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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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ACSO and 6 of Our Members Receive Nearly $230,000 in California Arts Council Grants

On September 14, the California Arts Council (CAC) announced a revision to its previous grant award announcement for 2021, awarding more than $11.4 million across an additional 484 grants in project and operational support for nonprofit organizations and units of government throughout the state of California. The update more than doubles the original number of grants awarded, from 441 to 925, and nearly doubles its original award allocation for its first five programs for the 2020-21 fiscal year to $24,490,261.

The decision, approved by the Council at its meeting on August 25, was made in direct response to the arts and cultural field’s ongoing need for support amid the continuing economic threat spawned by the COVID-19 global health crisis. The CAC said its revised allocations accomplish a number of critical goals for the Council: funding hundreds of organizations with strong applications that originally went unfunded; significantly prioritizing funding for small, economically vulnerable organizations; increasing support for BIPOC-led and BIPOC-serving organizations; and protecting the diversity of the arts ecosystem across the state. See the full announcement here.

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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 Members Share Their "Coming Together, Breaking Through" Stories

Leading up to the ACSO 2021 Annual Conference Online, we asked members to share their "Coming Together, Breaking Through" stories about how their orchestras brought people together to find support, healing, and inspiration during the global pandemic. 

We compiled written and video responses submitted by ACSO members from All Seasons Orchestra, Folsom Lake Symphony, Mainly Mozart, Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera, and San Diego Youth Symphony. Their answers truly depict the dedication to providing music and connection for their communities. Read and enjoy!

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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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ACSO Annual Festivals Guide: Music Festivals Return to Live Performance in California and Nevada

Festival season has returned in 2021! As vaccination rates continue to climb and COVID cases continue to fall, our festival members are getting back to work producing safe live events in beautiful places. From June into the fall months, the western United States is once again alive with festivals. Artists from all over the world are coming back to picturesque California and Nevada communities to experience a unique blend of music-making, camaraderie, and fun. The Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) is pleased to announce 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.

No two 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 $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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Lead By Example: A Call for ACSO Board Candidates

If you are a member of ACSO (as an individual or as part of your organization's membership), this is a call for you to directly participate in shaping the field by serving on ACSO’s Board of Directors.

ACSO looks to broaden our board representation by inviting new prospects who reflect our diverse and robust member network. We want to uncover passionate individuals at all career levels who could lend their talents, expertise, and unique viewpoints to ACSO’s Board over the next few years.

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ACSO Members Receive $265,000 in February 2021 NEA Grants

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced $27.5 million in grants as part of its first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2021.

“Grants from the NEA support ACSO's vision of a California classical music landscape that is vibrant, healthy, diverse, and connected to the communities it serves. Especially in challenging times, the NEA is truly the lifeblood of the arts in our country,” said ACSO Executive Director Sarah Weber.

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Up and Down the Scale: October 2020 through January 2021

We are excited to share some of the latest developments and changes in the professional lives of our members. This edition covers announcements made October 2020 through January 2021. If you want to share the administrative, board, or staff member happenings at your organization, send announcements or press releases to [email protected]

INDIVIDUALS
Brynn Albanese stepped down as the Concertmaster of the San Luis Obispo Symphony. Associate Concertmaster Emily Lanzone will replace her in the role.

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Leading During Uncertain Times: Words of Wisdom from ACSO's 2020 Award Winners

This past September, the Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) announced the 2020 winners of the inaugural Executive Leadership Award, the inaugural Emerging Professional Award, the fourth Kris Sinclair Leadership Award, and the 24th Most Valuable Player (MVP) Volunteer Awards.

As a turbulent year comes to a close, and as we are still navigating the challenges brought on by a global pandemic and engaging in social and cultural changes to promote equity in our field, we asked our award winners to reflect on and answer the question: How do you lead during uncertain times?

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#RestartArtsCA Awareness Campaign Toolkit Now Available for Download

We are pleased to announce that the toolkit for the Statewide Arts Awareness Campaign - #RestartArtsCA - taking place the week of December 7, is now live and available for you to download here.

ABOUT THE TOOLKIT
This toolkit contains sample press release, talking points, social media posts and graphics for you to use for the first phase of the #RestartArtsCA campaign, which is focused on storytelling and data as a means to drive home the necessity of obtaining state guidelines to reopen the arts and culture sector. Please share the content you see in this toolkit with your networks on social media channels, and feel free to adapt it to your particular voice, to spread awareness about the #ReStartArtsCA campaign.

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Thank You to Our 2019/20 Donors!

This is the season when we take time to pause, reflect, and give thanks. And here at ACSO we are thankful for our generous funders, sponsors, and donors who have supported us during an extraordinary and turbulent year.

Thank you to all these wonderful individuals and organizations that have donated to and supported ACSO’s mission and programs.* Your generosity has allowed us to do our work to provide leadership and resources to classical music advocates and organizations.

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ACSO Celebrates October as National Arts & Humanities Month & Invites Members to Post Their Virtual Events

ACSO joins thousands of arts organizations and communities across the nation to recognize October as National Arts and 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:

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ACSO Announces 2020 Award Recipients

The Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) is pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural Executive Leadership Award, the inaugural Emerging Professional Awards, the fourth Kris Sinclair Leadership Award, and the 24th 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: Auburn Symphony
Executive Leadership Award: Stephen Wilson, President & CEO, Fresno Philharmonic
Emerging Professional Award: Tara Aesquivel, Executive Director, American Youth Symphony
Emerging Professional Award: Connor Bogenreif, Manager of Operations & Education, Long Beach Symphony
MVP Volunteer Award: Dr. Jay Fiene, Board of Directors, San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra
MVP Volunteer Award: Mary Ann Orr, Board of Directors and League Member, Santa Cruz Symphony





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New ACSO Leadership Elected for 2020/21

At ACSO's Annual Meeting held at the 2020 Annual Conference Online on August 14, ACSO members elected five new board members and re-elected two renewing board members, welcomed new officers for 2020/21, and said farewell and thank you to several outgoing board members.

BOARD Officers for 2020/2021

Alice Sauro, President
Executive Director
Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera


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NEA Awards CARES Act Grants to 10 ACSO Member Orchestras

On July 1, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced federal grants of $50,000 each to support personnel and facilities costs for 63 orchestras nationwide, including 10 orchestras in the ACSO membership network, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Congress designated $75 million of funding for the NEA to administer within the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020.

The Endowment's grant announcement describes the broad distribution of awards among small, medium, and large organizations, and across locations that are urban, rural, and in-between. Out of more than 3,100 eligible applications, available funding supports 855 grants. "All of us at the National Endowment for the Arts are keenly aware that arts organizations across the country are hurting, struggling, and trying to survive and that our supply of funding does not come close to meeting the demand for assistance," said Arts Endowment Chairman Mary Anne Carter. "That said, I am enormously proud of the over-and-above efforts of the Arts Endowment staff to swiftly and professionally manage such a large amount of additional work in a relatively short period of time on behalf of the American public."

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