Orchestra Conference votes for change

Posted on: June 17, 2010

Delegates to the League of American Orchestras’ 65th National Conference now taking place in Atlanta are calling for significant change. Asked at the June 16 opening session—a Town Hall-style meeting—for a show of hands on the need for change using a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 meaning no change at American orchestras is needed and 5 calling for immediate, radical change), the majority of the 1,000 present responded at level 4. Several industry observers at the event noted that this marked a significant shift from the sentiment at conferences four and five years ago. Conference delegates were joined by an online audience of nearly 800 who participated via live video stream, a first for a League conference. Input from a Twitter feed was shared with the delegates during the discussion. ArtsJournal.com founder Douglas McLennan, who curated online participation for the event, said it was “pretty amazing” to have that number of people watching an event like this from the outside. “If you count the number of people who are likely to watch over the next month or so, you’ve basically doubled your audience.” Delegates also heard a keynote address from Ben Cameron, program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Foundation. The four-day Conference, themed It’s Time to Take on the Future, continues through Friday. The opening session and orchestrarevolution.org site were made possible with generous funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The opening session was recorded and is available in its entirety on the orchestrarevolution site homepage.

Posted June 17, 2010