The Kennedy Center

SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras

Offsite Event--SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras: Symposium

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 10:00 AM

JFK Centennial Celebration SHIFT

As part of SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras, a group of panelists discusses the challenges facing orchestras as the audience landscape changes and communities call out for more engagement from their non-profit arts organizations, in a free Symposium at the Library of Congress.

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PLEASE NOTE: This event does NOT take place at the Kennedy CenterSHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras
Symposium--Leading the Charge: Orchestra Innovation and the SHIFT Festival
Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Coolidge Auditorium
Thomas Jefferson Building
Library of Congress
10 First Street, S.E., Washington, D.C.

The SHIFT festival provides a national platform for orchestras to showcase the breadth of their innovative work, on stage and in the community. It highlights the ways in which orchestras of all sizes are making a "shift"--where they perform, what they sound like, and whom they serve. The Symposium will ask hard questions about the universal challenges facing orchestras as the audience landscape changes, communities call out for more engagement from their non-profits, and the art form seeks its place amid the currents of contemporary American life. The Symposium will explore how successful orchestras question closely-held assumptions, take risks, develop cultures of continuous learning, and view the audience as a central partner.

Event Timing: 2–1/2 hours

NOTE: This is a FREE event. To make a reservation, please call (202) 416-8333 or email

Symposium Schedule
  10 a.m. -- Welcome
  Session One -- Why SHIFT is Important
     Rhona Wolfe Friedman, Commissioner, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities
     Stanford Thompson, Trumpeter and Executive Director Play on Philly
     Thomas Wilkins, Music Director, Omaha Symphony, Principal Conductor, Hollywood Bowl 
     Jenny Bilfield, President and CEO, Washington Performing Arts   

  11 a.m. -- Performance: Play On, Philly! Chamber Ensemble

  11:15 a.m. -- Break

  11:30 a.m. -- Presentation and Panel Discussion: Risk and Innovation
  Presentation: Karen Dillon, Bestselling author and former editor, Harvard Business Review

     Sandi Macdonald, President, The North Carolina Symphony
     Kevin Shuck, Executive Director, The Boulder Philharmonic 
     Sarah Kirkland-Snider, Composer
     Karen Dillon

  Moderator: Jesse Rosen, President and CEO, League of American Orchestras 
SHIFT is co-presented by Washington Performing Arts and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.