For the past 14 years, Polly Kahn has served as Vice President for Learning & Leadership Development at the League of American Orchestras, where she oversaw the League’s artistic, learning, and leadership development programs and services, including the Orchestra Leadership Academy, Emerging Leaders Program, National Conference, Getty Education and Community Investment Grants, Music Alive new music program, constituent services, programs for emerging orchestra executives, online learning, and self-assessment tools for orchestras. Prior to her time with the League, Polly was Director of Education at the New York Philharmonic, and worked in education positions at the 92nd Street Y and Lincoln Center.
As Polly prepared to step down from her position at the League, she wrote a wonderful piece for Symphony magazine, which I featured on Polyphonic a few months ago. She described many of the ongoing symphonic community engagement programs around the country, and spoke with such an optimistic voice.
I asked Polly to write something for Polyphonic, reflecting on her many years working in our industry in so many areas. The article she wrote is deeply personal, raises some difficult questions, but beautifully describes the passion that brought us all to our professions.
–Ann Drinan, January 12, 2015