bernardino Symphony Music in the Schools Committee









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NEA Announces $136,000 in Grants to ACSO and 8 ACSO Members

For its second major grant announcement of fiscal year 2021, the National Endowment for the Arts announces more than $88 million in recommended grants to organizations in all 50 states and jurisdictions. Grants to organizations in three funding categories are included in this round: Grants for Arts Projects, Our Town, and State and Regional Partnerships. Eight organizational members of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO), as well as ACSO itself, have been awarded funds totaling $136,000 (see below). For the full announcement from the NEA, please click here.

“As the country and the arts sector begin to imagine returning to a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to announce funding that will help arts organizations reengage fully with partners and audiences,” said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “While the arts, whether through books, movies, or online performances and programs, have been a sustaining force for many throughout the pandemic, the chance to gather with one another and share arts experiences is its own necessity and pleasure.” 

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Up and Down the Scale: January through April 2021

We are excited to share the latest developments and changes in the professional lives of our members. This edition covers announcements made January through April 2021. If you want to share the administrative, board, or staff member happenings at your organization, send announcements to [email protected].

The American Youth Symphony has pledged that 50 percent or more of new music performed by the orchestra will be the work of female composers.

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NEA Awards $70,000 in Grants to ACSO and 4 ACSO Members

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced over $84 million through 1,144 grants nationwide in the second round of its regular grant-making in fiscal year 2020.

Four ACSO organizational members as well as ACSO itself were awarded grants in the Art Works category, the NEA’s largest funding category that supports projects in 13 artistic disciplines and fields ranging from arts education to visual arts to music.

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Enjoy and Learn From These Exciting Virtual Programs

During this period of stay-at-home, ACSO's organizational members have been creating inspiring and entertaining content. In just a few months, many creative and unique virtual programs have taken shape. Our members are making sure that classical music is thriving and available for their communities even when live performance is put on pause. ACSO's own Ben Kutner and Anthony Crespo have put together our first Virtual Content Roundup - a showcase of just some of the exciting virtual content created by our members. Watch, learn, and explore these digital offerings - and maybe even get a few ideas for your own virtual programs!

1. Facebook Live Conductor and Artist Interview - Las Vegas Philharmonic & California Symphony
Donato Cabrera, Music Director of the California Symphony and Las Vegas Philharmonic, hosts a weekly Facebook Live series titled “MusicWise – Conversations about Arts & Culture with Donato Cabrera.” He hosts interviews with engaged artists and civic leaders who influence and shape our cultural landscape, discussing their career and background, showcasing their favorite performances and recordings, and asking questions from the Facebook Live audience. Check out this MusicWise episode with violist Gerhard Marschner. 

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ACSO and 25 of Our Members Receive Over $500,000 in California Arts Council Grants

The California Arts Council has invested a record $30 million in arts funding for 2019/2020, and it will fund more than 1,500 grants in support of strengthening California’s arts sector. Awarded project designs span the whole of the arts and cultural fields, with funding offered in 15 unique grant program areas. See the full announcement here.

ACSO and 25 of its members have received grants in six categories totaling more than $500,000 for their incredible projects. See the grant category and award amount breakout below. Congratulations to American Youth Symphony, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, California Chamber Orchestra, California Symphony Orchestra, Colburn School, Fresno Philharmonic, Long Beach Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Youth Orchestra, Mill Valley Philharmonic, Music in the Mountains, Napa Valley Youth Symphony, Orchestra Collective of Orange County, Pacific Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, Redlands Symphony, Sacramento Master Singers, San Bernardino Symphony, San Diego Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony, Vallejo Symphony, and Youth Orchestras of Fresno!

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Coronavirus Resources

The ACSO board and staff send support and sympathy to all our members who have cancelled or postponed concerts and other programming. As COVID-19 continues to spread, orchestras and musicians are anticipating financial loss. We join the League of America Orchestras in urging our members to tell Congress that orchestras and musicians need access to federal COVID-19 economic relief! 

March 14, 2020: Paid Leave Provisions Included in Bipartisan Federal COVID-19 Relief Package

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