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

Early-Bird Deadline Extended to May 19
Opening Plenary Speaker to be Announced

Next week, we will reveal the identity of our opening plenary speaker. Hint: this esteemed individual holds titled positions at three major symphonies and is devoted to promoting a life-long enthusiasm for music to audiences of all ages.

To celebrate this exciting addition to our conference, we are extending the early-bird deadline to Friday, May 19. This gives you an extra week to take advantage of discounted conference rates.

The opening plenary will be a joint session at Walt Disney Concert Hall for attendees of the ACSO Annual Conference and the National Take a Stand Symposium!

Conference Highlight: Take a Stand Symposium

The Take a Stand Symposium will bring together leaders, teachers, and key stakeholders from around the world with a vested interest in the El Sistema movement and progressive practices in music education. Coinciding with the tenth anniversary of Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA), participants will address and reflect on past, present, and future issues facing the field.

Registration to the ACSO Annual Conference gets you access to sections of the National Take a Stand Symposium - two convenings for the price of one!

Member Directory Now Available

We are proud to share our new 2017 Directory of Members. You can easily connect with ACSO's organizational members by downloading and printing your own copy. Find orchestras by name, budget size, or region/county. Or if you'd rather go green, you can use our searchable member directory found in the members-only section of our website.
Please double-check your organization's information for accuracy, and if anything is not correct, contact to make updates.

Congress Gives the Arts and Culture a Funding Boost

Congress has reached a bipartisan agreement on a bill to fund the nation's federal agencies and programs for the remaining balance of the current FY2017 fiscal year, which ends on September 30, 2017. None of the nation's arts and cultural agencies nor programs incurred a budget cut. In fact, many of them received funding increases for this year, including the NEA!

Special thanks to House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee  Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA) for initiating a funding increase for many of these cultural programs in the House Interior bill and to Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee  Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) for having the Senate match the funding increases in this bipartisan Omnibus Appropriations bill. 

2016 Nation's Report Card in the Arts is Released

Commonly referred to as the Nation's Report Card, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the only continuing, national measure of the academic achievement of America's public and private schools. For nearly 50 years, student performance has been measured in the following subjects: reading, math, writing, science, U.S. history, civics, economics, technology and engineering literacy, geography and the arts. The 2016 NAEP marked the fifth national assessment of both music and visual arts disciplines.

Music portion of the assessment
Students' ability to respond to music was measured in various ways. Responding questions asked students to analyze and describe aspects of music they heard, critique instrumental and vocal performances, and demonstrate their knowledge of standard musical notation and music's role in society. For example, after listening to a piece of music, students were asked to identify the music's region of origin and to describe a feature of the music that helped them to identify the part of the world that they selected. The average responding score for music was reported on a 0-300 scale.

Investing in Tomorrow Organizational Grants

As part of the Center for Cultural Innovation's (CCI) efforts to support new arts leadership with support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Investing in Tomorrow Organizational Grants is a new, one-time grant program that will invest $105,000 in bold ideas by individuals at California nonprofit or fiscally sponsored arts organizations that have the potential to re-shape the future of the arts sector in exciting and important ways. 

CCI recently published Creativity Connects: Trends and Conditions Affecting U.S. Artists, a national research report to examine the state of the arts and its shifts. The report described how the nonprofit arts sector is changing in dramatic ways. Shifts in demographics have created new priorities for democratizing production of and access to culture. In addition, emerging generations of artists and arts leaders eschew being defined solely by sector or discipline in favor of more complex identities, including prioritizing artistic practices that have social impacts. On January 23, 2017, CCI convened over 200 artists and arts professionals to brainstorm the future of the arts. What we heard affirmed our Creativity Connects research findings: Participants want to work toward advancing equality, inclusion, equity, and financial sustainability in common cause with others.

At this time, there are no grants of this type-field-wide change capital for promising leaders to improve the nonprofit arts sector through existing arts organizations. Investing in Tomorrow Organizational Grants will therefore surface and support catalytic individual and institutional leadership at this time of tremendous social, economic, generational, demographic, and technological change.

Upcoming Dates and Reminders

May 19
Annual Conference Early-Bird Deadline

May 22
ACSO Board of Directors Meeting - Los Angeles, CA

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