Choruses undergo many transitions in their life span—founder transitions, music director transitions, transitions from volunteer to paid staff. Perhaps the most delicate of these important transitions is the evolution from a singer board to a community board. This shift from a board comprised predominately of singers who have responsibility for every facet of the organization to a governing body with broad community representation can be both a challenging and lengthy process.
Developing a dynamic board requires identifying a pool of strong candidates, the ability to select the right ones for your organization, and an effective board orientation. It is also important to engage and educate your trustees, to have an effective board rotation plan, to ensure that your representation is diverse, and to evaluate performance so that your board improves with age. And of course, it is always important to show your appreciation to the trustees who give your arts organization its special personality.
Activities undertaken by children and teens can profoundly influence the shape of their lives, and singing in a chorus is unusually powerful. Interviews with choral singers show that such early encounters grow into close, passionate relationships with music and choral singing, reflecting the positive influence that choral singing plays in bringing value, direction, and meaning to lives.
What image comes to mind when you hear the term founder transition? Do you think tempest? Do you think sunset cruise? During my work as an arts management consultant I have encountered many organizations navigating a founder transition. This experience has given me a great deal of respect for those who have made successful founder transitions and is the basis for the observations and suggestions I share with organizations facing this important evolution.
There’s a good chance that, like many nonprofits, you aren’t happy with your attempts to achieve diversity. If your best-intentioned efforts are failing, consider these 10 steps to promoting inclusion on your board.
A chorus by its very nature is a collaboration - singers, instrumentalists, music directors, front-office staff—all, according to Webster, performing work or labor together, especially literary (read artistic) pursuits." So it comes as no surprise that choruses would extend that collaborative spirit beyond their own organizations.
Ask these seven questions to start laying the foundation for an ethics program for your chorus, as recommended in "A New Ethics Environment" by Michael Daigneault, Esq.
Few performing arts organizations need to be told they are unique. To start with, the leadership structure of performing arts groups is as distinctive from other nonprofits as performing arts groups are from each other. While most nonprofits divide leadership between the board and the chief executive, performing arts organizations include an artistic director and distribute leadership responsibility within a triad.
You may think that choruses are immune from the transformations that will result from the business and ethics crises that beset politicians and corporations. Far from it. Ethics touches every element of a modern chorus—including board, management, artists, and audience.
Can we translate the good news of Chorus America's "chorus impact study" into larger audiences for choral music?
A crisis is an unwelcome visitor in any organization, but you can minimize its impact with a crisis management plan—here's how to craft yours.
Whether affiliated or independent, symphony choruses travel many roads to success.