Washington Women’s Leadership Initiative

Tour of the Kennedy Center

National Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Rita Shapiro hosted phase one of a behind-the-scenes tour of the Kennedy Center Wednesday, January 13. The tour, sponsored by the Washington Women’s Leadership Initiative, included a look at the inner workings of what it takes to fund, recruit, produce and plan events with a major international orchestra like NSO. Dr. Knotts and 2 Austin-Weston CRNAs, Jill von Rothe and Jan Setnor, had the pleasure of attending.

“I was amazed at the amount of effort required by the librarians in particular,” stated Dr. Knotts.

The team of librarians for the NSO is charged with everything from copyright law of protected works to distributing the written music to individual performers.

“I assumed the process would be streamlined and electronic, but the librarians are taking handwritten notes on every single piece of sheet music that gets distributed, and sometimes works are adapted for a single performance. It’s really an impressive undertaking,” he said.

“The scope of funding, ticket sales and outside investors blew me away,” stated von Rothe. “I assumed the entire process was funded by ticket sales, but to have an organization like this really does take the entire community,” she stated.

According to Shapiro, even if every single ticket sold to every single NSO show, that would only fund around one third of the NSO operating budget.

“I was impressed with the logistics. Rita was amazing at organizing so many moving parts and really has a unique skill set,” said Setnor.

Phase two of the WWLI-sponsored event will be attending an actual symphony performance later this month. The NSO tour is one of a host of events put on by the group, devoted to non-competitive professional education for women leaders in the Washington DC metro area. Austin-Weston is a proud sponsor of WWLI.

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