League of American Orchestras
April 12, 2018 facebook500.png  twitter2.png  yt_home.png?r=1407251763518
A Note from Douglas Hagerman, Chair of the Board of the League of American Orchestras
Welcome to Orchestra Boardroom, a new quarterly newsletter for board members of orchestras that belong to the League of American Orchestras. The League offers numerous services and resources to support orchestras; this newsletter is intended to share concisely just a few that may be of special interest to governing board members. If you’re seeking something in particular that you don’t see here, please call the League's Knowledge Center at 646 822 4010 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to ask for help. Thank you for your time and attention, and thank you for all you do to advance the orchestral experience for all.
The League’s Noteboom Governance Center is an online repository of resources for enhancing the effectiveness of board governance of orchestras. Based on a contract we have with the nonprofit BoardSource (which is recognized nationally for its expertise), we’re currently offering League members free access to this toolkit:
Every board struggles with group dynamics—the ways in which individual board members interact with each other and function (or don't) as an effective team. Successful boards have figured out how to make the most of the various relationships (chief executive to board, board chair to board, and board member to board member) so that the work of the board assumes greater importance than any individual or relationship. But, it's not easy. That's why BoardSource created Boardroom Chemistry: Getting Your Board to Govern as a Team. This book contains 24 tools designed to help your board function more effectively by focusing on the following:
  • Board composition (and the role played by board size and diversity)
  • Board structure (such as term limits and how structure can enhance or inhibit teambuilding)
  • Cultural and behavioral barriers (and how to understand and overcome them)
  • Ways to engage detached board members
  • Decision-making and other meeting practices
  • Listening skills (and how to develop them) and use them to resolve conflicts
Trends/Developments in Orchestras
For 15 years, The Wallace Foundation has supported audience-building efforts by arts organizations and commissioned cutting-edge, authoritative research to understand what works, what doesn’t, and why. There are many case studies from the Wallace Foundation, with the latest focusing on the Seattle Symphony and its efforts to engage New Urban Cultural Consumers. Find below:

An article on the Seattle Symphony study, including an overview of three new concert formats.

A study guide from the League you can use to adapt lessons from the research to your orchestra, no matter where it's located of what its budget size.
Advocacy / Amplifying Your Orchestra's Voice
From tax policy to NEA funding, protected species issues to artist visas, the federal policies that affect orchestras are as diverse as the places where music is made and heard. Through its highly-regarded Washington office, the League of American Orchestras keeps up on all of it, and suggests easy ways for you to take action. Check out our advocacy resources here.
A Brief for Trustees of Member Orchestras
The League offers dozens of resources and services for orchestras. Those of particular interest to board members are featured in this newsletter and in this four-page document, "The League of American Orchestras: A Brief for Trustees of Member Orchestras." The programs and services the League offers are categorized into four areas of emphasis:

Strengthening Leadership
Generating Knowledge
Creating and Communicating Public Value 
Informing and Connecting the Field
League Conference Features Sessions for Board Members
Photo Credit: Todd Rosenberg
Did you know that the League’s National Conference features special sessions for governing board members of orchestras? Register now for this year’s Conference, June 13-15, 2018 in Chicago, hosted by the world-renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti (at right in photo with Yo-Yo Ma).
  • Yo-Yo Ma (at left in photo), the CSO Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant, will receive the League's Gold Baton Award and speak at the Closing Session. 
  • Vijay Gupta, the acclaimed violinist and passionate advocate for artistic voices at the center of social justice, will give the Keynote Address. 
Though they're not announced yet, meetings and events for trustees (called “constituency meetings”) are scheduled for every day of the Conference. For example, on June 13, there's Creating Donor and Governance Pipelines, which will focus on issues associated with a board's need to balance the number of trustees providing direct or indirect financial support to the organization with those who bring expertise, community engagement/connections, or a unique perspective. And on June 15, there's Board + Musicians: A Recipe for Success, which will address the benefits that can come from collaboration between trustees and musicians through the sharing of success stories from trustees and musicians alike.
There’s much more. Go here for more events, including Pre-Conference seminars and five tracks of elective sessions: