Nashville Symphony to Receive Innovation Grant from the League of American Orchestras’ American Orchestras’ Futures Fund

May 09, 2017

Grant Supports and Bolsters Organization’s Diversity Initiatives

The Nashville Symphony is one of 21 orchestras from across the United States to receive a grant from the League of American Orchestras’ American Orchestras’ Futures Fund. Made possible by the generosity of the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation, the two-year innovation grant will support the Symphony’s diversity initiatives, which have been a core institutional priority in recent years.

“We are honored to be recognized by the League of American Orchestras with this generous grant and to be included among our fine peer orchestras from around the country,” said Alan D. Valentine, Nashville Symphony President and CEO. “We firmly believe that this orchestra belongs to everyone in our community, and this grant will allow us to reach and engage even more people in Middle Tennessee while fulfilling a wider community initiative to ensure equitable access to the arts.”

As one of the major cultural institutions in the city, the Nashville Symphony believes that the orchestra must equitably reflect the viewpoints and talents of the community it serves. That community continues to evolve rapidly, with a significant migration of new residents and dramatically diversifying ethnic and cultural demographics. The Futures Fund will support the Nashville Symphony’s institutional diversity plan in three ways:

  • Offering inventive musical programming through cross-cultural collaboration with artists from outside traditional classical music and through partnerships with civic organizations;
  • Implementing educational initiatives such as the Accelerando program, which prepares gifted young students of diverse ethnic backgrounds to pursue music at the collegiate level and beyond;
  • Altering the organizational culture through efforts such as adapting hiring practices, building organizational capacity through training in systemic racism and anti-racism work, and collaborating with the orchestra musicians and the local union to identify potential pathways to orchestral careers for musicians of color.

“These 21 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 21 initiatives chosen in the first round of the American Orchestras’ Futures Fund,” said Lisa Delan, Director of 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.”

The initiatives funded through the $4.5 million American Orchestras’ Future Fund program include a wide range of innovation efforts, including community and neighborhood residencies, programs redefining the concert experience, projects aimed at increasing audience diversity, piloting new organizational practices, artistic collaborations, and the use of new technologies within the concert hall.

The program will include another round of two-year grants for small- and medium-budget orchestras, to be announced in 2018.

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. An independent review panel selected the orchestras 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).

The full list of this round’s Futures Fund recipients can be found here.