ACSO eNEWS provides updates and opportunities for California's orchestras and classical music field.

Advocacy Action Alert: Support Federal Funding for the Arts

Federal cultural agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), are in danger of being eliminated by the new Administration. The NEA funds nearly $10 million dollars in federal grants to California's nonprofit arts community and serves every congressional district in our state. These funds support arts education and every artistic discipline, including classical music.

ACSO is a member of the Americans for the Arts Action Fund and we sending our members an action alert to help rally national support to save the NEA.

Remember, advocacy is different than lobbying and your organization has the right to advocate on behalf of its constituents. Citizen participation and citizen action is essential to democracy.

Save the date for ACSO's 2017 Annual Conference, July 20-22 - hosted by the LA Phil. This three-day convening centers around your needs and is in response to industry challenges and trends.

This year, the Annual Conference is in conjunction with the National Take a Stand Symposium, which brings together leaders, teachers, researchers, and key stakeholders from around the world with a vested interest in the El Sistema movement and progressive practices in music education. Registration to the ACSO Annual Conference gets you access to the National Take a Stand Symposium - two convenings for the price of one!

Annual Conference registration opens April 2017.

Apply to the California Arts Council for a grant to send you to the ACSO Annual Conference

CAC Professional Development Grants support professional growth and leadership training opportunities for individual staff members, artists, arts administrators or arts educators employed by the applying organization. Professional development activities could include  registration fees for in-state conferences, seminars and workshops including the ACSO Annual Conference! Grant deadline is April 1.

Powerful Boards, Purposeful Fundraising Seminar
Professional Development Seminar in San Francisco, CA on February 16, 2017

Do you want to give your organization an opportunity to significantly increase the potential of your board's development efforts? Attend "Powerful Boards, Purposeful Fundraising," a professional development seminar presented by the League of American Orchestras' Noteboom Governance Center,  in collaboration with ACSO.

Topics Covered in This Day-Long Session Will Include:
  • Trends impacting governance and fundraising in the nonprofit sector
  • Why some nonprofits confuse volunteering with governance
  • Legal obligations of nonprofit boards
  • How great boards profile before recruiting
  • Why term limits are essential for a fundraising board
  • How successful fundraising is not about asking for money
Who Should Attend?
Board members, executive directors/CEOs, senior development staff, and volunteers who have fundraising or governance responsibilities. To derive the maximum benefit and truly multiply the force of your development efforts, teams of board and staff members are encouraged to attend.

ACSO Consulting Services Program Grants

ACSO's Consulting Services Program provides affordable and accessible consultantations to member organizations to strengthen their organizational capacities.
Through generous support from the  Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation , ACSO supports requests for professional consultants by member organizations in the areas of board development, organizational structure, fundraising, artistic planning, program development, marketing and audience development, financial management, and strategic/long range planning.

Member organizations may request up to the maximum award of $1,000 to pay a consultant's honorarium. Consulting Services Program Grants are available throughout the year to member organizations on a first-come, first-served basis and are subject to approval and availability of funds.

Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation recently announced a new five-year, $8 million addition to its grantmaking in support of the performing arts. In celebration of the foundation's 50th anniversary, the Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions will enable San Francisco Bay Area nonprofits to work with exceptional artists from around the world to create and premiere new works of performing arts in local communities.

This year's awards will support music composition, with future years focused on other disciplines: theater, dance, folk and traditional arts, and film and media. Organizations do not need to be arts producers or presenters, and nonprofits working on diverse issues are eligible to receive grants.

Applications are due by April 14. Full details are online at
NEA 2017 Funding Guidelines Posted

Guidelines and application materials for three National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) funding categories - Art Works, Arts Works Creativity Connects, and Challenge America - have been posted on the NEA's website. 

The 2017 Art Works and Challenge America programs support projects taking place beginning in 2018. Guidelines and application materials are in the Apply for a Grant section of the NEA website.


Art Works
Application Deadlines:

 - February 16, 2017

 - July 13, 2017

Art Works: Creativity Connects
Application Deadline: May 4, 2017
Recent Creativity Connects grants are posted on the NEA website.
Guidelines workshop webinar is scheduled for March 22, 2017 (details will be posted soon).

Challenge America
Application Deadline: April 13, 2017
Recent Challenge America grants are posted on the NEA website.
Guidelines workshop webinar is scheduled for March 1, 2017 (details will be posted soon).
Upcoming Dates and Reminders

February 2
ACSO News Winter Issue in Mailboxes - Download and Share Today

February 16
Powerful Boards, Purposeful Fundraising Seminar - Register Today

March 3
Youth Orchestras Confab - San Luis Obispo, CA

April 19
Ask an Expert Webinar: Building and Engaging Your Board

July 20-22
ACSO 2017 Annual Conference - Los Angeles, CA