American Composers Forum invites applications and nominations for the position of President and CEO. John Nuechterlein, who has served in this position since 2003, recently announced his decision to step down at the end of 2018.
American Composers Forum
The Forum organized in 1973 as a group of students at the University of Minnesota, led by co-founders Libby Larsen and Stephen Paulus, for the purpose of creating performance opportunities outside the academic setting. They incorporated in 1975 as the Minnesota Composers Forum and focused their early efforts on a series of concerts for the benefit of local members. In the early 1980s, the organization expanded their services by launching the Jerome Composer Commissioning Program (1979), the McKnight Fellowships (1982) and innova® Recordings (1983). One of the earliest public advocacy initiatives was the Composers Voice program with Minnesota Public Radio (1993). In 1996, the Board of Directors adopted the current name of American Composers Forum (ACF) in recognition of its growing national reach.
Over the course of four decades, ACF has nurtured the work of thousands of composers. The organization has a rich history of granting programs, readings, salons, conferences, and residencies that support the creation of new work and connect composers to communities. The leadership of ACF is also marked by the continued growth and prestige of its innova® Recordings, one of the leading labels for new music with catalog of more than 600 titles encompassing diverse genres, concepts, and approaches. ACF has a successful history of national education programming. Three significant partnerships further distinguish it as a national organization: membership in the Performing Arts Alliance for advocacy on national policy issues; participation in the Earshot reading program at American Composers Orchestra; and the National Composer Institute with the Minnesota Orchestra.
Today, ACF has approximately 1,500 members from all 50 states, including composers, performers, schools, and conservatories. Members work in virtually every musical genre, including orchestral and chamber music, non-Western music, opera and music theater, jazz and improvisational music, electronic and electro-acoustic music, and sound art. In addition to the tangible benefits of membership (newsletters, invitations to events, and access to grant, fellowship, and residency opportunities), members are part of a national community of artists who share common concerns, aspirations, and goals.
ACF is governed by a 30-member Board of Directors and there is an administrative staff of twelve. ACF is headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, and has chapters in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. The organization has an annual operating budget is $1.7 million, an endowment valued at $6 million, and a healthy reserve for new initiatives.
The next President of American Composers Forum will take the helm of a major national service organization that continues to gain both national and international recognition as a premier advocate for living composers and their ability to interpret and illuminate the world and our connection to it.
Building on the extraordinary accomplishments of ACF’s volunteer and professional leadership over the past four decades, the President will take ownership and oversee the implementation of ACF’s current strategic plan and lead the organization in developing a bold and exciting plan for service in the next decade. In doing so, the President will have the opportunity to collaborate with a Board and staff who encourage and welcome innovation, creativity, and transformational thinking about ACF as a membership organization and about ACF’s work in building community and creating value for America’s composers.
The Position of President
The President is the chief executive officer and reports to the Board Chair. The President provides leadership and vision, oversees strategic planning, and implements sound management practices to carry out American Composers Forum’s mission. The President represents ACF’s interests to its diverse constituencies including members, individual donors and institutional funders, program partners, the national performing arts sector, and the Minnesota music community. The President is a passionate advocate for composers, their work, and their role as cultural citizens and an effective spokesperson to the media in the promotion of new music.
The President is responsible for ACF’s overall programmatic direction and for ensuring the appropriate organizational structures are in place to accomplish its goals. The President oversees administration of ACF’s programs and activities, and manages ACF’s staff. An ex-officio voting member of the Board and of the executive committee, the President is responsible for ensuring best practices in governance, Board management, and recruitment.
The President takes a leadership role in fundraising and is ultimately responsible for the financial stability, smooth operation, and programmatic success of the organization. The President achieves the organization’s financial objectives, including a balanced budget, and continues to grow both earned and contributed income as well as ACF’s endowment.
The successful candidate will above all have a deep passion for music and an abiding respect for the artists who create it. The candidate will have successful experience working with composers in a wide range of styles and genres. The candidate will have track record of service-oriented leadership and not-for-profit management that demonstrates the ability to inspire Board and staff to realize a shared vision. The candidate will be able speak and write persuasively about the mission of ACF and the importance of supporting the composers who create a living repertoire for America’s performing artists and ensembles.
The successful candidate will be an experienced and enthusiastic fundraiser at the local, regional, and national levels and be willing to devote significant time and energy to resource development. Prior experience securing national foundation and government program grants will be viewed as an asset. The candidate will bring a network of professional relationships that can help move the organization forward.
The successful candidate will be a skilled manager who motivates and inspires both staff and volunteers to do their best creative work on behalf of ACF. The candidate will be able to operate within a strategic framework set by the Board while also seeking out and seizing opportunities that test new ideas. The candidate will be willing to take calculated risks. The candidate will be skilled at developing, monitoring, and balancing budgets.
The successful candidate will be a person of high energy, creativity, and integrity. The candidate will have a work history that demonstrates a commitment to diversity and inclusion. The candidate will have highly developed diplomatic skills and a good sense of humor. The successful candidate will be willing to live in the Twin Cities and be an active part of the community’s cultural life. The candidate will be willing and able to travel as a representative of ACF to the organization’s many stakeholders.
Compensation, including benefits, is competitive and will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.
Applicants for the position of President are asked to submit a letter that describes specific interest in American Composers Forum and outlines experience and qualifications for the position.
Please send with a resume, salary requirements, and contact information for at least three professional references. Electronic submissions are requested. All applications will be treated as confidential and references will not be contacted without the candidate’s knowledge. The Transition Committee will begin to review credentials in July and expects to make an appointment in September.
The Search Committee will begin to review credentials and schedule interviews in early to mid-July. The Committee expects to identify the successful candidate by late summer.
Additional Salary Information: Compensation, including benefits, is competitive and will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.
About American Composers Forum
Catherine French Group works with not-for-profit performing arts organizations in recruitment of executive and senior leadership. For more information, please contact Christopher Wingert at email@example.com.