Electives

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Bold and Informed: Researching Audiences on a Budget

Session Date Start Time End Time Attachments
Wednesday, June 7, 2017 8:45 am 10:00 am

Location: LaSalle AB, Level 5

Harvest the best low-cost ideas for researching target audiences from arts organizations around the country. Learn how audience research informed their bold ideas as part of the Wallace Foundation’s Building Audiences for the Arts initiatives. Orchestra audiences also attend opera, dance, theater, and museums, so find out which proven methods they used in order to understand elusive Millennials, barriers for non-attendees, and what current audiences really think about the organization.

Speakers: Sara Billmann, director of marketing and communications, University Musical Society; Bob Harlow, Bob Harlow Research and Consulting, LLC

Made possible by the generous support of The Wallace Foundation.

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Diversity and Inclusion in Action

Session Date Start Time End Time Attachments
Wednesday, June 7, 2017 8:45 am 10:00 am

Location: Brule AB, Level 5

From the performers on stage, to the audiences served, to the stakeholders in between, orchestras are discovering better ways to include a deeper cross-section of their communities. Learn from the most promising initiatives from across the country. presentations will be chosen by competitive selection. Digest, react, and share ideas in a lively discussion immediately following the presentations.

Speakers: Selected presenters from member orchestras

Moderator: Eric Booth, president, Everyday Arts, Inc.

Made possible by generous grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Mapping the DSO Journey

Session Date Start Time End Time Attachments
Wednesday, June 7, 2017 8:45 am 10:00 am

Location: Cartier, Level 4

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, like its hometown, has undergone a major transformation. A highly intentional effort to change its culture has led to a refocused mission and governance, four consecutive balanced budgets, and two consecutive labor contracts settled quietly and early. The DSO has also in recent years flattened access to its programs, embraced technology, and expanded its geographic footprint both regionally and globally. In this discussion, the DSO reflects on this change and discusses the orchestra’s even higher aspirations both artistically and for its role in the community. Learn how an orchestra can make fundamental change on its journey towards sustainability.

Speakers: Peter Cummings, principal, The Platform, chairman emeritus, Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Mark Davidoff, board chairman, Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Haden McKay, cellist, Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Faye Nelson, president and board chairman, DTE Energy Foundation; and Anne Parsons, president and CEO, Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Moderator: Horst Abraham, faculty, Ross School of Business, Executive Education, University of Michigan

Made possible, in part, by a generous grant from the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation.

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Market Smarter: Insights and Strategy for Digital Marketing

Session Date Start Time End Time Attachments
Wednesday, June 7, 2017 8:45 am 10:00 am

Location: Cabot, Level 4

How are orchestras and other arts organizations embracing digital in order to market their offerings? For five years, Capacity Interactive, a digital marketing firm for the cultural sector, has surveyed arts organizations to understand how they are using social media, video, analytics, mobile, digital advertising, email, and the web. The firm’s president will present findings from the most recent survey, explaining trends and highlighting opportunities. He will also share orchestra case studies to illustrate how digital marketing can help orchestras meet marketing goals.

Speakers: Erik Gensler, president, Capacity Interactive

Download PowerPoint Presentation.

EnCue, by Octava, is generously sponsoring Market Smarter: Insights and Strategy for Digital Marketing.

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No Sound Barriers: Sphinx at 20

Session Date Start Time End Time Attachments
Wednesday, June 7, 2017 8:45 am 10:00 am

Location: Cadillac AB, Level 5

The goal of this session is to demystify the issues of inclusion in the orchestral field and illuminate ways in which we, as a community, can create lasting change. Afa Dworkin, president and artistic director of the Sphinx Organization, will provide an overview of the organization’s work, tracing its triumphs, aspirations, and goals over the 20 years since its founding. Sphinx is national organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. Dworkin will also discuss the pipeline approach to the issues of inclusion, highlighting the critical nature of partnerships with other organizations. The session will rely heavily on the expertise and perspectives of the audience members as well a panel of Sphinx artists in exploring these questions: 1) “What is the largest obstacle to building inclusion?” 2) “What is a radical step that others can take (the field itself) in order to counter the obstacle?” and 3) “What radical step or steps will I take in order to change the status quo?”

Speakers: Afa Dworkin, president and artistic director, Sphinx Organization; Rainel Joubert, violinist, Sphinx Organization; Christine Lamprea, cellist, Sphinx Organization; Stephanie Matthews, violinist and director of artistic development, Sphinx Organization

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The Strategic and Artistic Understanding of Pops

Session Date Start Time End Time Attachments
Wednesday, June 7, 2017 8:45 am 10:00 am

Location: Nicolet AB, Level 5

Nearly every orchestra in the U.S. programs Pops of some variety. But there are questions regarding the strategic and artistic imperatives of Pops, and its role in an orchestra’s mission. Does it vary by community? Is Pops about service and relevance? Is it just about money? Or audience development? Developing a fuller understanding of these issues may inform a range of institutional strategies, from programming to orchestra morale; from marketing and development to positioning your orchestra in your community.

Speakers: John Forsyte, president and CEO, Pacific Symphony Orchestra; Daniel Grossman, vice president of marketing, Nashville Symphony; Brent Havens, arranger and composer; and Sarah Hicks, principal conductor, Live at Orchestra Hall, Minnesota Orchestra

Moderator: Alan Valentine, president and CEO, Nashville Symphony

TCG Entertainment is generously sponsoring The Strategic and Artistic Understanding of Pops elective.

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Changing Orchestra Culture: A Conversation with DSO Musicians

Session Date Start Time End Time Attachments
Wednesday, June 7, 2017 11:00 am 12:15 pm

Location: Cabot, Level 4

Culture shifts at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra are multi-faceted and span the whole organization; there is widespread agreement that many of them are due to an active collaboration between DSO musicians and the administration that continues to facilitate harmonious discussion on how best to serve their community while fulfilling their mission of unsurpassed musical experiences. In this session, DSO musicians discuss the orchestra’s evolving culture, how their roles in the organization have changed, and their aspirations for the future

Jeremy Epp, timpani, Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Stephen Molina, bass, Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Sharon Sparrow, flute, Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Scott Strong, horn, Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Moderator: John McCann, president, Partners in Performance

Made possible, in part, by a generous grant from the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation.

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Classical Musicians of African Descent: Perspectives, Aspirations, and Outlook

Session Date Start Time End Time Attachments
Wednesday, June 7, 2017 11:00 am 12:15 pm

Location: Mackinac Ballroom, Level 5

This session features a performance by Ann Hobson Pilot, the trailblazing former principal harp of Boston Symphony Orchestra and recipient of the League’s 2017 Gold Baton Award, along with musicians from Gateways Music Festival, the 23-year-old organization that celebrates professional classical musicians of African descent at its annual six-day event each August in Rochester, New York. Many classical musicians of African descent have unique perspectives on their roles and the challenges and opportunities that orchestras face today. At this session, musicians discuss why they participate in Gateways each year, how support from Rochester’s African American community has enabled the Festival to grow and thrive, how playing in an ensemble of musicians of African descent differs from playing in other ensembles, and their hopes for the future. In the midst of the vibrant national conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion, this is an opportunity to both hear and hear from musicians whose lived experience puts them at the center of that conversation.

Program: Maurice Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro

Speakers: Ann Hobson Pilot, former principal harp, Boston Symphony Orchestra; musicians from the Gateways Music Festival; Lee Koonce, president and artistic director, Gateways Music Festival; Alex Laing, principal clarinet, The Phoenix Symphony, principal clarinet, Gateways Music Festival; clarinet; Gateways Music Festival; Kelly Hall-Tompkins, violin, Gateways Music Festival

Moderator: Jesse Rosen, president and CEO, League of American Orchestras

Made possible by generous grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Make the Case Now!

Session Date Start Time End Time Attachments
Wednesday, June 7, 2017 11:00 am 12:15 pm

Location: Cartier, Level 4

Convincingly making the case for your orchestra’s impact and forging strategic alliances are both crucial to advancing your orchestra’s mission. Developing the right relationships and clearly communicating your orchestra’s relevance to broader civic issues is essential, from launching community development initiatives to cultivating philanthropic support; from defending your tax-exempt status to championing public music education. Now more than ever, advocacy must become a priority.

Speakers: Gary Ginstling, president and CEO, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra; Patricia Richards, chair, board of directors, League of American Orchestras; and David Thompson, vice president of public policy, National Council of Nonprofits

Moderator: Heather Noonan, vice president, advocacy, League of American Orchestras

Made possible, in part, by a generous grant from the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation.

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Pricing: The Heart of the Matter

Session Date Start Time End Time Attachments
Wednesday, June 7, 2017 11:00 am 12:15 pm

Location: LaSalle AB, Level 5

What is the right strategic approach to pricing? Should it be to maximize revenue or to maximize attendance and accessibility? Is it possible to do both? What is pricing’s role in making music accessible: can pricing be a socio-economic strategy to break down class barriers to participation? Does its influence extend to the heart of why we exist, our artistic missions, and the nature of our relationships in our communities? Three experts who have grappled with these questions share lessons from their deep and varied experiences.

Speakers: Paul Hogle, president and CEO, The Cleveland Institute of Music; Jon Limbacher, president and managing director, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; and Jill Robinson, president and CEO, TRG Arts

Moderator: Bruce Coppock, retired president and managing director, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

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Socially-Conscious Musician-initiated Projects in Haiti and Seattle

Session Date Start Time End Time Attachments
Wednesday, June 7, 2017 11:00 am 12:15 pm

Location: Cadillac AB, Level 5

How are today’s American orchestra musicians responding to the issues and events of our time? This season, musicians in Utah and Seattle initiated projects of extraordinary social importance. Recently, fifteen Utah Symphony musicians, music director Thierry Fisher, a Detroit Symphony Orchestra musician, and a Salt Lake City-based luthier returned from Haiti where they led a week-long first-of-its-kind institute for 100 young Haitian music students. Inspired by the work of the organization ‘Blume Haiti’, they paid for their own travel and accommodations, donated their time, and raised $30,000 to pay for the students’ accommodations and travel from all over Haiti. Similarly, Seattle Symphony musicians responded to the immigration bans by creating a concert of music by composers from the seven banned countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Merely two weeks following the announcement of the travel ban executive order, a sold-out audience rapturously took the Music Beyond Borders concert that some called the most moving of their lives. Learn why musicians were so motivated to undertake such ambitious projects, and how the resulting experiences might change their outlook as musicians.

Speakers: Rosalie Contreras, vice president of communications, Seattle Symphony; John Eckstein, cellist, Utah Symphony; Scott Harrison, executive director, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; Yuki MacQueen, violinist, Utah Symphony; Paul Meecham, president and CEO, Utah Symphony – Utah Opera; Simon Woods, president and CEO, Seattle Symphony

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Activating and Nurturing Community Alliances

Session Date Start Time End Time Attachments
Thursday, June 8, 2017 8:45 am 10:00 am

Location: Cabot, Level 4

Orchestras are increasingly building and sustaining partnerships with other organizations. These efforts not only seek to expand and diversify audiences, but also to create meaningful ways in which artists can connect with their community. Choose from a number of roundtable discussions – led by musicians, composers, and administrators – on selecting, preparing, and maintaining community alliances.

Discussion leaders to include teams from Music Alive residency partners, New Music USA, and recipients of the League’s 2017 Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service

Moderator: Marian Godfrey, cultural advisor, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and member, board of directors, League of American Orchestras

TRG Arts is generously sponsoring Activating and Nurturing Community Alliances.

This session is made possible by the generous donors to the Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service and the Music Alive programs, as well as support from the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation.

The Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service are made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund.

Music Alive is made possible through a lead grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with additional support from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, The Amphion Foundation, and The ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fund.

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Change Before You Have To

Session Date Start Time End Time Attachments
Thursday, June 8, 2017 8:45 am 10:00 am

Location: Cartier, Level 4

This session offers a look at the future of orchestra leadership. Members of the League’s Emerging Leaders Program posit a distinction between leadership and management, and share their viewpoints on how to create an adaptive work culture, challenge deeply ingrained assumptions, and anticipate change before it is forced to happen. They will explore dimensions of a thriving organizational culture, characteristics of innovation and change management, and adaptive leadership as well as the responsibilities of self-leadership as key pillars of orchestra leadership of the future.

Speakers: Emerging Leaders Program Class of 2017

Lead Faculty: John McCann, president, Partners in Performance

The Emerging Leaders Program is made possible by generous grants from American Express Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Cultural Equity

Session Date Start Time End Time Attachments
Thursday, June 8, 2017 8:45 am 10:00 am

Location: Ambassador Ballroom 3, Level 3

Working toward greater cultural equity in our organizations has become an imperative for the long-term viability of orchestras and the art form. What can orchestras do to keep up with this change of attitudes toward Euro-centric cultural institutions? The session will explore demographic, philanthropic, and political trends in American society, and provide insight into how orchestras must and should navigate the currents.

Speakers: Liz S. Alsina, senior program officer, Individually Directed Program, Walton Family Foundation; Afa Dworkin, president and artistic director, Sphinx Organization; Alexander Laing, principal clarinet, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra; Sarah Johnson, director, Weill Music Institute, Carnegie Hall

Moderator: Eric Booth, president, Everyday Arts, Inc.

Made possible by generous grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Musicians as Organizational Leaders

Session Date Start Time End Time Attachments
Thursday, June 8, 2017 8:45 am 10:00 am

Location: Ambassador Ballroom 2, Level 3

Throughout North America, musician-created and musician-led ensembles and chamber orchestras are thriving and assuming larger and larger roles in the musical lives of their cities. Are these nimble, fresh, and spontaneous ensembles disrupters of classical music concert culture? Do they challenge the position of other orchestras? Musician leaders discuss the freedoms and tensions of being artist-led ensembles and explore what they and other orchestras might learn from one another.

Speakers: Alex Fortes, violinist, A Far Cry; Alicia Lawyer, founder, artistic director, and principal oboist, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra; Daniel Lippel, guitarist, International Contemporary Ensemble; Bridget Mundy, executive director, A Far Cry; Alan Pierson, artistic director and conductor, Alarm Will Sound Ensemble, principal conductor, Crash Ensemble; co-director, Northwestern University Contemporary Music Ensemble, former artistic director, Brooklyn Philharmonic, and member, board of directors, League of American Orchestras

Moderator: Henry Peyrebrune, double bassist and major gifts officer, The Cleveland Orchestra

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What is the Relevance of the Western Orchestral Canon in America Today?

Session Date Start Time End Time Attachments
Thursday, June 8, 2017 8:45 am 10:00 am

Location: Ambassador Ballroom 1, Level 3

If the standard orchestral repertoire speaks for itself, what is it saying and to whom is it speaking? Is it “universal,” and if not, how does it fit in today’s world, with its fragmented audiences? What are the implications for orchestra programming and for communicating about the orchestra and the art form with a wide variety of constituents – patrons, individual donors, institutional funders, civic leaders, elected officials, and the general public?

Speakers: Michael Morgan, music director, Oakland Symphony; and Simon Woods, president and CEO, Seattle Symphony

Moderator: Jesse Rosen, president and CEO, League of American Orchestras

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