Friday, December 16th, 2022
American Composers Forum (ACF) announced today a transformative investment in resources and capacity to help artists navigate and utilize opportunities in the digital media marketplace. The expansion includes the creation of a new senior-level staff position, the Director of Digital Media, who will help curate webinars, resources, and ongoing support for artists seeking help with topics like building an online presence, understanding streaming business models, and monetizing various platforms. This position will oversee all of ACF’s digital media platforms, including its multimedia site I CARE IF YOU LISTEN (icareifyoulisten.com).
Other activities include articles from artists on how they are optimizing their digital media engagement; “open office hours” with experts; a specialized newsletter; and added support for ACF’s existing “help desk.” Vanessa Rose, ACF’s Executive Director, shares, “artists have led the way in using digital media as a tool for creative expression and movement building. Already operating as entrepreneurs in so many respects, we want to empower them with current information, resources, and connections in this quickly-changing arena.”
These activities are made possible by a multi-year grant of $150,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Victoria Rogers, VP of Arts at the Knight Foundation, shared, ”Staying abreast of trends and new advances is crucial on both an individual and field level. In cities across the country, composers, musicians and the organizations that support them are leveraging new and emerging digital technologies to reach broader audiences, creating even greater impact. This grant will enable American Composers Forum to expand its reach and impact.”
Additional support has been provided by special campaign contributions from the following individuals: Carol Ann Cheung, Augusta Gross and Leslie Samuels, Kirk Hoaglund, Stephen Miles and Kathy Killion, Fred and Ann Moore, Bill and Susan Sands, Stanford Thompson, Jayne and Stephen Usery, Kathleen van Bergen, and an estate gift from Richard Cisek.
This expansion is an organic addition to ACF’s multimedia platform, I CARE IF YOU LISTEN, which was acquired in 2020 and offers a variety of essays, interviews, and how-to articles about creating, performing, recording, and presenting music today. In recent years, ACF’s in-house record label, innova Recordings, has shifted its focus to digital releases, enabling artists to produce a single track as well as full album. As they have over their 40-year history, innova staff works collaboratively with recording artists – including those releasing their own recordings – to navigate where to promote and sell their recordings, and will elevate this work with the added capacity and support of the new staff position. Artists are welcome to use ACF’s help desk to contribute questions and resources they need in this area.
Committed to supporting artists creating music today since its inception, ACF no longer requires membership fees for composers to engage with and utilize its resources. Today more than 1,000 artists and artist advocates make donations to support its work.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
We are social investors who support democracy by funding free expression and journalism, arts and culture in community, research in areas of media and democracy, and in the success of American cities and towns where the Knight brothers once had newspapers. Learn more at www.kf.org and follow @knightfdn on social media.
About American Composers Forum
ACF supports and advocates for individuals and groups creating music today by demonstrating the vitality and relevance of their art. We connect artists with collaborators, organizations, audiences, and resources. Through storytelling, publications, recordings, hosted gatherings, and industry leadership, we activate equitable opportunities for artists. We provide direct funding and mentorship to a broad and diverse field of music creators, highlighting those who have been historically excluded from participation.
Founded in 1973 by composers Libby Larsen and Stephen Paulus as the Minnesota Composers Forum, the organization continues to invest in its Minnesota home while connecting artists and advocates across the United States, its territories, and beyond. ACF frames our work with a focus on racial equity and includes within that scope, but not limit it to, diverse gender identities, musical approaches and perspectives, religions, ages, (dis)abilities, cultures, backgrounds, sexual orientations, and broad definitions of being “American.” Visit www.composersforum.org for more information.