July 1, 2024

In This Issue

Latest News on Overtime Rules

As of today, July 1, 2024, new overtime compensation requirements announced by the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) go into effect. Although last week a Texas federal judge temporarily halted implementation of the new rules while a case filed by the state of Texas is considered, the injunction only applies to governmental Texas state employers. The League will keep orchestras posted about any further court action that could impact nationwide implementation. In the meantime, the League’s updated guide to Overtime Policy Developments and Resources includes direct links to the DoL guidance, as well as helpful resources such as an analysis from the National Council of Nonprofits and a webinar hosted by Independent Sector. 

Day of Action: Speak Up July 9 to Fix the Tix!

On July 9, 2024 the League’s partners in the Fix the Tix Coalition are hosting a Day of Action to urge Congress to pass comprehensive ticketing reform. The Senate Fans First Act calls for an end to the fake ticket sales and deceptive marketing tactics that are harming orchestras and their audiences. The League and its member orchestras have been speaking up, and all are encouraged to join artists, organizations, and ticket-buying audiences throughout the country in reaching out to Congress to urge swift action. Whether this is your first time speaking up, or you’ve already engaged on this issue, mark your calendar for July 9 and plan to join this widely coordinated day! You can find all of the background in the League’s Ticketing Policy Overview and speak up using our dedicated Ticketing Policy Advocacy Campaign.

FY25 NEA Funding Decisions Begin

Late last week, the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, which initiates the annual budget for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities, kicked off the FY2025 budget cycle. Subcommittee Chair Mike Simpson (R-ID) proposed each Endowment receive $203.895M – an approximately $3M reduction from current funding levels, but a significantly higher recommendation than the $186.3M the House subcommittee had requested last year. The federal budget process can be very lengthy, with many negotiations along the way. For this reason, advocates are urging an allocation of at least level funding and our quick and customizable NEA e-campaign will route your message directly to your elected officials. Please take a moment to share how NEA funding supports your community and why it’s critical to sustain and grow this budget. Thank you! 

Support the Charitable Act to Boost Giving

After years of evidence that the number of individual donors in the U.S. is on the decline, the latest Giving USA data also finds that dollars given declined for the second consecutive year, failing to keep pace with inflation. The League of American Orchestras advocates alongside the broader nonprofit community in support of a universal charitable deduction, which would cultivate new generations of philanthropists and encourage a tradition of giving among all taxpayers. Bipartisan bills introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate, The Charitable Act, would create a new incentive for giving among taxpayers who do not itemize their returns, making available an above-the-line federal tax deduction for charitable giving valued at up to one-third of the standard deduction. As members of Congress return to their home communities for summer breaks, talk about tax policy with your federally elected officials and encourage support for the Charitable Act. 

Gold Baton Honoree Urges Music Education Advocacy

At our National Conference in Houston last month, the League presented the Gold Baton, our highest honor, to Lee Koonce. While Lee has most recently served as President and Artistic Director of Gateways Music Festival, he reflected on the early days of his career as the founding Director of Community Relations for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Decades later, he sees that much progress is yet to be made if we are to provide a strong musical future for all and broaden the pool of students who can contemplate and pursue a career in music. An equitable arts education for all students—especially in the public education system—requires everyone to step up their advocacy for stronger music education in schools. Get engaged by using the League’s Music Education Advocacy Resources, crafted for local orchestra advocates taking action at the community level to increase arts learning opportunities. 

Become a member

Thank you for your interest in the League of American Orchestras! We are dedicated to advancing the orchestral experience for all.

Join Now