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Online Learning

ACSO is committed to presenting distance education and virtual professional development and networking opportunities for members that are not always able to travel to conference or in-person programs.

Do you have an idea for a future online learning topic, speaker, or format? Submit your idea to [email protected]. Topics, dates, and speakers are subject to change.

Virtual Peer Forums

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges for orchestras and classical music ensembles as the known has become unknown and we are all transitioning the ways we do our jobs. You don't have to navigate this change alone. ACSO invites you to participate in a Virtual Peer Forum.

Virtual Peer Forums are peer-to-peer conversations designed to allow you to connect with your counterparts at other orchestras and ensembles in the ACSO membership network. This is a space to discuss working during times of transition, to exchange ideas, to ask questions, and to share practices that have worked well (or not) for you and your organization. Most importantly, it is an opportunity to strengthen your professional networks and find colleagues to rely on for support.

Free for members and non-members. Registration is required (20 participants max); please limit your participation to one peer forum.

There are currently no Virtual Peer Forums scheduled.

Ask an Expert Webinars

ACSO webinars are 60-to-90-minute online workshops covering an array of topics from fundraising to development to governance. Webinars are free to members and $25 to not-yet-members. 

Mark your calendars for these webinars coming up in our "Ask an Expert" series. 

Thursday, November 5, 11 am - 12 pm PT
Developing Your Orchestra's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement
Presenter: Diane Burbie, Managing Principal, The Aspire Group

Many organizations are examining and prioritizing their commitment to racial equity. One of the first steps in this process it to develop a diversity, equity, and inclusion statement. Funders are also increasingly requesting that a statement be provided in grant applications. But it can be challenging to know where to begin if your organization is new to this work. This webinar will provide a framework for creating a DEI Statement that:

  • Tells the story of your organization’s journey, including lessons learned and evolution of your work.
  • Conveys why your organization engages in intentional efforts related to diversity, equity and/or inclusion - and sets forth a paradigm in which your work is grounded (cultural equity, racial equity, or social equity)
  • Describes the value your organization believes comes from diversity, equity and/or inclusion as it relates to the art produced, artists employed, audiences engaged, communities served, etc.
  • Articulates how you demonstrate your commitment (past, present & future)

About the Presenter: Diane brings a keen understanding of differing perspectives among group members and a wide variety of stakeholders. She is particularly effective in engaging group members who are less seasoned or grassroots – ensuring not only their participation, but also increasing their confidence and skill as valuable contributors to the task at hand. She has served in appointed civic roles, as lead consultant to large community engagement initiatives for municipalities, counties, and California State. Her expertise has been used conduct community needs assessments, organizational audits, and revisions to funding guidelines, with intentional integration of equity principles, and provision of recommendations for further advancements. Additionally, Diane brings great experience working with funding and capacity building foundations/organizations. She has been actively engaged for the past 5 years in exploration of how funding organizations can be catalytic to advancing equity in their sectors.



Tuesday, November 17, 11 am - 12 pm PT

How to Ask for $ in Tough Times: 12 Tactics in 36 Minutes
Presenter: Matt Lehrman, Co-Founder, Social Prosperity Partners

In the face of prolonged disruption and uncertainty, how can nonprofits ask donors for support in ways that are highly compelling yet incredibly sensitive? This webinar delivers an instructive collection of ideas and practices to help nonprofit leaders immediately seek and secure the contributions upon which their organizations depend.

Topics include:
• The Sacred Virtue of Stewardship
• How to Prioritize Donor Prospects
• The First 4 Questions to Ask Your Donors
• What Donors Expect Right Now
• Best Use of Matching & Challenge Grants
• Unconventional Partnerships
• Don't Just Ask, Ask for More

About the presenter: The co-founder of Social Prosperity Partners, Matt Lehrman is an expert on customer, donor, audience, and stakeholder engagement. More info at: www.MattLehrman.com.


Thursday, November 19, 3-4 pm PT

Media Training for the Arts
Presenter: Gaynell Rogers, Founder, Treehouse Global Ventures

Stand up for the arts, cultural, and entertainment sector and join a statewide call-to-action for support. We need your voice! Californians for the Arts, the Association of California Symphony Orchestras, California Presenters, the California Association of Museums, and other statewide advocacy organizations are co-hosting a statewide publicity campaign the week of December 7th to raise awareness about the dire financial needs of our sector and how the arts can be a part of the solution to California’s recovery. The majority of California’s arts and cultural organizations have been closed for eight months and many are facing existential threats. A toolkit will be available soon to help you to reach out to your local press, write an op-ed, meet with elected officials, and post on social media. Now is the time to articulate the need collectively.

About the webinar:
Media training is a specialized form of communications training that helps media-facing individuals to anticipate reporter behavior, avoid common traps, and confidently focus on their messaging. In the arts we have to use carefully developed language that defines thought and has clear emotional pull. We carefully craft and prepare meaningful messages that matter. Citing data, real world statistics and monetary value we will want to clearly demonstrate the true value of all arts for people and their communities. The arts clearly are ‘essential’ to all humans and are proven to benefit their wellbeing. A tool kit including how to prepare for an interview, how to pitch and when, sample media releases, how to do due diligence on the journalist and the media outlet & why that matters, as well as tone of voice, body language and virtual tool kit tips will be presented.



Questions? Contact us at [email protected].

On Demand Webinars
Members have access to an archive of past webinars.

Click Here to Access the Archive