NHSO Receives Innovation Grant from The League of American Orchestras’ American Orchestras’ Futures Fund

Tuesday • May 9, 2017

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra (NHSO) is one of just twenty-one orchestras from across the United States to receive a grant from the League of American Orchestras’ American Orchestras’ Futures Fund. The innovation grant of eighty-thousand dollars paid over two years, the generosity of the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation, will support the launch of a string fellowship program to encourage inclusion and diversity in the concert hall and across the community.

“Orchestras blend the diverse voices of many instruments together to create music that is more beautiful than any one instrument can create alone,” said Elaine Carroll, NHSO’s CEO. “This grant from the Futures Fund will allow your Symphony to recruit and support emerging professional musicians who better represent the rich cultural diversity of our community.  These new voices will enhance our music-making, creating ever richer experiences for the audiences and the schools that we serve.”

“These twenty-one orchestras from across the country were chosen for their ability to influence a positive future for the art form,” said Jesse Rosen, President and CEO, League of American Orchestras. “They are making significant and exciting investments in organizational learning and innovation. We are grateful to the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation for their visionary support of this new program.”

“We are delighted by the diversity and reach of the twenty-one initiatives chosen in the first round of the American Orchestras’ Futures Fund,” said Lisa Delan, Director, the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation. “The Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation is deeply appreciative of the opportunity to collaborate with the League of American Orchestras on this program, and for the vision and courageousness of its member orchestras in exploring new ways to impact their communities, field-wide learning, and the future of classical music.”

With support from the Futures Fund, the NHSO’s new string fellowship program will encourage inclusion and diversity in the concert hall and across the greater New Haven community. The goal of the fellowship program is to address the lack of diversity in the orchestra in two ways: through the introduction of diverse orchestral fellows into the orchestra, and through the creation of educational programs that help diverse populations of children develop an interest in music, creativity, an appreciation of different cultures, and resilience. The program will accept two string fellows at the emerging level of their careers each year. During their two-year fellowship, these musicians will be paired with NHSO musician mentors to form a string quartet; this quartet will be integral to the NHSO’s education programs. In addition to career support and the opportunity to perform in NHSO concerts, fellows will join NHSO musicians in leading community conflict resolution workshops and resilience programs for children in New Haven schools, where they will use classical and contemporary music as empowerment tools for New Haven’s minority majority community.

The initiatives funded by the American Orchestras’ Futures Fund include a wide range of innovation efforts, from community and neighborhood residencies, programs redefining the concert experience, and projects aimed at increasing audience diversity, to piloting new organizational practices, fruitful artistic collaborations, and the use of new technologies within the concert hall. For this first round, U.S.-based large- and medium-budget orchestras that are members of the League of American Orchestras were eligible to apply. The $4.5 million Futures Fund program will include another round of two-year grants for small orchestras, to be announced in 2018. In addition to the NHSO, other winners of the Futures Fund first-round grants include the Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the San Francisco Symphony.

In 2016 – 2017, its 123rd season in operation, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra continues to fulfill its mission of increasing the impact and value of orchestral music for its audiences through high quality, affordable performances and educational programming. The NHSO presents more than 40 concerts per season throughout the region and reaches more than 15,000 students through its award-winning educational and community programming. For more information, visit NewHavenSymphony.org.

More about the American Orchestras’ Futures Fund

An independent review panel selected the orchestras to be funded based on criteria including the organization’s capacity to respond and adapt to opportunities and changed circumstances, and the potential for artistic, internal, community, public value, and field-wide impact. The program and evaluation consultants for the American Orchestras’ Futures Fund are, respectively, Sarah Lutman (Lutman & Associates) and Dr. Dennie Palmer Wolf (WolfBrown).

This round’s recipients include:

Albany Symphony – expansion of the American Music Festival, the Symphony’s multi-day celebration of living American composers and new orchestral compositions

Boston Symphony Orchestra – launch of BSO in Residence, an engagement initiative to build reciprocal partnerships between neighborhoods and the orchestra

Dallas Symphony Orchestra – support for three audience development initiatives: DSO Teen Council, ReMix concert series, and SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival

Detroit Symphony Orchestra – expansion of the Neighborhood Residency Initiative, in order to connect more deeply with audiences and diversify learning and service

Handel and Haydn Society – launch of research that will test hypotheses about barriers to attendance and identify strategies for increasing the racial diversity of the audience

Houston Symphony – support for the Community-Embedded Musicians initiative, which expands the orchestra’s team of full-time musicians by adding four new hybrid positions

Knoxville Symphony – launch of the colLABoratory series to attract new concert goers and support of the Music & Wellness program, which enhances the healing process

Los Angeles Philharmonic – expansion of the El Sistema-inspired Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) in order to increase its national as well as local impact

Minnesota Orchestra – enhancement of The Minnesota Model, a framework to address organizational priorities and create shared ownership among all orchestra stakeholders

Nashville Symphony – support for the diversity plan, including inventive programming, preparing young musicians of diverse backgrounds, and altering the organizational culture

New Haven Symphony Orchestra – launch of a string fellowship program to encourage inclusion and diversity in the concert hall and across the community

New World Symphony – support for audience development: a collaboratively sourced symphonic video involving community residents and musician-driven concerts and events

New York Philharmonic – support for Facebook Live broadcasts to reach new and diverse audiences around the world through performances, interviews, and online conversation

Oakland Symphony – launch of the Playlist concert series, blending a concert with a town hall experience to explore the unexpected role music plays beyond the concert stage

Orchestra of St. Luke’s – support for Classical Music Made Digital, an initiative for creating a content strategy and distribution model informed by other musical genres and art forms

Pacific Symphony – support for engaging an increasingly diverse community, including continuing experimentation with site-specific concerts and partnership-based programming

Portland Symphony Orchestra (Maine) – expansion of the PSO Explorers program, an arts-integrated literacy program in the Portland Public Schools that will serve grades K-3

Richmond Symphony – support for several community programs including the Big Tent Project, which brings music to greenspaces, and the VIBE afterschool music program

San Diego Symphony – support for engaging a diverse community, including annual month-long festivals designed around thematic ideas addressing important issues of today

San Francisco Symphony – support for SoundBox, a concert series in an experimental space that enables the audience to approach classical music in a new way

Seattle Symphony – expansion of the Simple Gifts homelessness initiative, including programs for people recovering from addiction and programs for women and children

The League of American Orchestras leads, supports, and champions America’s orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. Its diverse membership of more than 2,000 organizations and individuals across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned symphonies to community groups, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles, from conservatories to libraries, from businesses serving orchestras to individuals who love symphonic music. The only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League is a nexus of knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership advancement. Its conferences and events, award-winning Symphony magazine, website, and other publications inform people around the world about orchestral activity and developments. Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers and administrators, board members, volunteers, and business partners. Visit americanorchestras.org.