April 2023

Executive Summary

Orchestras continue to thrive across America. Despite the turmoil of the past few years, the art form renews itself and inspires millions of people every year. But as orchestras look to the future, new and unpredictable realities are emerging alongside persistent themes that have long concerned our field. In light of this, the League of American Orchestras is reassessing its work for the coming years. Building on formal and informal consultation across the field and many discussions among the League’s board and staff, we have produced a Strategic Framework that outlines goals and key strategies for 2023-2026. It is a flexible, living document to be updated on an annual basis that revisits the League’s overarching vision, prioritizes critical focus areas of work in support of the field, and addresses the League’s operational and business strategies. 

The League’s new Vision, Mission, and Commitments reflect the organization’s dual role as a membership association supporting the field and as a leadership organization advocating for continuous evolution. We also reaffirm our commitment to thread the work of equity, diversity, and inclusion through everything we do, reflecting its central importance to justice, to creativity, and to orchestras’ long-term ability to realize their missions in their communities.

Our essential work in advocacy, convening, leadership development, research, and resources is highly valued by our members and continues unabated. In addition, we have identified five Focus Areas that we believe are central to orchestras’ long-term sustainability:

  • Broadening and Redefining Audience and Community Relationships
  • Accelerating the Pace of Change in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Youth Development and Participation
  • Financial and Organizational Sustainability
  • Change Leadership

An important overall theme of the Framework is the strengthening of the League’s commitment to play a courageous leadership role in advancing change.

The League is meanwhile addressing its own sustainability through a series of business strategies, including increased partnership working, digital transformation, maximizing staff expertise and experience, enhancing the role of the board, and more tightly tying its projects to funding streams.

The Framework will be supported by a national fundraising campaign designed to fund the League’s current programs and the new initiatives we have outlined here.

We are grateful to the many people who contributed to the development and writing of this document with their time, insight, and experience.  

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