Facilitator: Simon Woods, President and CEO, League of American Orchestras

Speaker(s): Catherine French, Catherine French Group; Kendra Whitlock Ingram, President and CEO, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust; Blake-Anthony Johnson, CEO, Chicago Sinfonietta; Doug McLennan, Founder and Editor, ArtsJournal; Melia Tourangeau, President and CEO, Pittsburgh Symphony

Thirty years ago, the League published Americanizing the American Orchestra, a report documenting a series of meetings of a national task force that addressed major issues facing the field. The report outlines an idea for a “new American orchestra” that is representative of the cultural and racial diversity of society, infused with musical energy and creativity, pioneering in spirit and willing to take intelligent risks, responsive to and inclusive of its community, and works on collaborative principles.

Initially, the report drew vehement criticism from the press and from influential leaders within the field. Yet today, much of the change called for appears prescient – and as urgent as ever. In this session, we hear about the history of this seminal document from Catherine French, the League’s CEO at the time of publication; use the Pittsburgh Symphony as a case study to assess our progress in addressing the issues it raises; and invite guest speakers to reflect on it and share their visions for our collective future.

This session is made possible by a generous grant from the Mellon Foundation. Photo Credit: Jason Cohn

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