Volunteer Notes June 2008

The newsletter for Orchestra Volunteers


The Newsletter for
Symphony Orchestra Volunteers

June 2008

 

STAND TOGETHER TO SUPPORT THE ARTS

COME FIND INSPIRATION IN DENVER AND COLORADO

ARE YOU READY TO TAKE ACTION TOGETHER?

CONFERENCE SESSIONS FOR VOLUNTEERS

GOLD BOOK ONLINE AWARDS

GOOD TO GREAT

VOLUNTEER COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP

LET US HEAR FROM YOU

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VOLUNTEER NOTES is published bi-monthly by the Volunteer Council of the League of American Orchestras, the nonprofit service and educational organization dedicated to the development of American symphony orchestras and to the cultural vitality of the
communities they serve.
 
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NEED A MENTOR? Volunteer Sustainers Can Help

LET’S TALK! Volunteer Discussion Groups

GOLD BOOK ONLINE -- The resource for volunteer projects

STAND TOGETHER TO SUPPORT THE ARTS

Penny Van Horn
Penny Van Horn

I hope that you’re planning to join us in Denver this June for the League’s 63rd annual Conference, a part of the National Performing Arts Convention (NPAC). NPAC is the perfect opportunity to learn from experts, hone your skills, network, and share ideas with other volunteer leaders. You’ll be revitalized, find inspiration, and have a chance to use your voice to make a difference as we help set the national arts agenda. This is a unique opportunity for arts volunteers to come together and determine what actions we think the arts community needs to take. I look forward to sharing this exciting time with you as we take action together. 

See you in Denver! 

Penny Van Horn
Volunteer Council President

COME FIND INSPIRATION IN DENVER AND COLORADO
The beautiful Denver skyline

The beautiful Denver skyline

The Colorado Symphony Guild members are delighted to host the nation’s arts community in the Mile High City. We want you to experience our Colorado Symphony Orchestra’s talented musicians and two-hundred-voice volunteer chorus, not to mention everything else that makes Denver the “Arts Town” of the future.  

The Denver community is proud to be alive with arts and culture. In your spare time be sure to check out the Denver Art Museum, Museum of Nature and Science, Phipps IMAX Theater, Colorado Rockies baseball team, and many other exciting entertainment options. Downtown Denver features our Boettcher Concert Hall, the Ellie Opera House, and the Buell Theatre for professional traveling groups. Whatever your interests, you are in for a lot of fun in Denver! 

Why not stay a few extra days? Take advantage of majestic mountains and beautiful National Parks. You might see a marmot, or a mountain goat, eagles, or dinosaur tracks on Dinosaur Ridge. Have you ever visited a ghost town? Why not explore a little bit with your new friends from the Arts Convention?  

Come and enjoy our beauty through music and nature, and Welcome to Colorado!  

Floy-Louise Senior
Colorado Symphony Guild President

ARE YOU READY TO TAKE ACTION TOGETHER?

Volunteers network and discuss award-winning projects at the League's conference in 2007.

Volunteers network and discuss award-winning projects at the League's conference in 2007.

What you will get from NPAC: 

Are you ready to find inspiration?
Are you ready to learn and share?
Are you ready to make your voice heard?
Are you ready to connect and build new partnerships?
Are you ready to help make a difference in the future of the arts organizations? 

Volunteer-specific programs are scheduled every morning, but we are also very excited about the plenary sessions and AmericaSpeaks caucus meetings. This is your opportunity to speak up for all arts volunteers. By participating in the AmericaSpeaks sessions, you can be part of shaping the national arts agenda—ensuring relevance and strength as we move into the future. Each morning, before you gather in your AmericaSpeaks caucus groups of 10-12 individuals from various arts affiliations, we will provide the opportunity to meet in teams of volunteers to discuss your experiences.

Our volunteer sessions will focus on empowering you to facilitate change in your organization. In these sessions you will learn how you can meet the challenges of recruiting and retaining members, build strong partnerships with orchestra staff, and learn how to deal with the changing climate of fundraising.  

Things to keep in mind…

Weather: Temperature in Denver in June ranges from low 50’s to low 80’s. The weather is very unpredictable. Days may be warm, but evenings are cool, and meeting rooms can get even cooler. Afternoon showers are not uncommon. And, being at an altitude of 5,280 ft., don’t forget to drink plenty of water! 

Around Town: The heart of downtown Denver is the 16th Street Mall. Lined with trees and flowers, it is a colorful pedestrian promenade with outdoor cafes, shops, and entertainment centers. Free shuttle buses run along the mall frequently. The Performing Arts Complex is the second largest in the nation and is located on 14th Street, just a few blocks from the Convention Center. Denver is safe during the day for walking alone, but like any large city, it’s best to walk in groups at night and hold on to the handbags and don’t flaunt jewelry. 

Click here for tons of suggestions on Eating, Shopping, Attractions and even Day Trips in Denver!

What to Bring:
  • Shawls or light jackets for evenings and cool meeting rooms
  • Business casual attire
  • An umbrella
  • Comfortable walking shoes—our meetings are in the hotel and the Convention Center across the street
  • Sunscreen
  • Business cards for networking contacts
 Getting to and from the airport:

Taxis are expensive, about $50. Super Shuttle and other airport shuttles are about $20 and readily available outside the baggage claim area. For a Super Shuttle Discount Coupon, click here. If you are traveling at a popular time, it could take as long as an hour and a half to check your bags and go through security—make sure you leave plenty of extra time for your trip home.

Sandra Leister
Volunteer Council Conference Chair

CONFERENCE SESSIONS FOR VOLUNTEERS
Volunteers discuss fundraising at the League's conference in 2007.

Volunteers discuss fundraising at the League's conference in 2007.

You won’t want to miss the sessions just for symphony volunteers at NPAC this year! In our volunteer sessions, we have the opportunity to delve into how you as a volunteer can strengthen and engage your volunteer organization. Our volunteer sessions will give you practical tools to achieve optimal outcomes.  

We will begin with a session featuring Colorado Symphony Executive Director Doug Adams, discussing volunteer-staff relationships. What can you do to strengthen the bond between volunteers and staff at your orchestra?

Throughout the days of Conference you will network with other volunteers, share information and experiences, and push each other to think creatively and exceed your past successes.  

Other sessions will focus on strategic planning, fundraising, volunteer recruitment and retention, working with diverse volunteers, generational differences in volunteerism, leadership, and facilitating change in your organization.  

If you are a President or President-Elect of your volunteer organization, plan to attend the session on leadership and effective organizational management styles. Take home tips, tools, and relevant information to help you create a year of efficient and effective processes.  

Be there! It is an experience not to miss! 

Laura Street
Volunteer Council Conference Program Chair

GOLD BOOK ONLINE AWARDS

On Friday June 13, our award-winning projects will be presented along with discussions and Q&A opportunities. We can’t wait for you to see these top-notch volunteer initiated projects in a new and exciting format. Ten projects will be presented at this year’s conference—four presented in a panel discussion and six presented individually. 

You won’t want to miss the opportunity to ask our Gold Book Online Award winners about their projects on everything from fundraising to unique collaboration projects. Following the award presentations there will be a cocktail reception honoring award-winning volunteer organizations from Fort Collins, CO, Santa Fe, NM, Boulder, CO, Richmond, VA, Los Angeles, CA, Milwaukee, WI, Ft. Wayne, IN, Tyler, TX, Greenville, SC, and Cedar City, UT. Congratulations to all of the winners! 

Click here for the Gold Book Online.

Grace Seitz
Volunteer Council Awards Co-Chair

GOOD TO GREAT

Jim Collins
Jim Collins

Are you, as a volunteer leader, looking for the tools to make your organization more successful?  

In his book Good to Great, author Jim Collins identifies companies that have made the leap to greatness and sustained successes. Drawing from his team’s research, Mr. Collins focuses on the factors that determine why some companies become great and others simply don’t.  

In his follow-up monograph Good to Great and the Social Sectors, Mr. Collins applies his theories to non-profit organizations such as our orchestras and volunteer associations. Mr. Collins maintains that the principles that truly make a business great can be applied to non-profits, thus making them far more successful. In the non-profit world, progress is measured differently—specifically, in a more qualitative manner than in corporate America. “A great organization is one that delivers superior performance and makes a distinctive impact over a long period of time,” Mr. Collins reminds us. Using many examples from the non-profit world, he describes how greatness is measured by achieving goals rather than by financial returns. In both works he describes how the examination of mission, values, and goals can set the course for success and greatness.

Whether read alone or in conjunction with Good to Great, the Good to Great and the Social Sectors monograph is full of useful information to help us see our goals clearly. Mr. Collins has written a wonderful book for volunteer leaders who wish to make their organizations more effective. Click here to read selections from Good to Great and the Social Sectors. 

One of the most exciting opportunities at NPAC is the chance to hear Jim Collins present his groundbreaking theories in person, discussing the principles in his work and how they apply to our mission. 

Don’t miss it! 

Sandra Weingarten
Chairman, Website/Email Discussion

VOLUNTEER COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP

Volunteer Council members Susan Benesh and Ginger Kelley

Volunteer Council members Susan Benesh and Ginger Kelley

The Volunteer Council is made up of nationally recognized volunteers, community leaders who have demonstrated outstanding support for their orchestras and commitment to the goals of the League of American Orchestras.  

We are currently looking for nominations of individuals to serve on the Council beginning in June 2009. Volunteer Council nominees should be past presidents of volunteer associations who have shown exceptional commitment to orchestra volunteerism. We encourage representation from all orchestra sizes and from all geographic areas of the United States and Canada. 

If you have someone to nominate, please take a moment to ask a current Council member about this unique volunteer opportunity. Click here for a contact list of current Volunteer Council members. Members of the Council will also be available to speak with you during coffee breaks or between sessions at Conference. Have a cup of coffee and learn more about the VC! You can also find additional information by clicking here. Questions should be directed to KC Skolnik at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 646-822-4021. 

Jo Ellen Saylor
Volunteer Council Member Recruitment Chair

LET US HEAR FROM YOU

Janet Barb
Janet Barb

The goal of Volunteer Notes is to provide relevant and useful information to volunteer organizations across the United States and Canada. To better serve you, we would like to know what topics would be most helpful. Please tell us if you would like to read more skill-building topics, cross-country news, successful projects, or other subjects. Your input is important. As the Council editor of Volunteer Notes, I hope to hear your suggestions soon; please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Janet Barb
Volunteer Council, Volunteer Notes Editor
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