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Your Action Needed to Oppose NEA, NEH, and CPB Budget Cuts!

Call to Action from Americans for the Arts:
   
For a third straight year, the current administration has proposed to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and the Corporation of Public Broadcasting (CPB). It is time to ask Congress—as it has done in the past two fiscal years—to again reject this short-sighted budget request in a bipartisan, bicameral manner, and increase funding for the Endowments. 
   
Use this easy tool to contact your member of Congress today to urge them to reject the president's proposal.
   
Saving the cultural agencies happened because thousands of arts advocates made their voices heard on Capitol Hill. Congress not only dismissed these initial calls for termination, but in fact gave steady increases in funding to several cultural agencies. Check out a brief history of budgetary proposals and final funding for these agencies for the past three years. 
   
Also, be sure to check out Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch's statement regarding the president's budget proposal.

   

Meet the ACSO staff

We have some new faces at ACSO, so we thought this was the perfect time to (re)introduce the team working for your professional service organization. We asked each team member to tell us what they like most about working at ACSO and what kind of music, classical or otherwise, is their favorite. 
  

Sarah Weber, Executive Director Some of you may know Sarah in her previous ACSO role as membership and development manager. She stepped into the executive director role in January and is excited to lead the organization into its 50th year and beyond. Sarah’s favorite thing about ACSO is the passion that our members bring to their work and the camaraderie and support they bring to each other. Sarah’s favorite classical composer is Vivaldi because his fiery red hair matches his music, making it the most fun to play.
  


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Up and Down the Scale: January through March 2019

We are excited to share the latest developments and changes in the professional lives of our members. This edition covers announcements made January through March 2019. If you want to share the administrative, board, or staff member happenings at your organization, send announcements to [email protected]

Individuals

Festival Mozaic named Jeri Corgill, a Festival Mozaic board member, as interim executive director. With a varied background in finance, public policy, city government, travel and tourism and nonprofit consulting, Corgill will lead Festival Mozaic until the board’s search for a permanent executive director is concluded.

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NEA Funds ACSO Organizational Members and Announces Upcoming Grant Deadlines

Eight ACSO Organizational Members have been awarded $275,000 in Art Works, Part 1 and Challenge America grants by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in the first round of major grant funding in the 2019 fiscal year. Direct grants from the NEA are a crucial form of support for many community-based arts organizations, enabling grantees to leverage additional financial support from state, local, and private sources.

Art Works Grant, Part 1

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Kris Sinclair Leadership Award Applications Due March 8

The Kris Sinclair Leadership Award is given to an ACSO Organizational Member that demonstrates recent successful leadership initiatives by its staff and/or board in one or more of the following areas: finance, governance, staff development, audience development, education, or community engagement.

This $5,000 award is made possible by the Kris Sinclair Fund for Professional Development, consisting of contributions made in Kris Sinclair's name to support professional development and technical assistance offered by the ACSO. Sinclair was the executive director of the Association for 31 years and provided members with technical assistance, professional development opportunities, and consultation on a myriad of orchestra management topics.

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April is Officially Arts, Culture, and Creativity Advocacy Month in California

Californians for the Arts has announced that starting in 2019, April will officially be Arts, Culture and Creativity Month in the state of California and April 23 will be Advocacy Day in Sacramento. ACSO joins with our arts partners around the state in supporting these efforts. 

Visit Californians for the Arts' website to learn more about what we are advocating for and how you can get involved. One of the best ways to make the case for supporting the arts is to share your Arts Impact Stories. Submissions will help bring public awareness of the importance of the arts; to ensure that the arts are an ongoing part of the public dialogue; and to encourage Californians to care about the arts as a critical component of their own lives and the lives of their communities.

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ACSO Board Appoints Sarah Weber as Executive Director

The Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Sarah Weber has been selected as the association’s new Executive Director. She began her tenure in that role on January 1, 2019.

For the past two years, Sarah has served as ACSO’s Membership and Development Manager. During that time, she has executed membership renewal campaigns, written successful grant proposals, and secured corporate and individual donations. She has been a partner in program planning, managed the delivery of member services, and played a key part in producing ACSO’s signature annual conference. Her enthusiasm for inviting and growing individual participation, maintaining organizational continuity, and directing energy towards purposeful work and accomplishment will serve ACSO and its membership extraordinarily well as the organization prepares to celebrate its 50th Anniversary.

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Is Your Board Optimized? Learn the Habits of 
Highly Effective Board Members

Join the League of American Orchestras and ACSO on February 1, 2019 for an exciting leadership development seminar in Los Angeles. Is Your Board Optimized? is presented by the orchestra-savvy, Susan Howlett, author of Boards on Fire! Inspiring Leaders to Raise Money Joyfully.

After attending this workshop, you will leave knowing what highly effective board members know -- the proven-practices that don't cost money, don't require more time, but result in optimized boards. Perfect for board-staff teams, this practical session addresses the complementary roles board members play in their organization's governance and resource development.

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Speak Up Today to Repeal New Tax on Nonprofits

The comprehensive tax reform provisions signed into law last December include a new requirement for nonprofits to pay Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT) equal to 21% of the value of commuting and parking benefits provided to employees. The League of American Orchestras has partnered with the broader nonprofit sector to ask for clarification of the new rules, delayed implementation, and repeal of this unprecedented tax on nonprofit expenses. While no guidance has been issued by the Internal Revenue Service to clarify which benefits are subject to the tax and how to value certain benefits, the new requirements officially took effect beginning on January 1, 2018.

A tax package now under consideration by Congress includes a provision to repeal the new tax on nonprofits. You can take action today by contacting your elected officials to ask them to:

  1. Weigh in with the Treasury Department on your behalf, and ask for a delay in implementing the new tax.
  2. Take legislative action to repeal the new tax on nonprofit parking and transportation employee benefits.

The Johnson Amendment is at Risk Again - Take Action!

The Johnson Amendment is at risk again. This Amendment (passed in 1954) forbids nonprofits from endorsing candidates. We can of course take positions on ballot measures and legislation, but the Johnson Amendment protects us from being pressured to support a particular candidate for Congress, Board of Supervisors, or any other elected office.

Imagine if a major donor asked your organization to publicly support his choice for the Board of Supervisors. Or if a foundation president sent a letter to grantees asking them to publicly oppose the same candidate. The Johnson Amendment protects us from this kind of pressure.

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Wildfire Resources

We send our thoughts and prayers to our members affected by the wildfires in Northern and Southern California. We will update this feed as we learn more from our members. Also, we will share resources with those in need and ways you can help.

Resources for those Affected

ArtsReady
ArtsReady is your cultural organization’s online source for readiness resources, and a web application that can make disaster planning easy.

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Music for Our Veterans

Note from ACSO: The author of this article, Retired United States Marine Corps Major Brian Dix, was Director of “The Commandant’s Own,” The U.S Marine Drum & Bugle Corps, in Washington, D.C. He is currently an independent conductor and composer in San Diego, California.

It is a pleasure observing various symphony orchestras crafting Veterans Day programs each year on November 11. Having worked with several artistic directors on creating appropriate repertoires, I’ve seen common threads of misunderstanding. They often suggest well-intended selections for our nation’s fallen service members that are more appropriate for a day of solemn and earnest commemoration, also know as Memorial Day. In a nutshell, Memorial Day is a day of “remembrance”; Veterans Day is for the living.

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Important Announcement from ACSO Board President

It is bittersweet to share the news that ACSO executive director Mitch Menchaca has been appointed as the new executive director of arts and culture for the City of Phoenix and will be stepping down from his ACSO post November 30 to assume his new role.

Mitch joined ACSO at a transitional time when Kris Sinclair stepped down after 31-years of service. During his tenure, he worked with the board and staff to start the next era in advancement of the organization and its unique mission. This included moving the office from Sacramento to Los Angeles, finding new revenue streams in LA County, and managing the development process of a new strategic plan. Mitch also upgraded the association’s technology, hired terrific new staff and retained key contractors. He facilitated the continued growth and excellence of ACSO’s program offerings, and he invested time in enhancing the profile on the organization's advocacy efforts.

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Up and Down the Scale: September & October 2018

Sharing the latest developments and changes in the professional lives of our members. This edition covers announcements made in September and October 2018.

Individuals

The Carmel Bach Festival announced the promotion of Michael Beattie to the position of Director of the Virginia Best Adams Masterclass.

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ACSO Celebrates National Arts and Humanities Month

ACSO joins thousands of arts organizations and communities across the nation to celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month throughout October. National Arts and Humanities Month is coordinated by Americans for the Arts, the national organization working to empower communities with the resources and support necessary to provide access to all of the arts for all of the people. This month-long celebration grew out of National Arts Week, which was started in 1985 by the National Endowment for the Arts and Americans for the Arts.

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The LA Phil at 100

Note from ACSO: The author of this article, Julia Ward, is the director, development communications and strategy and editor, Past/Forward: The LA Phil at 100 at the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She is also on ACSO's Board of Directors.

When the Los Angeles Philharmonic was founded in 1919 by William Andrews Clark, Jr., Los Angeles wasn’t the likeliest place for a professional orchestra to spring up. It was a pioneer town with indigenous roots on the verge of what remains one of the largest population booms in U.S. history. The film industry had set up shop by then as well, and Fatty Arbuckle shorts weren’t doing much for the city’s reputation as a fount of classical art. But Clark and the impresarios who followed were nothing if not aspirational. 

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ACSO Celebrates National Arts Education Week by Highlighting our Youth Orchestra, Academic, and Orchestra Education Members

Passed by Congress in 2010, House Resolution 275 designates the week beginning with the second Sunday in September as National Arts in Education Week - that's this week! National Arts in Education Week is supported by Americans for the Arts on behalf of the field of arts education to bring visibility to the cause, unify stakeholders with a shared message, and provide the tools and resources for local leaders to advance arts education in their communities.

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Ask an Expert Webinar: How to Crack the Devotion Code

Intense customer loyalty isn’t just for companies like Apple and Harley-Davidson.  Today, all sorts of organizations and companies are competing to transform mere customers into vigorous communities of support.  That spells even greater competition for non-profit arts & cultural organizations.  In this webinar, Matt Lehrman shares 5 essential strategies to grow audiences and and sustain your patrons' fervent support.  The rules of allegiance for your ticket buyers, subscribers, member and donors are changing.  If you’re not diligently pursuing your Patrons’ loyalty, someone else surely is.

Matt Lehrman, whose keynote talk at the ACSO conference challenged attendees to grade “How Relevant is My Organization?”, leads Audience Avenue, a national consulting practice that helps arts & cultural organizations innovate on topics of strategic planning, community engagement, and audience development.

Jack of All Trades, or Master of One? How Musicians Make an Impact as Artists and Administrators

Note from ACSO: The author of this blog, Leslie Schlussel, is ACSO's Summer 2018 Conference and Membership Intern and her internship is supported by a grant from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. She is entering her senior year at UCLA, majoring in Music Performance with a minor in Music Industry. She aspires to be a professional horn player in a symphony orchestra as well as work in arts administration.

What is my role as a classical musician in today’s world? In what ways can I help protect orchestral music’s integrity and further its efforts to address audiences’ evolving needs and expectations?

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Up and Down the Scale: Spring and Summer 2018

Sharing the latest developments and changes in the professional lives of our members. This edition covers announcements made spring and summer of 2018.

Individuals

The Santa Rosa Symphony has announced four new appointments to its board of directors. They are Marty Behr, Betty Ferris, and Jacki Reinhardt of Santa Rosa, and Andrew Lewis of San Francisco. 

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