Home

Uncategorised

Town Hall Meeting - Free Event in Cleveland!

Join the conversation and identify key issues and opportunities for the field at our upcoming Town Hall Meeting, November 6, 2014 at Severance Hall in Cleveland, OH! Registration is free, but you must RSVP by October 28.

Building an Effective Fundraising Board

Register now for the League's upcoming seminar, Building an Effective Fundraising Board, taking place November 6, 2014 at Severance Hall in Cleveland, OH!

Building Arts Audiences

Learn about new methods for audience engagement from a distinguished panel of arts experts, and hear about a new $40 million dollar initiative from the Wallace Foundation!

Community Impact and Engagement: Orchestra Story Bank

This story bank is a resource to show the many ways in which orchestras serve communities, providing the first-hand perspective of musicians, families, and care-takers.

Through the power of music, collaboration, and collective action, orchestras serve the public in many ways. Just as the needs of one community differ greatly from those of another, each orchestra develops programs, partnerships, and performances that provide unique value to their community.

Utah Symphony, Mighty 5 Tour (Photo courtesy of Utah Symphony)

Revisit this page over time to see new examples of orchestras in action.


 

Partnering to Make Music with Diverse Communities:

Orchestras are reaching new audiences in unexpected ways, from collaborating with community service and educational organizations and removing cost barriers to participation to redefining the concert experience through the use of technology and other innovations.

Click on photos for more information. From left: Pacific Symphony (Photo courtesy of Pacific Symphony); Hartford Symphony, Musicians Care Project (Photo courtesy of Hartford Symphony); New World Symphony, “Encounters” concert (Photo: Rui Dias-Aidos)

Hartford Symphony



Hartford Symphony’s Musicians Care Project offers an in-facility program for the elderly and disabled. The Director of Dementia Care Services at Hebrew Health Care describes how music gives patients with dementia a way to connect.

Pacific Symphony


(Click to enlarge)

Ongoing programs delivered by the Pacific Symphony create meaningful musical experiences for more than 50,000 community members from over 300 organizations throughout Southern California. From 2011 through 2012 alone, the orchestra cultivated and maintained partnerships with nearly 140 organizations and schools.

 


 

Contributing to Strong, Healthy Communities:

Orchestras are a magnet for business, investment, and tourism, helping to revitalize neighborhoods and heal communities during times of adversity. Orchestra musicians, staff, and volunteers improve the quality of life for all through their active participation in civic life.

Click on photos for more information.From left: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra); Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Kalamazoo Kids in Tune (Photo: Bethany Clay); Erie Philharmonic, Young Erie Professionals, Orchestras Feeding America (Photo: Courtesy of Erie Philharmonic)

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra



Music therapists collaborate with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians to provide therapeutic, interactive events with live chamber music at hospitals in the Pittsburgh area. A music therapist from the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC describes how music transforms and inspires a fifteen year old cancer patient.

Vermont Symphony Orchestra


(Click to enlarge)

The everyday operation of an orchestra involves working with, in some cases, hundreds of vendors and businesses, driving economic activity. The Vermont Symphony Orchestra engaged more than 250 vendors between 2010-12 alone, and 174 of them are located right in the state of Vermont.

 


 

Engaging Participants in Lifelong Learning:

Orchestras provide lifelong musical experiences, engaging people of all ages. Studies increasingly show that creating, performing, and responding to music improves students’ success in school, work, and life. Whether a pre-schooler or senior, playing in an orchestra fosters discipline and teamwork, as well as individual skill and expression.

Click on photos for more information. From left: Allentown Symphony Orchestra, El Sistema Lehigh Valley (Photo: Nienke Izurieta, Nienke Izurieta Photography); San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory, Musica! flyer; San Francisco Symphony, Community of Music Makers (Photo: Kristen Loken)

Allentown Symphony Orchestra



An after-school initiative helps underserved and special needs youth to develop life skills while participating in daily music instruction, large ensemble performances, and academic tutoring.  One parent explains how the Allentown Symphony Orchestra’s El Sistema Lehigh Valley program improves the academic and social outcomes for children.

San Diego Youth Symphony



By providing free after school music instruction through its Community Opus Project, the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory proved the benefits of learning music and convinced the Chula Vista Elementary School District, near the U.S./Mexico border, to reinstate its music program for its 29,000 students. A ten year old Opus student describes how her life has improved since entering the program.

 


 

Inspiring Listeners and Bridging Differences through Music:

Orchestral music is a living, creative art form that draws on musicians from all genres and artists from all disciplines. A growing body of new work reflects our time and place and can be a catalyst for important conversations.

Click on photos for more information. From left: Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Hartford Stage production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Also Pictured: choristers from Connecticut’s Joyful Noise ensemble, vocal soloists (Photo: Alan Grant); New York Philharmonic, Chinese New Year concert. Pictured: Yan Wang (Photo: Chris Lee); Native musicians from Seattle Symphony’s Native Lands Community Composition project (Photo: Seattle Symphony)
The Stockton Symphony




Photo courtesy of Stockton Symphony

A growing body of new work reflects our time and place, and can be a catalyst for important conversations.  The Stockton Symphony delivered an inspiring message about resolving conflict through music, described in this article in Symphony’s Summer 2012 issue.
Seattle Symphony




The Native Lands Community Composition project, part of Seattle Symphony’s Community Connections program, started with the desire to build cultural understanding and respect through music between the Seattle Symphony and tribal nations in the Puget Sound region. Seattle Symphony musicians, Native artists, and Seattle-based composer Janice Giteck collaborated to create the Potlatch Symphony.


The Orchestra Story Bank is made possible, in part, thanks to a generous grant from the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.

 

Please address any questions about this rotating collection of examples to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Follow us on Facebook!

Connect with the League on Facebook!

House Votes on IRA Rollover this Week: Contact Congress Today!

July 15, 2014

This week presents a rare opportunity for a vote by the U.S. House of Representatives on an issue of great importance to communities served by orchestras. On Thursday, your member of Congress will vote on H.R. 4719, a set of five charitable giving provisions, which includes reinstating and making permanent the IRA Charitable Rollover.

The IRA Charitable Rollover has generated new and increased contributions to support the work that orchestras and other nonprofit organizations carry out in communities every day. The provision expired at the end of 2013, and permits donors age 70 and older to make tax-free charitable gifts directly from their IRAs, up to an annual ceiling of $100,000.

Join the broader nonprofit community in telling Congress to vote in support of reinstating this important giving incentive. Use the Leagues advocacy campaign link below to explain how private donations support the employment opportunities, inspiring concerts, educational programs, and artistic innovation that orchestras provide in communities across the country.

Write to Your Representative Today Urging Support for the IRA Charitable Rollover!

New Action on Ivory in Instruments

July 1, 2014

New Action on Ivory in Instruments

A great many existing musical instruments that contain small amounts of endangered species material - while legally manufactured and purchased - are now subject to new requirements for international travel, and may be impacted by upcoming proposals to curtail their future sale and re-sale. As the Obama Administration considers next steps in regulating African elephant ivory and other protected species material, the League is providing resources to help musicians and orchestras understand the new travel requirements, and is in ongoing policy conversations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Congress to seek policy solutions that address wildlife conservation goals while also protecting musical activity.

Use our very latest Tips for International Travel with Instruments, including a link to the new U.S.-issued musical instrument “passport” application.

View the League’s June 9 Comments to the Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking.

Prepare for important opportunities to speak up. The next wave of policies will be developed through the regulatory process. Federal rule-makers will invite public comments on drafts of new policies later this summer, and we will let you know as soon as the comment period is opened.

The League’s work on this very important topic is carried out in close partnership with other national arts organizations, including the American Federation of Musicians, the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians, The Recording Academy, Chamber Music America, the American Federation of Violin and Bow makers, the National Association of Music Merchants, and the Performing Arts Alliance.

IRA Rollover Up for Reinstatement

As early as next week, the House may consider permanent reinstatement of the IRA Charitable Rollover and other important charitable giving incentives. The League has joined Independent Sector and hundreds of other organizations in signing a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, urging lawmakers to vote for permanent reinstatement of these key provisions that spur donors to give more. The IRA Charitable Rollover, which expired at the end of 2013, permits donors age 70 ½ and older to make tax-free charitable gifts directly from their IRAs, up to an annual ceiling of $100,000. Under this provision, donors have given new and increased contributions to support the work of orchestras and other nonprofit organizations.

Find further background on the IRA Charitable Rollover provision in the League’s online campaign materials.

Jane Chu is New Chairman; Grant Deadline Quickly Approaching

Dr. Jane Chu was confirmed by the Senate last month as the 11th chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). She served since 2006 as President and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts—the performance home of the Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Symphony, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Dr. Chu made her first public appearance as NEA Chairman at the June 27th convening of the National Council on the Arts in Washington, D.C., and describes in an NEA podcast how the study of music, visual art, philanthropy, and business strategy has shaped her approach to her new role.

Grants awarded to orchestras by the NEA provide critical funding for programs that increase public access to music in communities nationwide, preserve great classical works, support arts education for children and adults, and nurture the creative endeavors of contemporary classical musicians, composers, and conductors. Orchestras interested in applying for the 2nd round of Art Works grant funding should take note of the earlier deadline this year of July 24, 2014. Grant tips for your application are available on the League’s website.

 

IRA Rollover Up for Reinstatement

July 1, 2014

As early as next week, the House may consider permanent reinstatement of the IRA Charitable Rollover and other important charitable giving incentives. The League has joined Independent Sector and hundreds of other organizations in signing a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, urging lawmakers to vote for permanent reinstatement of these key provisions that spur donors to give more. The IRA Charitable Rollover, which expired at the end of 2013, permits donors age 70 ½ and older to make tax-free charitable gifts directly from their IRAs, up to an annual ceiling of $100,000. Under this provision, donors have given new and increased contributions to support the work of orchestras and other nonprofit organizations.

Find further background on the IRA Charitable Rollover provision in the League’s online campaign materials.

Dr. Jane Chu Confirmed as NEA Chair

June 12, 2014

Jane Chu was confirmed by the Senate today as the next Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Since 2006, she served as President and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri. She comes with widely regarded knowledge and experience in community engagement and revitalization through the arts, as well as a strong understanding of the unique strengths and challenges of the nonprofit performing arts industry. 

Grants awarded to orchestras by the NEA provide critical funding for programs that increase public access to music in communities nationwide, preserve great classical works, support arts education for children and adults, and nurture the creative endeavors of contemporary classical musicians, composers, and conductors. NEA funding both directly supports local projects and also spurs critical giving from other sources like private foundations, corporations, and individual contributors. Last month, the Performing Arts Alliance, of which the League is a founding member, sent a letter  to Senate committee chair Sen. Harkin and ranking member Sen. Alexander to urge rapid floor consideration of Dr. Chu’s nomination. In addition, the League continues to advocate for increased funding for the NEA, submitting written testimony each year and regularly informing orchestras about grant opportunities and updates to guidelines. The nomination now awaits the President’s signature. Congratulations to Dr. Chu and the NEA!

Engaging Your Board in Fundraising

Board fundraising is a challenge for many nonprofits - learn how your staff can better engage board members in fundraising with this free webinar!