League of American Orchestras
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TRENDS
Inspiring Developments at Today's Orchestras
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In his "Muse in Music" blog, composer Daniel Perttu interviews conductors, composers, and others in the orchestra field. Recently he interviewed our president and CEO, Jesse Rosen, on the past, present, and future of orchestras. 

Just one of Jesse's observations: "I think that the understanding of leadership in orchestras today is increasingly infused with new, very relevant attributes. In recent years, people in leadership roles in organizations are prioritizing their organizational cultures more than in the past, so the quality of experience in the workplace really matters. People are paying attention to that, and it is manifested in many dimensions. It's partly in attention to creating equitable, inclusive, and diverse workplaces, and it's also creating collaborative workplaces in many sectors. We've seen workplace cultures move from the command-and-control organizational model to the servant-leadership model, and I think that's been playing out also in orchestras. So, the leader is not necessarily the person who knows more than everybody else and tells everybody what to do, but it's the person who surrounds himself or herself with gifted and talented people and creates the conditions for them to flourish and be part of the strategic and generative work of an organization."
 
Photo of Jesse Rosen by Dan Rest
GOVERNANCE
ICYMI: Four Minutes on Activating Your Orchestra's Board
This quick video from the League of American Orchestras offers a short take on how to get your board more engaged with the work of the orchestra.
 
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If you'd like to learn more about orchestra governance, be sure to check out the many resources online in the League of American Orchestras Noteboom Governance Center, especially the concise, authoritative guide, Effective Orchestra Governance, upon which this video is based.
FUNDRAISING
Raising Large, Transformative Gifts
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Large gifts from donors can transform an orchestra, affecting everything and anything from launching a concert series to rethinking its mission and mandate. But how to get there? In the latest (Fall 2019) issue of the League's Symphony magazine, Trine Sorensen, a veteran corporate consultant who serves on the boards of orchestras and other nonprofit arts groups, including the San Francisco Symphony and League of American Orchestras, offered an insider's perspective on the strategies and tactics that lead to principal gifts.
 
The article was informed by a presentation at the League's 2019 National Conference. To read a copy of the presentation, visit "Raising Your Organization's Largest Gifts" on the Conference website.
 
Photo of Trine Sorensen by Alan Poizner
POLICY/ADVOCACY
League Helps Orchestras with Visiting Artists as Well as Travel to Other Countries
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Every day, the League's Washington, D.C. office fields requests from orchestras that are navigating rules related to international artistry. Our staff guides League members through the forms, fees, and frequent policy changes for obtaining the visas required for guests artists presented by orchestras of all sizes. For long-term solutions, they also engage federal leaders in improving the policies of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the State Department, and the IRS. Meanwhile, on November 26, better procedures for international travel with musical instruments containing protected species material took effect. This is a direct result of a multi-year, ongoing global effort by the League and its partners to address urgent conservation concerns while supporting international cultural activity.
RESOURCES
New, Curated Resources on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
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At the League, we often hear that our colleagues would value help in "making the case" for equity, diversity, and inclusion in their orchestras. Through a set of carefully curated resources—made possible with the generous support of the Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust—the League offers insight into why diversity, at all levels of the orchestral organization, is so critical to the viability of art form. Here are a few articles in this new collection that focus on boards. There are many more on this webpage.
 
Different Is Better: Why Diversity Matters in the Boardroom 
Russell Reynolds Associates
Presents the corporate perspective on board diversity as a function of strong strategic development and oversight.
 
Board Diversity: A Bigger Issue Than You Think 
Hildy Gottlieb, Co-Founder, Creating the Future
"Stop trying to add diversity to your board, and start re-looking at where that lack of diversity at the top really comes from." This piece examines a lack of board diversity as being symptomatic of bigger organizational issues.
 
If Your Board Looked Like Your Community 
Josephine Ramirez, Portfolio Director, The James Irvine Foundation
Shifting the perception of board diversity from a problem to a practice, staff and board members discuss common hurdles and how to overcome them.
 
Seeking more information? Check out the other board and staff EDI resources here.
AND DON'T FORGET ABOUT THESE EVERGREEN RESOURCES