2023 Midwinter Managers Meeting


January 29-30, 2023

New York, NY

Open to League orchestra member Executive Directors and Youth Orchestra Administrators

The Midwinter Managers Meeting, an intensive two-day event designed for executive directors and youth orchestra administrators, is back in person this year! Join us in New York City on Sunday-Monday, January 29-30, 2023.

Sunday afternoon, the New York Philharmonic hosts Midwinter in the newly renovated David Geffen Hall, including a panel on audience development, a reception, and tours showcasing the hall’s new audience experience enhancements.

Then on Monday, you’ll have a full day of constituency meetings at the Westin New York Grand Central to connect with your peers for timely discussions and tailored learning.

Who Should Attend?

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


  • $285 Early Bird (by December 21)
  • $305 Regular

Meeting Schedule

Subject to change.

Sunday, January 29, 2023: David Geffen Hall
2:00-3:00pm: Registration Check-In, David Geffen Hall Lobby
A coat rack and luggage storage will be available next to registration.
3:00-4:30pm: Opening Session
4:30-5:30pm: Tour of Audience Experience at David Geffen Hall
5:30-6:30pm: Opening Reception
6:30pm-onwards: Dinners by Group (optional)

Monday, January 30, 2023: The Westin New York Grand Central
7:30-11:00am: Registration Check-In, Grand Central Foyer, 3rd Level
8:00-9:00am: Breakfast and Exhibitors
9:00am-12:00pm: Constituency Meetings by Group
12:00-1:00pm: Lunch on Your Own or by Group (optional)
1:00-4:00pm: Constituency Meetings by Group/Cross-Constituency Meetings
4:00-5:00pm: Cross-Constituency Debrief – Officers Only

Opening Session

Audiences: Current Experiences and Future Strategies

Many orchestras are experiencing significant reductions in attendance compared to pre-pandemic times. League President and CEO Simon Woods will facilitate a panel discussion exploring current trends as well as strategies for addressing the challenges, drawing on a variety of expert perspectives from across the performing arts.

The panel will be followed by an overview of the renovation of David Geffen Hall by New York Philharmonic President and CEO Deborah Borda, tours of the hall, and a reception.

Panelists: Crystal Brewe, Chief Marketing and Audience Experience Officer, The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Cultural Campus; Lisa Grow, Vice President, Marketing & Customer Experience, New York Philharmonic; Jill Robinson, CEO and Owner, TRG Arts; and Donna Walker-Kuhne, President, Walker International Communications Group, Inc.

Constituency Agendas

View your constituency’s agenda in League360 (login required; subject to change):

About the Speakers

Photo Credit: Morgan Horrell

Crystal Brewe (she/her)
Chief Marketing and Audience Experience Officer, The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Cultural Campus

Crystal Brewe serves as Chief Marketing and Audience Experience Officer for The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Cultural Campus – a nine-venue arts complex that welcomes more than 1 million visitors annually along Philadelphia’s Avenue of the Arts. Since her arrival to Philadelphia in 2014, Brewe has focused on expanding the organization’s reach through a comprehensive re-brand and a restructure of programming focus to better match the region’s interests – resulting in more than doubling its Broadway audiences. Brewe also spearheaded the organization’s diversity, access, and inclusion initiatives, and built a robust community engagement partnership strategy. With an M.A. in Communications and Organizational Change, Brewe was uniquely suited to lead through change when Kimmel and The Philadelphia Orchestra merged in 2021, and her role was expanded.

Brewe proudly serves on Philadelphia’s Tourism Hispanic Advisory Board, guiding efforts to attract LatinX visitors and showcasing the city’s diversity. As a member of the Broadway League since 2008, a member of the League of American Orchestras, and a Board member of the International Ticketing Association, Brewe works closely with other leaders in the live entertainment industry to build a network for innovation and growth.

Connect with Crystal on LinkedIn

Photo courtesy of Lisa Grow

Lisa Grow (she/her)
Vice President, Marketing and Customer Experience, New York Philharmonic

Lisa Grow is the Vice President, Marketing and Customer Experience at the NY Phil, where she oversees marketing and audience development, customer relations, digital strategy, and research. In her five years at the NY Phil, she has focused her efforts on expanding audience outreach, ramping up research efforts, and increasing ticket revenue year over year all leading up to the reopening of the new David Geffen Hall. She most recently led the organization with partners at Ogilvy New York through a rebrand, which won multiple design and marketing awards including a Bronze Lion at Cannes Lion, multiple awards at London International Awards, and three pencils at the D&AD Awards. Prior to the Phil, she was the Director of Marketing and Audience Development at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, where she built new efforts of audience outreach and increased both revenue and access across theater, many genres of music, and dance. She was on the project team for the Emmy Award-winning Mozart Minutes series for the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra. She has a background in digital strategy, social media, and advertising, thanks to her years at the digital marketing agency Situation Interactive, where she focused on account direction, creative strategy, and award-winning campaigns for Broadway, live entertainment, education programs, and more. She is also a trained vocalist, attended the University of Hartford, Hartt School of Music, and has served on the the board of The Dessoff Choirs in New York City.

Connect with Lisa on LinkedIn

Photo Credit: Ticketing Professionals Conference

Jill S. Robinson (she/her)

Jill S. Robinson is CEO of TRG Arts, one of the arts and cultural sector’s leading consulting firms, which serves an international base of clients in North America, the UK, Australia and the EU. Jill has been with the firm since its inception, and in 2016 launched a second office in the UK which expanded its signature brand of consulting that delivers transformative revenue results. In 2021, TRG announced the acquisition of Purple Seven. This union created growth and resilience for TRG’s clients and enabled by applying a wealth of data-driven services and tools, including the development of the industry’s free Covid-19 Sector Benchmark which monitored the largest available collection of arts consumption data through the pandemic.

Jill has served on faculty at Southern Methodist University’s Master of Arts Administration/Master of Business Administration program and was part of the inaugural faculty for the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity’s Cultural Leadership Program.

She has presented and keynoted at industry conferences around the globe and speaks regularly on creative resilience and its role in driving a vibrant 21st century arts and culture ecosystem.

Jill enjoys living in the mountains of Colorado, where she received her MBA at the University of Colorado, Denver.

Connect with Jill on LinkedIn

Photo Credit: Todd Rosenberg

Donna Walker-Kuhne (she/her)
President, Walker International Communications Group, Inc.

Donna Walker-Kuhne is an award winning thought leader, writer and strategist for community engagement, audience development and social justice. She is President of Walker International Communications Group, a 35-year-old boutique marketing and audience development consulting agency. She was formerly Director of Marketing for both The Public Theater and Dance Theater of Harlem. She provides consulting services to numerous arts organizations throughout the world and has generated over $23m in earned income. She is also Senior Advisor, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion at New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Currently her portfolio includes social justice initiatives and Equity Diversity Inclusion workshops. She is a veteran of over 22 Broadway productions and her nonprofit clients include Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, The Apollo Theater, Santa Fe Opera, and Brooklyn Arts Council. She is the recipient of over 50 awards including the 2021 SGI-USA Distinguished Pioneer Award and the 2019 League of Professional Theatre Women Rachel Crothers Leadership Award. Her first book, Invitation to the Party: Building Bridges to Arts, Culture and Community, was published in 2005 and her second book, Champions for the Arts: Lessons and Successful Strategies for Building Anti-Racist Arts Organizations will be published this fall. She has a weekly blog, Arts and Culture Connections that explores cultural efforts to expand diverse audiences. She is also a Board member for Newark Arts Council, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, Signature Theater (NY), HARLEM WEEK, and The Harlem Arts Alliance.

Connect with Donna on LinkedIn

Hotel Information

The Westin New York Grand Central
212 East 42nd Street New York, New York 10017

Book your hotel room online now to take advantage of the League-negotiated hotel discount of $169/night + tax. Reservations at The Westin New York Grand Central must be made by January 6, 2023 to secure the special rate.

Getting Around NYC

New York is very walkable and also has many transportation options available:

  • Yellow taxis are available at airport taxi stands and can be flagged down on any NYC street. They can also be hailed via apps like Curb and Arro. At the Midwinter venues, the best availability for taxis will be in front of Lincoln Center on Columbus Avenue and in front of the Westin’s main entrance.
  • The subway is a fast and easy way to get around the city. The fare is $2.75 per ride and can be paid via a MetroCard purchased in the station or by using a tap-to-pay credit card, debit card, smartphone, or wearable device. The closest subway to the Westin is the Grand Central–42nd St S/4/5/6/7 Station and the closest stops to David Geffen Hall are the 66 St–Lincoln Center 1 Station and the 59 St–Columbus Circle A/B/C/D/1 Station.
  • For trips to neighborhood areas that are not well-serviced by the subway (ex. going crosstown or going north or south on an avenue that doesn’t have a subway line), the bus is a good alternative. The fare is also $2.75 and can be paid by MetroCard, coins, or tap-to-pay. You can check on how soon a bus is going to arrive at the stop using MTA Bus Time.
  • In addition to the above, there are local car services, app-based rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft, car-share services like Zipcar and Enterprise (minimum 1 hour rental), and bike-sharing through Citi Bike.

The MTA offers a trip planner to help you get from one destination to the next.

COVID-19 Protocols

Creating a healthy and safe environment for all participants is a top priority. To that end, please note that when checking in at the registration desk, all Midwinter Managers Meeting participants will be asked to show proof that they have received a COVID-19 vaccine and booster shot, per CDC guidelines for staying up-to-date.

While it is not required, we also strongly encourage registrants to wear a high-quality mask per local health guidelines.  


Please contact Member Services at member@americanorchestras.org.

Generous support for the League’s Midwinter Managers Meeting provided by:

Young Concert Artists – Opening Session sponsor

The Wallace Foundation – Opening Session funder

Boomerang Carnets | CIB – Sunday Evening Reception at Geffen Hall sponsor

Advisory Board for the Arts – General Support  

New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature

Photo: Discussions at the 2020 Midwinter Managers Meeting. Credit: Stephanie Berger

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