Midwinter Managers Meeting 2021

January 21-22, 2021

Open to League member Executive Directors and Youth Orchestra Administrators

Register for the Managers Meeting and the Post-meeting Seminar

Register to attend only the post-meeting Midwinter Seminar

The beginning of 2021 promises to be a tough time in the life of our country, even as we begin to see progress towards coronavirus vaccination for all. In the past year, the ground has shifted under our feet, giving us reason to reconsider our mission and strategies. Join us for the Midwinter Managers Meeting, taking place online Thursday-Friday January 21-22, 2021, to explore with your colleagues how the experience of 2020 affects the work ahead.

Through inspiring speakers and presentations, we will look at what role arts organizations can play when society begins to return to normal and how this can be a source of positive organizational momentum. As orchestras are compelled to re-examine their business models, values, and practices, we will consider how to integrate financial strategy with the commitment to our artists and art form. We will also explore the needs of communities as we put our organizations back together in new ways and how to be ambassadors of equity, diversity, and inclusion both inside and outside our institutions during this momentous time of change.

And, as you ramp up your communication with your business partners in 2021 for your eventual return to large-scale performance, the League will have an online exhibit hall for a couple of hours each day. There you can catch up with artist managers, consultants, and many of the other industry leaders who are an integral part of the orchestra community.

Don’t miss this once-a-year opportunity to network with peers and to strengthen your resilience and support for leading your orchestra. Register early and save up to 33%.

Post-meeting on Monday, January 25, we’ll have a Midwinter Seminar focused on avoiding burnout that is open to you as well as your staff.

Who Should Attend?

Executive directors and youth orchestra administrators from League member orchestras of all budget sizes.

The post-Meeting Midwinter Seminar is open to arts administrators from organizations of all budget sizes.


  • Super Early Bird (registered by Monday 12/21): $50
  • Early Bird (registered by Thursday 1/7): $60
  • Regular: $75

Add on the post-meeting Midwinter Seminar for only $50.

Register Here

Meeting Schedule (subject to change)

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

11:30am-12:00pm Eastern / 8:30-9:00am Pacific: Orientation Session, Option 1
4:00-4:30pm Eastern / 7:00-7:30pm Pacific: Orientation Session, Option 2

Thursday, January 21, 2021

11:00am-1:00pm Eastern / 8:00-10:00am Pacific: Exhibit Hours - visit with business partners in our Online Exhibit Hall!

1:00-2:30pm Eastern / 10:00-11:30am Pacific: Opening Plenary

3:00-4:30pm Eastern / 12:00-1:30pm Pacific: Cross-Constituency Breakouts

4:45-6:00pm Eastern / 1:45-3:00pm Pacific: Networking “Reception”

7:00-8:00pm Eastern / 4:00-5:00pm Pacific: Concert Watch Party

Friday, January 22, 2021

11:00am-1:00pm Eastern / 8:00-10:00am Pacific: Exhibit Hours visit with business partners in our Online Exhibit Hall!

1:00-2:30pm Eastern / 10:00-11:30am Pacific: General Session

3:00-4:30pm Eastern / 12:00-1:30pm Pacific: Constituency Meetings


Orientation Sessions

Tuesday, January 19, 11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 4:00-4:30 p.m.

Join the League at one of two of these orientation sessions. You will learn how to set up your delegate profile to provide for maximum participation at the event. We will introduce you to the League's new online meeting platform and provide you with tips and tricks to get the most out of your experience.


Keynote Sessions

Thursday, January 21, 1:00-4:30 p.m.
Navigating Uncharted Waters Without Losing Your Way in 2021

We begin a new year inspired by the hope of a COVID-19 vaccine, even as we continue to weather extreme pressures and uncertainty for the orchestras we lead. In the face of seemingly impossible dilemmas, how do we safeguard not only the financial viability of orchestras, but also the meaning and purpose of our work?

In our opening session, Diane Ragsdale, Director of Cultural Leadership, Banff Center for Arts and Creativity, and Sanjit Sethi, President, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, will share actionable frameworks for making strong, more holistic decisions that deliver on mission, uphold core values, and maintain fiscal responsibility. Jamie Bennett, the former Executive Director, ArtPlace America, will moderate this interactive conversation, which will include both plenary presentations and breakout discussions.

Panelists: Diane Ragsdale and Sanjit Sethi
Moderator: Jamie Bennett

Friday, January 22, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
The Leader’s Role in Advancing Racial Equity Work

At this moment of profound change, threat, and opportunity, your leadership could not be more crucial to your orchestra’s progress in advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). Join us for a candid conversation with four orchestra executives who have engaged deeply in this work during this past year of COVID-19 and racial reckoning. Each will share the successes, setbacks, and learnings that have defined their orchestra’s journey so far. And together we will explore tactics for initiating and sustaining your own orchestra’s EDI work in the year ahead.

The executives include Linda Edelstein, Executive Director, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra; Mieko Hatano, DMA, Executive Director, Oakland Symphony (CA); Blake-Anthony Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, Chicago Sinfonietta; and Matías Tarnopolsky, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Philadephia Orchestra Association. The panel will be moderated by Pratichi Shah, Founder and CEO, Flourish Talent Management Solutions LLC (Washington D.C.) and a League Board Member.

Panelists: Linda Edelstein, Mieko Hatano, Blake-Anthony Johnson, and Matías Tarnopolsky
Moderator: Pratichi Shah

Learn more about our keynote speakers.


Networking Social and Trivia Night

Thursday, January 21, 4:45-6:00 p.m.

This is the time to unwind, chat with colleagues, and have some fun! You’ll have your choice of two different activities during this time period.

Option 1: Sheltered Trivia with Richard Lonsdorf Mingle virtually and escape the weighty matters of the day with a game of Sheltered Trivia! Created and hosted live by fellow orchestral administrator Richard Lonsdorf, the game will feature a mix of lighthearted general knowledge questions in an engaging setting. Guests will be grouped in small teams to deliberate answers, allowing you to find out which of your colleagues is unusually informed about sharks (perhaps it's you!). While only one team will emerge victorious, everyone will leave with a few new discoveries about the world (and their fellow leaders!).

Option 2: Virtual Reception and Mix and Mingle Space Okay, okay... we know. Another social event on Zoom isn’t exactly your ‘cup of tea’ but trust us! Experience an online reception like you never had before! Mix and mingle in our virtual concert hall. Move your bubble around the space to chat with your colleagues in a totally different way. NO MORE ZOOM BOXES! If you are like us, you’ll be amazed by this new technology and have a fun time exploring its capabilities, all while chatting with your friends and colleagues!


Concert Viewing Event: Throughline

Thursday, January 21, 7:00-8:15 p.m.

This year the San Francisco Symphony welcomes new Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen and eight Collaborative Partners with a digital concert event that charts a new direction for the orchestra. The vibrant program includes music by Ellen Reid, John Adams, Kev Choice, and Ludwig van Beethoven, and is highlighted by the world premiere of Collaborative Partner Nico Muhly’s Throughline, a San Francisco Symphony commission written specifically for a digital medium and filmed in locations around the world. Experience this acclaimed and innovative online performance with colleagues and friends.

Enjoy a pre-concert Introduction by Matthew Spivey, Director of Artistic Planning, San Francisco Symphony.


Please contact Member Services at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The League would like to thank its Midwinter Managers Meeting sponsors:

Platinum Sponsors:






E-coustics Systems



Silver Sponsors:

Anderson Musical Instrument Insurance Solutions Boomerang Carnets


RSC Threshold Acoustics



Supporting Sponsor:


Nave Strategies


We are Grateful to Our Supporters

The Midwinter Seminar is made possible by the Howard Gilman Foundation, and supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Additional funding for the seminar is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Photos courtesy of the speakers.