First Nations Composer Initiative
Now more than ever, we need our stories and songs that reveal our common struggles and shared aspirations.
First Nations Composer Initiative (FNCI pronounced "fancy") is dedicated to the encouragement and propagation of American Indian music and musical traditions in all its forms by increasing the appreciation, understanding, and facilitation of Native American music for future generations of Native Americans and for the enjoyment of audiences everywhere and in all media.
First Nations Composer Initiative is a relatively new program of the American Composers Forum (ACF). ACF was founded 35 years ago by composers and began as a student-run group at the University of Minnesota. ACF has grown to become a national organization with more than 1,800 members in all fifty states. In 2002, Native American Composer Brent Michael Davids (Stockbridge-Munsee), suggested creating a virtual chapter for Native artists that would serve Native composers nationally. Thus, FNCI was created as a program within the nurturing structure of ACF. Eventually realizing the exclusivity of classically trained Native Americans, FNCI opened its program to include ALL AMERICAN INDIAN MUSIC and artists.
A guiding value for FNCI is to always include ways to authenticate and preserve traditional music as well as new music—how to do both and to be inclusive of all Native composers and musicians. First Nations Composer Initiative is a program of ACF, and is dedicated to serving the needs of Alaska Native/First Nations/American Indian/ Indigenous makers of new music throughout Indian Country.
- COMMON GROUND is our re-granting program, in part funded by the Ford Foundation's IllumiNation grant program. The goal of COMMON GROUND is to support activities that boost indigenous creative musicians, such as commissions, residencies, performance, study, travel, outreach and production. Individual awards range from $500 to $7,500. Grants are designed to give an immediate financial boost to composers, performers, and other makers of new music at a time when this help would have a significant career-enhancing effect. We provide two opportunities to apply each year! Deadlines are October 1st and April 1st.
- Music Education & Mentorship Programs: FNCI is committed to nurturing the creative development of our young people through mentorship and music education. Our previous CANOE program is a wonderful example of our efforts & we plan to continue such programs in the future.
For more information contact:
FNCI relies on the generosity of private individuals, corporate, and foundations for support. Please consider supporting the work of American Indian artists and FNCI. Your tax-deductible contribution will go directly to supporting our valuable work!