Originally recorded December 14, 2023

Board members serve as valued guides, advisors, and advocates, but that doesn’t have to stop us from conceiving new approaches to governance practice, committee structures, and procedures. Building on the recent Symphony article Forward Thinking: Rethinking Orchestra Governance by League President and CEO Simon Woods, this 60-minute webinar focuses on principles, processes, and goals of “good governance” in orchestras that might be overdue for a rethink. Diane Ragsdale, Director of the MA in Creative Leadership at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), explores alternative board models that could be considered and answer your governance questions.

Speaker: Diane Ragsdale, Director of the MA in Creative Leadership at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD)

Who Should Watch?

Board chairs and members, executive directors, development staff, and anyone interesting in good governance. 


  • $20 for members
  • $35 for non-members

About the Speaker

Photo courtesy of the speaker

Diane Ragsdale (she/her)
Director of the MA in Creative Leadership, Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD)

Diane Ragsdale (MFA) has been a speaker, writer, lecturer, and advisor on a range of arts and culture topics for the past 15 years. Currently: Director and Faculty for the MA in Creative Leadership at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design; adjunct faculty at Yale University; and co-editor of Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts. Previously: Director of the Cultural Leadership at the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity; Asst. Professor and Director for the MA in Arts Management and Entrepreneurship and Designer of a Minor in Creative Community Development at The New School; Program Officer for theater and dance at the Mellon Foundation; Executive Director of a music festival and Managing Director of a contemporary performing arts center. Notable publications include: “Margo Jones: Bridging Divides to Craft a Hybrid Logic for Theater in the US” in Cases on Arts Entrepreneurship (Edward Elgar, 2023); “POST-SHOW” for the Routledge Companion to Audiences and the Performing Arts (2022); “To What End Permanence?” for the Foundry Theatre production / book, A Moment on the Clock of the World (Haymarket, 2019); and the field report In the Intersection: Partnerships in the New Play Sector (Howlround, 2012). She authors the blog Jumper on ArtsJournal.com.


Please contact Member Services at member@americanorchestras.org.

The League of American Orchestras mourns the death of Diane Ragsdale, Director of Masters of Creative Leadership at Minneapolis College of Art and Design, who passed away suddenly in January 2024 at the age of 57. A philanthropy and governance expert, Ragsdale was a speaker at the League of American Orchestras’ 2021 Midwinter Managers Meeting and most recently led this League webinar on board accountability in December 2023.

The content of this webinar was developed by Diane Ragsdale.

This webinar is made possible by generous grants from the Howard Gilman Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts, as well as, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.


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