Ask an Expert Webinars

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

Need help registering? Email [email protected].


Acso virtual workshop series: principles of dei work in orchestra settings

Wednesday, April 6, 2022, 9:30 AM - 12 PM PT
Wednesday, April 13, 2022, 9:30 AM - 12 PM PT

$75 for ACSO Members; $100 for not-yet-members (fee covers both workshops)* 

(One (1) attendee per registration. Please do not share a computer communally to attend as a group as there may be breakout groups. One person per computer.)

Join ACSO and DEI Consultant, Jessica Schmidt from Orchestrate Inclusion, for a two-part virtual workshop designed specifically for paid or volunteer administrators from orchestras of any budget size.

The two sequential sessions of this workshop series will focus on developing initial understanding of DEI terminology and concepts. Participants will leave these sessions with a baseline of understanding that can serve as the foundation of continued learning. They will explore how power and advantage can be applied to advance DEI efforts at their orchestras and be given additional learning resources that will launch further personal exploration following the workshops. Session topics will include DEI language, identity, power dynamics, privilege, oppression, and more. Source materials and authors will be referenced throughout the workshop series, offering resources for continued personal exploration following the series.

Learning objectives for the workshop include:

  • Creating facilitated presentational and conversational space for DEI topics to be explored
  • Building a common, baseline understanding of DEI terminology
  • Building personal and professional connection to DEI topics amongst internal stakeholders
  • Building increased internal competency for work with external contacts/partners
  • Building a shared DEI lens for current and future consideration of internal systems and practices
  • Building dedicated “practice space” for empathy-based thinking and action through a DEI lens

*Please note that while individuals from all experiences are welcome, these workshops are especially designed for orchestra administrators (paid and volunteer) who are at the start of their personal and organizational DEI journeys. The workshops are sequential and content from session one will inform session two. As such, and with the intent of building a learning community, we request that attendees commit to attending both sessions. These workshops will not be recorded or distributed with the intent of honoring the unique conversation and participation of each session.

Jessica Schmidt (she, her)
As an arts administrator and consultant, Jessica holds special interest in amplifying the power of arts and culture to catalyze positive social change, connect individuals across a wide array of lived experiences, and draw focus to the existing strengths of communities. She supports arts and culture organizations in their exploration, understanding, strategy development and implementation of “DEI” (diversity, equity and inclusion) access, belonging and/or justice work. Jessica is passionate about building individual and organizational capacity to recognize and utilize power and advantage to reimagine the way arts organizations exist.

From 2012-2017, Jessica served as Director of Education and Community Engagement at the Boston Symphony Orchestra, providing internal and external leadership for BSO education and community engagement programs. Since January of 2016, she has offered consulting services via Orchestrate Inclusion ( Prior to arriving in Boston, Jessica was the Senior Director of Community Programs at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Education Coordinator at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Jessica received an MA in Arts Administration and an MBA from Southern Methodist University and completed her undergraduate education at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN where she studied horn performance and political science. Read her full bio here.