About the author

Polly Kahn
Polly Kahn

Polly Kahn has long played a local and national leadership role in the arts community. Ms. Kahn joined the League of American Orchestras – the service organization for American orchestras - in March of 2000. As Vice President for Learning & Leadership Development, 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 joining the League, Ms. Kahn served as the Director of Education for the New York Philharmonic, where she revised and significantly expanded the New York Philharmonic’s education programs. Previously, she served as Director of Education for the Tisch Center for the Arts at the 92nd Street Y and as Assistant Director of the Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts in Education. Ms. Kahn has also been a consultant to cultural and philanthropic organizations nationally, and sat on the boards of the Ethical Culture-Fieldston Schools, the Center for Arts Education, the Center for Educational Partnerships in Music, and the New York City Arts-In-Education Roundtable, of which she was a founding member. Currently she serves on the Board of Advisors for the Sphinx Organization and for American Voices. Ms. Kahn was honored as the recipient of the InterSchools Orchestras Award for Outstanding Contributions to Arts Education in New York City, and her 2014 articles were published as part of Americans for the Arts Animating Democracy series and in Symphony Magazine.

In June of 2014 Ms. Kahn stepped down from the League. She is now principal of PK Art Solutions/PK Orchestra Solutions, a consulting firm specializing in organizational and departmental planning; executive search; meeting and conference planning and facilitation; and career counseling for arts professionals. She also serves as adjunct faculty for the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Among her clients in 2014-15 are: The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington Performing Arts.

One Comment

Leave a comment
  • Insightful, masterfully said, and at the core of what we need to hear and think about over and over until it begins sinking in sufficiently to do something about it. Your paragraph on “not being invited in” hits home. Too often, entrepreneurship and engagement become tactics taught to artists to persuade audiences to buy what they’re selling. But engagement and entrepreneurship are really about creating value, and we create value through inclusion, ownership, and feeling valued ourselves in the enterprise. Brilliant, as always, Polly!

Leave a Reply