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

March 29, 2018
NEA Receives $3 Million Increase in 2018 Budget!

We wanted to share some good news with you today. You may have seen that last Friday Congress passed, and the President signed into law, an omnibus spending bill that will continue to fund the government for the remainder of the 2018 fiscal year, which started in October 2017. The bill included great news for the cultural sector:

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) will each receive $152.849 million for the current fiscal year, representing a $3 million increase over the FY2017 budget. The increase to the NEA is directed toward expanding the Creative Forces: Military Healing Arts Network and increasing grants made available to indigenous, rural, and underserved areas. The budget language commends "the NEA for its work incorporating arts therapy into the treatment of active-duty military patients, veterans and their families" through this program. Congress also encourages the timely appointment of individuals to fill the vacancies on the National Council on the Arts, positions that are appointed by the president.

Additional successes include:
  • The Assistance for Arts Education grant program at the U.S. Department of Education received $29 million, a $2 million increase over the previous fiscal year.
  • The Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants program at the U.S. Department of Education is funded at $1.1 billion, a $700 million increase from FY2017.
  • The Office of Citizen Exchange within the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State received $111.4 million, level funding from the previous fiscal year.
  • The Institute of Museum and Library Services received a $9 million increase, including a $3 million increase to museums.
  • The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which had been slated to be defunded in previous budget drafts, will receive level funding.
  • The Johnson Amendment, which protects charitable nonprofits from partisan politicking, was neither repealed nor weakened.
  • This budget represents an incredible show of bipartisan support from Congress. The administration's 2018 budget proposal requested the elimination of the cultural agencies. The government has been funded through a series of continuing resolutions since October 2017, with the most recent CR having ended on Friday, March 23.
Please be sure to reach out to your members of Congress to express thanks for their ongoing support for the arts.
Upcoming Ask an Expert Webinar 

How's Your Orchestra's Health?
April 25, 2018 - 11AM-12PM

What is the current financial and organizational health of symphony orchestras in California compared with those across the U.S.?

How can we use data to help us monitor and improve our financial and organizational health?

You care about your organization's health. So do we. That is why SMU's National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) has created a free, online diagnostic tool, the NCAR KIPI (Key Intangible Performance Indicator) Dashboard, which allows you to see how your organization compares to organizations like yours nationally on a variety of financial and operating performance indices. NCAR Director Zannie Voss and SMU MA/MBA Candidate Andrew Reynolds will share trend analysis for symphony orchestras in California, and will walk you through the Dashboard to demonstrate how it can be used to assess and advance your organization's health.

Click here for more information and to register for this program. Webinars are free to members and $25 to non-members. 
State & Local Minimum Wages Rise for 2018
Minimum wage rates across California have increased for 2018 as follows:

State Minimum Wage
A reminder that effective January 1, 2018, the state minimum wage increased to $10.50 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees, and to $11.00 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees.

Local Minimum Wages
The following local minimum wage rates are also effective as of January 1, 2018:
  • Cupertino: $13.50 per hour
  • El Cerrito: $13.60 per hour
  • Los Altos: $13.50 per hour
  • Milpitas: $12.00 per hour
  • Mountain View: $15.00 per hour
  • Oakland: $13.23 per hour
  • Palo Alto: $13.50 per hour
  • Richmond: $13.41 per hour
  • San Jose: $13.50 per hour
  • San Mateo: $13.50 per hour
  • Santa Clara: $13.00 per hour
  • Sunnyvale: $15.00 per hour
The following local minimum wage rates will become effective July 1, 2018:
  • Belmont: $12.50 per hour
  • Los Angeles, Malibu, Pasadena & Santa Monica: $12.00 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees, and $13.25 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees
  • Milpitas: $13.50 per hour
  • San Francisco: $15.00 per hour
  • San Leandro: $13.00 per hour
Effective October 1, 2018, the minimum wage in Berkeley will rise to $15.00 per hour.

Click here to learn more about the five-year minimum wage plan.
GrantAdvisor Needs Your Help

GrantAdvisor is a web service that facilitates open dialogue between nonprofits and grantmakers by collecting authentic, real-time reviews and comments on grantseekers' experiences working with funders to encourage more productive philanthropy. GrantAdvisor is a partnership between the CalNonprofits, Great Nonprofits, and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.

As a crowd-sourced website, GrantAdvisor simply needs the crowd!

Nonprofit staff and fundraising professionals like you who are willing to share your perspectives will increase funder transparency and you get to learn from your peers how (and if) to approach specific funders.

Twenty-five foundations in California already have reviews on GrantAdvisor (though you can write a review of any funder in the U.S.). Foundations are rated on four measures (overall relationship with the funder, how many hours does the grant application take, accessibility, and how successful the funder is at accomplishing its philanthropic goals), and reviewers also share experiences and opinions about foundations they've worked with.

Here's How to Help

Over 100 California foundations have one or more review on the site. However, a foundation's profile and reviews aren't published until they get at least 5 reviews. This ensures foundation profiles show a more complete picture of the funder, based on multiple reviews. But, this high standard also means that we need more reviews to make the website useful for our community. Right now, only 25 California foundation profiles are live on GrantAdvisor - help us double that number in the next three months!

Nonprofit grantees and fundraisers: Take 7 minutes this week to write a review (or two or three), and read reviews of funders on your list.

Click here for more information and to submit a review.
National Arts Marketing and Ticketing Conference

Join ArtsReach, May 15-16, 2018 in San Francisco for the National Arts Marketing, Development and Ticketing Conference

Sometimes life (and business) throws us curveballs. That's why we are coming together right now to collectively think outside the box office and blaze new trails for revenue generation: with fresh, hands-on interactive exercises, more of the vital content our Arts Reach delegates love, a special Digital Marketing Track and powerful programs with luminaries like Doug McLennan, Editor,

The key word is collaborate for this convening. If you're going to chart a bold new course for your organization, it's best to have the entire team on board at the inception. That's why you can get the lowest price and bring two colleagues for free when you register by March 16. That's three for the price of one. Each additional registration is just $199.

Can't spare the entire team all at once? Understood! ArtsReach will allow two colleagues to time-share one registration.

Also, change starts at the top. Regardless of whether your CEO, Executive Director, Dean, Artistic Director, Managing Director, Managing Producer or President is registered to attend the full conference - we'd like them to be our complimentary guest for all sessions on Friday, March 16, from noon to five, which includes our networking reception, roundtable discussions over lunch and then an Afternoon Intensive with audience development guru Bob Harlow, sponsored by The Wallace Foundation.

Click here for more information and to register.
New ACSO Website and Database Coming Next Month
We are pleased to announce that ACSO will be transitioning to a brand new, more user-friendly website and integrated membership database next month. What does this mean for you?
You will continue to be able to access all the features and information currently found at, such as the member-only content, the job postings, conference and program registration, the monthly concert listings, and online membership renewal. Plus, the new website will not only be more aesthetically pleasing and contemporary in look and feel, but it will also be mobile-responsive, so you can connect with us easily from your tablets and smart phones.
You will also be better able to manage your ACSO membership because all dues-paying members, whether you are part of a member organization or you are an individual member, will be set up with a unique profile with a username and password that you can use to log in to check on your membership status, renew your membership, update your contact information, manage your communication preferences, and register for conference or other ACSO events. This is the first time that ACSO has been able to offer you control of your own membership profile.
Because this is a big step forward for ACSO's technology, we know there may be some initial bumps in the road as we get everyone used to the new website and membership database. But please know that we want to make this as seamless as possible and will help you set up your profiles and navigate the new website.
After we go live with the new and improved in early April, we will send out additional "how to" information to get you started, as well as conduct some orientation webinars so that you can learn all the ins and outs of our new systems. And as always, we are just a phone call or email away.
Upcoming Dates and Reminders

April 16
ACSO Board of Directors Meeting - Los Angeles, CA

April 25
Ask an Expert Webinar - Register Today

August 9-11
ACSO 2018 Annual Conference - Sacramento, CA