Town Halls

Informal online gatherings showcasing the learnings and experiences of member organizations, professional consultants, and industry leaders on a variety of topics. Free to all ICO member organization's staff, board, volunteers, and musicians. When available, recordings of Town Hall sessions are posted and available to view by logging into your account and visiting the  Town Hall Archive.

Stay tuned for the 2024-2025 season of ICO Town Halls!


 Past Town Halls

ICO Members can access and view the Town Hall Archive by logging into their account and navigating to "Conference & Events" in the menu. 


Working with Radio Partners
Friday, May 24, 2024, 12pm-1pm, zoom

A discussion on how programming and partnerships works on radio stations. How do partnerships get initiated? What does it take to get "on-air"? What are the goals and challenges facing our radio partners and how can Orchestras work better with our media partners? A must attend for anyone who has ever wanted a more robust partnership with a radio station. 

Jody Holtz, Assistant Program & Development Director, Host; WCBU– Peoria Public Radio
Roger Wight, Head of Programming and Operations, WFMT-Chicago


Trailblazers or Trouble Makers? Decoding Gen Z’s Impact in the Workplace

Friday, April 26, 2024
We are in a time of radical evolution and transformation. We face issues of scale and scope that at times seem insurmountable. On to this scene comes Gen Z. Born in 1997 and after, they are entering adulthood amid uncertainty and turmoil. They are creative, passionate and entrepreneurial. They value justice and equity. They are different, and they want a different world. Nearly 84% of Gen Z do not feel ready for their future citing a lack of soft skills. Workplaces are often skeptical, resistant and confused by this generation with 74% of employers say Gen Z is difficult. But Gen Z are our successors, and our legacy depends on them, their success. In this session, Keri Mesropov, Founder and Executive Director of Spring, a talent development agency focused on stewarding young careerists effectively into the workplace introduces us to Gen Z, their ignitors and inhibitors. Mesropov reviews Spring’s commissioned research on Gen Z’s workplace worries and the expectations and hopes they have of their bosses and future workplaces. Mesropov will then be joined by a panel of Gen Z arts administrators, all working in the orchestral world, voicing their candid perspectives on and hopes for the industry. The session concludes with and a rousing audience-panel Q and A.

Keri Mesropov, Founder and Executive Director of Spring


The Start-up Development Office

Friday, March 22, 2024
An introduction to taking the first steps in starting more formal development operations. From applying and securing your first grant, to setting up your donor database and handling your first appeal, hear from industry experts that specialize in this start-up phase. A great session for those wanting to expand their skills set and assist an organization wanting to grow and securing the funds to fuel that growth.

Alexandra Nelson, Juno Consulting, Chicago IL
Nicole Meunier, Union League Boys and Girls Club, Chicago IL

Social Media Strategy and the Ever Evolving Digital Landscape Featuring Capacity Interactive

Wednesday, September 13, 2023
Chances are if you want to drive ticket sales, achieve fundraising targets, or amplify brand awareness, you are considering how best to utilize your digital platforms but where should you prioritize your limited resources? What trends are actually driving revenue? How are you evolving your digital strategy? How can you make limited budgets go further and improve engagement? Capacity Interactive, the country's premiere arts and culture digital marketing consulting firm, will lead this Town Hall to answer some of these questions and provide insights into how organizations continue to respond to this shifting landscape and utilize these platforms effectively. 

Panelists from Capacity Interactive include:
Jess Isgro, Senior Consultant
Adelaid Jenkins, Senior Analyst
Stacie Louis-Jacques, Senior Analyst

Presentation Slides

Q&A with DCASE

Monday, May 15, 2023
Learn about Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events grant opportunities and hear more about DCASE funding priorities with Kalena Chevalier, Deputy Commissioner, Cultural Grants and Resources. Get answers to questions and help secure funding for your organization.
Download the Presentation Deck

What Does "Public Relations" Really Mean?

Friday, March 10, 2023
A panel discussion with public relations professionals that will help define this important aspect of marketing and communications as well as provide a update on the current condition of media landscape and what Orchestras of all types can do to activate outlets in order to bring more awareness to your organization and events.

Panelists include:

  • Tamara Farrell, Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra
  • Angie Theisen, Rockford Symphony Orchestra
  • Rachelle Roe, Arts Etc. Public Relations

The Latest on Artistic Planning

Friday, January 27, 2023
A panel discussion with Artistic leaders to discuss the success and challenges in season planning and share strategies in planning and expanding repertoire.

Panelists include:

  • Marc C. Thayer, Elgin Symphony Orchestra
  • Matthew Sheppard, Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra

The Latest on Individual Giving Campaigns: What’s resonating, what’s changed, and the evolution of events and donor stewardship

Friday, November 4, 2022
A panel discussion that will touch on a variety of fundraising topics to help inform strategies for year-end giving and planning for 2023. Free to all ICO Members.

Panelists include:

  • Priscilla Slaughter, Director of Development and Patron Engagement, Peoria Symphony
  • Catherine Heitz New, Executive Vice President, RSC Fundraising



Ideas for future topics or discussions?

If you have suggestions for future Town Hall topics, email us at [email protected]