The League of League of American Orchestras is working tirelessly to help the orchestra field navigate the pandemic crisis. The League’s activities on this front are guided by three imperatives: help orchestras address immediate hardship with real-time tactical support; unite our community and leverage its collective strength; hold fast to our vision for vibrant and civically engaged music-making and organizations.
As a health and safety precaution, League staff began working from home on March 16. All staffers remain available at their regular email addresses; find a staff contact list with phone number and email addresses at americanorchestras.org/about-the-league/staff-directory.html. The address for general inquiries is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a partial list of recent League activity to support orchestras during the pandemic. Visit americanorchestras.org for the most current information on these and other League programs and resources.
Advocacy: The League remains at the forefront of advocacy on Capitol Hill for federal relief for orchestras and musicians as well as advocating about other issues of importance to orchestras. The League is constantly updating its online federal assistance page to provide the latest information on available forms of federal relief, and members can ask Congress to support further essential aid through the League’s talking points and action center.
Webinars on federal relief: Two free League webinars are now available on demand to guide viewers through specific questions about how various forms of federal relief apply to orchestras and their workforces. The webinars feature expert attorneys and are moderated by Heather Noonan, the League’s Vice President for Advocacy.
Individualized legal assistance on federal relief: The League offers member orchestras individualized technical assistance on the COVID-19 federal relief opportunities, from qualified legal experts at the Pryor Cashman law firm. This is available for a deeply discounted rate that is subsidized by the League.
Executive 1:1 consultations: In addition to offering peer group calls among members, the League has assembled a group of experienced leaders from a variety of orchestras to be available to executive directors of member orchestras for free one-to-one consultations. These leaders, who have volunteered to help and have worked through crises before, are eager to support other orchestra executive directors through the challenges of the pandemic.
National Conference: Due to the pandemic, the League has cancelled its annual in-person Conference and transformed it into an extended online event that is free for all members. Global Stages | Local Stories will take place in May and June. The League will provide an array of online resources, webinars, and virtual gatherings designed to deliver the information orchestras need to navigate the global pandemic and its aftermath; to continue advancing the imperatives of equity, relevance, innovation, and creativity; and to unite and inspire the orchestra community.
Fundraising webinars: The League organized two free webinars to help orchestras raise contributed support amid the current crisis. Fundraising in This Time of Crisis and Maintaining Donor Relationships took place in April; recordings will be available.
Symphony Spot website: The League has created SymphonySpot.org, a new website to spotlight the creative ways that orchestras are providing music online during the era of social distancing. Symphony Spot features web streams, archival recordings, and educational resources from more than 100 orchestras, venues, and soloists who are members and friends of the League. League members wishing to be added to the directory should visit the site. The site links to members’ donation pages and social-media channels.
Caption: Thanks to advocacy by the League, this spring orchestras in all 50 states contacted more than 400 members of Congress to stress the vital importance of government assistance to orchestras during negotiations over COVID-19 federal relief. This map shows the number of messages sent by League-member orchestras to legislators in each state.