ACSO News Blog

Up & Down the Scale: July through October 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 July through October 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 Guest Blog - An Adventure in Producing We Gather: Orchestra Santa Monica's First Film


An Adventure in Producing We Gather: Orchestra Santa Monica's First Film
By Cindy Bandel, President, Orchestra Santa Monica and Producer of "We Gather"

In retrospect, looking back at our film We Gather: Black Life in Santa Monica Told Through Music, Visuals, and Narrative and considering the countless steps and hurdles to produce it, I’d say that creating Orchestra Santa Monica’s (OSM) first film really was an epic journey. People have commented about its uniqueness and how they haven’t seen anything like this done before by an orchestra. I found a saying by actor Alan Alda that seems fitting, “Originality is unexplored territory. You get there by carrying a canoe – you can’t take a taxi.”

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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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11 ACSO Members Receive Almost $300,000 in California Arts Council Grants

On June 23, the California Arts Council (CAC) announced its first round (Cycle A) of grant awards for 2022, awarding more than $31.1 million across 1,172 grants in project and operational support for nonprofit organizations and units of government throughout the state of California. Cycle A's award marks the largest annual investment in the California Arts Council's 46-year history.

The decision, approved by the Council at its virtual public meeting on May 12, awarded grants across seven different program areas within Cycle A, focusing on the CAC’s efforts to address geographic equity, enable autonomy and sustainability for smaller organizations, and grow the strength of local arts agencies and their partnerships. See the full announcement here.

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CA Nonprofit Performing Arts Grant Program Opens July 13

The California Nonprofit Performing Arts Grant Program was created to provide grants to eligible nonprofit performing arts organizations (theater, dance, music, and other performance companies) to encourage workforce development. The Program includes $49.5M to be allocated in one or more rounds to eligible nonprofit performing arts organizations that meet certain criteria.

Grant moneys awarded under 
this Program shall only be
 used for the following:

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Advocacy Alert! Help Pass SB1116: The Performing Arts Equitable Payroll Fund

Our friends in the California theater community need our help. They have been working hard to pass SB1116 which establishes the Equitable Payroll Fund (EPF), a workforce development grant program designed to support Small Nonprofit Performing Arts Organizations (SNPAO) with budgets under $2M - and workers directly - by providing substantial reimbursements of payroll expenses. 

This program will support jobs for anyone hired as an employee by a SNPAO, including both production and non-production employees and administrative staff, not unlike the Payroll Protection Program and similar Federal and State relief efforts.

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NEA Announces $205,000 in Grants to 8 ACSO Members

On May 18, 2022, for its second major grant announcement of fiscal year 2022, the National Endowment for the Arts recommended more than $91 million in recommended grants to organizations in all 50 states and U.S. jurisdictions. Eight ACSO members have been selected for grants, totaling $205,000 in funding (see list below). For the full announcement from the NEA, please click here.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts and cultural organizations throughout the nation with these grants, providing opportunities for all of us to live artful lives,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “The arts contribute to our individual well-being, the well-being of our communities, and to our local economies. The arts are also crucial to helping us make sense of our circumstances from different perspectives as we emerge from the pandemic and plan for a shared new normal informed by our examined experience.”

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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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If We Do One Thing During ACCM 2022, Let's Ask for $1 for the Arts

By Sarah Weber, ACSO Executive Director

Do you know that April was officially recognized by the California State Senate as Arts, Culture, and Creativity Month (ACCM) in 2019? Yes, we who work in orchestras and the performing arts can take the month of April to be extra loud and proud about how much our work matters to the diverse identities and well-being of our state and to share the heroic efforts we have gone to over the past few years (and are still going through) to keep making music as an act of service for and collaboration with our communities.

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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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Thank You to our 2020/2021 Donors!

As 2021 comes to a close, it is a time to pause and reflect on the challenges and wonderful changes that have happened to our industry this year, not least of which is that orchestras are once again performing live and creating music for their communities.

Here at ACSO, we are so proud of the services and support we have provided to orchestras, and we could not have done it with out our generous funders, sponsors, and donors who believe in our mission and work.

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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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