Treaty negotiations, new arts ed guidance, and visa fee increase

October 24, 2016

CITES treaty negotiations include musical instrument policies

The League of American Orchestras was a voice for the music community in what is being called "game changing" treaty negotiations over international protected species rules. The 17th conference of the parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) was the largest event in the treaty's more than 40-year history, and the array of issues under consideration included two key areas that will impact the rules for musical instruments that cross borders among the 183 party countries. The League's Vice President for Advocacy Heather Noonan was credentialed by the U.S. government and participated September 24 through October 4 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The League spoke on the floor of the negotiations, hosted a special event open to all delegates featuring musicians from the Music Enlightenment Project, and partnered with other national and international music organizations and conservation leaders to find solutions for musicians that use their instruments internationally. Learn more about the outcomes and critical next steps for travel and trade with musical instruments in our special report.

Are the arts in your state's education reform plans?

The U.S. Department of Education has just issued guidance to states as they consider how to focus a new grant program that was created with passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December 2015. The Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants are meant to be one of many strategies for states and local schools to use to improve access to a well-rounded education for all students. U.S. Secretary of Education John King has said, "A wide range of possible subjects in school, powerfully and creatively taught, can be exactly what it takes to make the difference between disengagement and a lifelong passion for learning." What can your orchestra do to make sure equitable access to the arts is part of the education reform conversation as ESSA implementation continues? Check out the latest issue of the League's Symphony Magazine for the article, "Music Education for All Students," and visit the League's ESSA Resource Center, where we continue to add up to date details on how to get involved.

Prepare for visa fee increase!

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a substantial increase in I-129 filing fees, effective for petitions postmarked on or after December 23, 2016. The Premium Processing fee remains $1,225. The following fees will increase:

  • The fee for the regular I-129 petition for a nonimmigrant worker will increase from $325 to $460.
  • The fee for the I-539 petition to extend/change status (used for spouses and dependents) will increase from $290 to $370.
  • The fee for the I-824 petition for action on an approved application or petition (usually used to request a duplicate I-797 notice of approval) will increase from $405 to $465.

On July 6, the League led a coalition submission of formal comments to USCIS raising serious concerns about the disproportionate increase of 42% in the fee increase for filing I-129 petitions, compared to the weighted average increase of 21% that USCIS is applying to other fees. This increase adds a significant burden to nonprofit arts petitioners considering the serious and persisting delays in visa processing that have already been creating a harmful impact for more than a year. Our comments urged USCIS to ensure that any fee increase be accompanied not merely by a maintenance of service, but by significant policy improvements. When the increase goes into effect on December 24, 2016, petitioners should keep a close eye on the timing and quality of visa processing, and please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can press USCIS headquarters to demonstrate measurable progress.

To avoid delays in processing, please note the fee change and plan accordingly. All petitions postmarked on or after December 23, 2016 should include the new fee of $460. Do not submit the higher fee any earlier than this date.

Access the League's full array of visa services and visit our website, www.artistsfromabroad.org for more information.

Pioneering studies on orchestra diversity

Diversity Reports

As U.S. orchestras demonstrate a new will and energy to ensure the field is inclusive of the communities they serve, we share two new studies.

Two Pioneering Diversity Studies from the League

As orchestras across the U.S. demonstrate a new will and energy to ensure that the field is inclusive and representative of the communities they serve, the League of American Orchestras is pleased to share two pioneering diversity studies.

Click here to quickly download the studies; minimal registration information is requested.

 Racial/Ethnic and Gender Diversity in the Orchestra Field

Racial/Ethnic and Gender Diversity in the Orchestra Field, commissioned by the League with research and data analysis by Dr. James Doeser, reports on gender and ethnic/racial diversity in orchestras among musicians, conductors, staff, executives, and board members.

 Forty Years of Fellowships: A Study of Orchestras’ Efforts to Include African American and Latino Musicians

Forty Years of Fellowships: A Study of Orchestras' Efforts to Include African American and Latino Musicians, commissioned by the League with research and analysis by Nick Rabkin and Monica Hairston O'Connell, is an in-depth examination of orchestras' past efforts to diversify their musician ranks with fellowships for African American and Latino musicians. The report presents program and impact data about diversity fellowships from 1976 to the present day, and explores the perspectives of fellowship program alumni.


Both reports offer insights based on rigorous data and careful methodologies. Racial/Ethnic and Gender Diversity in the Orchestra Field uses longitudinal data – going back nearly 40 years in some cases – to identify trends and to ultimately establish a baseline of where we stand today. Forty Years of Fellowships also looks back – examining the efficacy of one of the field's most common strategies for addressing the homogeneity of the musicians who play on stage – while looking forward: Forty Years of Fellowships contains a number of recommendations that could be used to strengthen not only fellowship programs but diversity efforts of all kinds.

These reports build on the League's ongoing commitment to provide leadership and resources in support of orchestras' efforts to better reflect the communities they serve. The League is excited to continue, though all our channels – e.g., our magazine stories, our research, our resource center, major convenings, and partnerships – to serve as a catalyst for change.

Orchestra Repertoire Report (ORR) 2011-2012

Repertoire Reports by Composer

These reports list all classical season works performed by orchestras during the specified season. The reports are alphabetized by composer, then by the composer’s works. The reports include the orchestra, conductor, and soloist (if applicable) who performed the work, and the date of the first performance.  If an orchestra performed the work on a series that included multiple concerts, only the first concert is indicated.

Repertoire Reports by Group

These reports list all classical season works performed by orchestras during the specified season.  The reports are alphabetized by composer, then by the composer’s works.  The reports include the orchestra, conductor, and soloist (if applicable) who performed the work, and the date of the first performance.  If an orchestra performed the work on a series that included multiple concerts, only the first concert is indicated.

Concert Programs by Group

These reports list the programming of each concert. The reports are organized alphabetically by orchestra, then chronologically by date of concert. The reports also include the conductor and soloist where applicable, and individual concert programming.

Performances of Works by U.S. Composers

These reports list the performances of American composers. The lists are alphabetized by composer, then by the composer’s works, and include the date first performed, conductor, orchestra and soloist (if applicable). The “performances” column on the right side of the page indicates the number of times the work was performed by each orchestra, while the “total performances” category indicates the aggregate sum of all orchestra performances. (Note that certain composers are not included on this list)

Performances of Works Composed within the Past 25 Years

These reports list the performances of contemporary works, composed within 25 years of the specified season.  The lists are alphabetized by composer, then by the composer’s works, and include the date first performed, conductor, orchestra and soloist (if applicable).  The “performances” column on the right side of the page indicates the number of times the work was performed by each orchestra, while the “total performances” category indicates the aggregate sum of all orchestra performances.

Premiere Performances (World, U.S. and Canadian)

These reports list all premieres including World, US, and Canadian. Under each heading, the reports are alphabetized by composer, then by the composer’s works and includes who commissioned the work, the first performance date, conductor and soloist (if applicable) and the orchestra giving the premiere.

Stream the Conductor Preview video on demand

Bruno Walter Conductor Preview

Watch five exciting conductors in action, along with exclusive interviews! Available here until Nov 9.

American Orchestras’ Futures Fund

Made possible by the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation

Quick Links

Across the country, orchestras are vigorously engaged in groundbreaking work, embracing opportunities presented by the current environment. To support this innovative work, the League is thrilled to announce the American Orchestras' Futures Fund, made possible through the generous support of the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation and administered by the League.

This exciting $4.5 million grants program (with $3 million in grants in the first cycle) will support a select number of orchestras that are making significant investments in organizational learning and innovation. Two-year organizational grants as well as short-term technical assistance grants will be available for new or ongoing work that demonstrates an impact on the organization, and on its audiences and communities. U.S.-based adult and youth orchestras that are members of the League are eligible to apply.

Larger budget League member orchestras (Groups 1-4) may now submit letters of intent (due October 24) for organizational grants for the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons. In the summer of 2017, smaller budget orchestras (Groups 5-8) and youth orchestras may apply for organizational grants for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons. Applications for the Technical Assistance grants will be due in August 2017 for Groups 1-4 and in August 2018 for Groups 5-8 and youth orchestras.

Examples of the work that will be supported by the two-year organizational grants include but are not limited to one or more of the following:

  • Experimenting with multi-media and new technologies inside the concert hall or outside the concert hall in order to engage with audiences in virtual and digital realms;
  • Addressing new organizational models that explore alternatives to traditional operating models, offer new leadership structures, and redefine relationships among organizational stakeholders;
  • Crafting programs on or off the stage that are responsive to and reflective of their communities and the key issues they face;
  • Engaging neighborhoods and populations beyond the concert hall;
  • Increasing participation and engagement in music by racially, ethnically, and economically diverse individuals and communities;
  • Researching the reasons people attend, or don't attend, concerts and tailor offerings to support multiple and distinct audience segments;
  • Pursuing new strands of community service, such as health and wellness programming, lifelong learning activities, and cross-cultural creative partnerships;
  • Developing new ways to advance classical music as an art form such as new forms of performance, new concert experiences, and new artistic partnerships;
  • Pursuing other initiatives that result in organizational learning and innovation.

The technical assistance grants will help orchestras develop the processes, tools, and information or research needed to successfully develop learning and innovation capabilities.

Judging and Eligibility
Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis reviewed by independent, arms-length panels. U.S.-based adult and youth orchestras that are members of the League are eligible to apply. (And orchestras can join now to become eligible.)

Background on Earlier Grants Programs
In May 2016, the League notified members of changes in the grantmaking process for funds for orchestras that have originated with the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation. These changes affect orchestras that received grants directly from the Foundation as well as those that received grants through the League's re-granting program, the Getty Education and Community Investment Grants Program.

The American Orchestras' Futures Fund replaces and builds on these earlier Getty-funded and League-sponsored grants. The Getty Foundation's generous support of the new Futures Fund allows the League to grant larger and longer-term grants than those previously available through the League's Getty Education and Community Investment program.

The Foundation independently made this decision to redirect most of its support to orchestras through the League, based on the success of our Getty Education and Community Investment Grants Program. The League worked with an advisory group of managers from member orchestras as well as experienced grantmakers to design this new program that is consistent with the Foundation's priorities. The League's Managers Advisory Committee also reviewed and supported a draft program design.

Calendar 2016 will be the last year that 1) Getty will make grants directly to orchestras and 2) that the League will administer the Getty Education and Community Investment Grants Program.

For More Information
Please see the complete program description and packet, the online application, and information on the October 7 orientation webinar.

We strongly encourage prospective applicants to attend the webinar, during which many questions will be answered. As a secondary option, however, a limited number of 15-minute consultation calls may be scheduled on October 11, 13, and 20. Click here to schedule an appointment.

For further information, please be in touch with Yoo-Jin Hong, Director, Programs, League of American Orchestras, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 646 822 4021.

With Thanks
We are enormously grateful to the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation for this expanded support and look forward to working with you on this program.

Good Sources for Arts News

Duplicated with the kind permission of Thomas Cott (@youvecottmail)

News Aggregators

  1. ARTNews
  2. Arts Desk
  3. Arts Journal
  4. Arts & Letters Daily
  5. Arts Management Network
  6. Arts Professional  
  7. Arts Research Monitor
  8. Associated Grant Makers
  9. Australian Stage
  10. Broadway Briefing (email only)
  11. Broadway Buzz
  12. Broadway Stars
  13. Grantmakers in the Arts - News
  14. Inside The Arts
  15. Musical America - News
  16. Newser - Entertainment
  17. Opera America - headlines
  18. Shoshana Fanizza's arts news aggregation page on Scoop.it
  19. Talk Entertainment
  20. TalkinBroadway - All That Chat
  21. Walker Art Center - Arts News from Elsewhere

Mainstream Media

  1. American Theatre – featured news
  2. American Theatre – contents of latest issue
  3. The Art Newspaper   
  4. Back Stage
  5. BBC News [UK] - Entertainment
  6. Billboard 
  7. Bloomberg News - Culture
  8. The Boston Globe – Theater & Arts
  9. Broadway World
  10. The Chicago Tribune - Entertainment
  11. The Christian Science Monitor
  12. The Chronicle of Philanthropy
  13. Crains New York Business
  14. The Daily Beast
  15. The Daily Telegraph [UK] - Arts
  16. Gigaom
  17. The Guardian [UK] - Arts
  18. The Huffington Post - Arts
  19. The Huffington Post - Entertainment
  20. The Independent - Theatre
  21. Los Angeles Times - Arts News & Reviews
  22. Marketplace (American Public Radio)
  23. Mashable
  24. Medium
  25. The Moscow Times – Arts & Ideas  
  26. New York magazine – Arts section
  27. New York Daily News - Entertainment
  28. The New York Observer - Culture
  29. New York Post - Michael Riedel theater column
  30. The New York Times - arts section
  31. The New Yorker – Culture section
  32. The New Yorker - Culture blog
  33. The Next Web
  34. NPR Arts & Culture
  35. The Observer [UK] - Review
  36. Opera America magazine
  37. The Paris Review
  38. Playbill
  39. Playbill Arts
  40. Reuters - Arts
  41. Salon - Arts
  42. Slate Magazine
  43. The Stage   
  44. Stage Directions magazine 
  45. The Stranger (Seattle alt newspaper) 
  46. Symphony Magazine (League of American Orchestras) 
  47. TheaterMania
  48. Time magazine - Entertainment 
  49. Time Out - music, arts & culture 
  50. Variety – Legit section 
  51. The Village Voice (NYC alt newspaper) 
  52. The Wall Street Journal - arts 
  53. The Washington Post - arts 


  1. Adaptistration 
  2. AFP Blog 
  3. Americans for the Arts Blog  
  4. Analysis from TRG Arts 
  5. The AndyGram 
  6. Art Threat 
  7. The Artful Manager – ArtsJournal blog   
  8. ArtsBeat - New York Times Blog 
  9. ArtsFwd  
  10. ArtsMarketing blog 
  11. Audience Development Specialists Blog 
  12. The Awl - Be less stupid 
  13. Barry's Blog - WESTAF   
  14. Beth's Blog (How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media) 
  15. BigThink   
  16. Bitter Lemons 
  17. Blouin Artinfo - Theater 
  18. Brand in your Hand 
  19. Butts In The Seats – Inside The Arts   
  20. Capacity Interactive blog  
  21. Care2 blog 
  22. The Clyde Fitch Report 
  23. Rebecca Coleman blog   
  24. Company Town - Los Angeles Times blog  
  25. The Craptacular 
  26. Createquity 
  27. Creative Infrastructure 
  28. Culture Monster - Los Angeles Times   
  29. Culture Professionals Network – The Guardian 
  30. Culture Scout blog   
  31. Culturebot
  32. CultureGrrl – ArtsJournal blog  
  33. Culturist blog - WNYC  
  34. Deadline - Jeremy Gerard  
  35. Digital Stats 
  36. Economists Talk Art 
  37. Extra Criticum 
  38. Field Notes
  39. Flavorwire 
  40. Fluxx blog 
  41. Fractured Atlas blog 
  42. Frank Rizzo blog 
  43. From The Green Room (Dance-USA's e-Journal) 
  44. Future of Storytelling | Blog   
  45. Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation » Arts 
  46. Good – culture blog    
  47. The Grio - African American News and Opinion
  48. The Guardian Theatre blog    
  49. The Guardian Dance blog 
  50. Howard Sherman blog 
  51. HowlRound blog 
  52. HowlRound journal
  53. Hyperallergic   
  54. Iconowatch 
  55. Inside Philanthropy - Theater 
  56. Inside Philanthropy - Dance 
  57. Inside Philanthropy - Music 
  58. Inside Philanthropy - Arts Ed & Community 
  59. IP Legal Freebies Blog
  60. Jumper (Diane Ragsdale) – ArtsJournal blog    
  61. Knight Arts blog   
  62. Know Your Own Bone  
  63. La Piana Consulting blog
  64. Lies Like Truth – ArtsJournal blog 
  65. MinnesotaPlaylist e-zine 
  66. Mental Floss e-zine   
  67. The Mission Paradox Blog 
  68. Museum 2.0    
  69. Musical America blogs
  70. NEA Art Works blog  
  71. New Music Box   
  72. Nonprofit Hub   
  73. Nonprofit Law Blog 
  74. Non-Profit Marketing Blog 
  75. The Nonprofit Quarterly   
  76. Nonprofit Tech for Good 
  77. The Nonprofit Times    
  78. NTEN Connect blog 
  79. Open Culture blog
  80. Orchestra Management blog   
  81. Oregon ArtsWatch 
  82. Parabasis  
  83. Parterre Box 
  84. Philanthropy 2173 
  85. PostClassic – ArtsJournal blog 
  86. The Producer's Perspective
  87. PSFK - Inspiring Creative Business 
  88. Real Clear Arts – ArtsJournal blog 
  89. Rhizome 
  90. Sandow – ArtsJournal blog
  91. Selling Out 
  92. Sequenza21
  93. Seth's Blog
  94. Shubert Ticket Notes
  95. Situation Interactive blog
  96. Slipped Disc  
  97. Speakeasy blog - The Wall Street Journal
  98. TCG Circle 
  99. TDF - Theatre Development Fund
  100. Technology in the Arts
  101. Theatre Marketing Insights
  102. Theaterwords 
  103. ThinkProgress
  104. Think with Google
  105. Thinking Practice
  106. TicketNews 
  107. Ticketing Today
  108. UK Arts Marketing Association blog 
  109. The Wicked Stage
  110. WQXR Operavore blog
  111. Nonprofit With Balls 
  112. New York Theater 
  113. Classical Life

Orchestra Statistical Report (OSR) due Oct 31

Orchestra Statistical Report

The League's 2014-2015 OSR survey– now on the user-friendly DataArts platform– results in demonstrable benefits to participants and our field.

Celebrate National Arts in Education Week!

September 5, 2016

Next week is National Arts in Education Week, September 11-17, 2016! Here are some suggestions for how orchestras and their supporters can be involved:

  1. Your Orchestra: is there a great arts education program your orchestra is involved with in schools or in partnership with schools? Maybe you have several! Between September 11-17, post your stories, videos, and photos on social media with the hashtags #artsed and #ArtsEdWeek. It’s a great way to remind your communities that your orchestra is involved with arts education. And if you remember to tag the League of American Orchestras (@OrchLeague on Twitter), we’ll be re-posting and re-Tweeting selected stories throughout the week.
  2. You, Your Friends, and Your Orchestra Family: Invite people from all over and from all walks of life to participate in the week-long celebration of arts education. What better way to do this than to share how arts education has left a lasting impression or impact – big or small – on your life? Maybe an early arts education experience has somehow led to or connects with what you do professionally today, or it has carried over to your personal life into a tradition you share with family or friends. Post your artsed story using #artsed #ArtsEdWeek and help us show that the reach of arts education is as great as the need for it.
  3. Looking for more resources? Remember the League maintains a whole host of Music Education information online, including talking points, advocacy tools, and the latest news on how the new education law will impact schools and students.

League Asks Congress to Protect Military Music-Making

September 7, 2016 (This is an update to our originally posted item from September 6, 2016)

The League and seventeen other national organizations endorsed a letter by Congressmen Alcee Hastings (D-FL) and Walter B. Jones (D-NC) in opposition to proposed language in the Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Appropriations Bill that would limit military music ensembles. Joining in signing the letter were: Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN), Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ), Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL), Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX).

Earlier this summer, the House passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) that would limit the Defense Department from having military bands perform in an official capacity for certain entertainment purposes, such as dinners, dances, and social events. The Senate Appropriations bill does not contain a similar provision, and a final compromise bill has not yet been signed.

Although direct action on separate funding bills appears unlikely given timing constraints in an election year, the League wished to go on record in support of music in the military. The mission statement of the U.S. Army Band affirms the important role of military musicians to “instill in our soldiers the will to fight and win, foster the support of our citizens, and promote our national interests at home and abroad."