PLATINUM2023

AMERICAN COMPOSERS ALLIANCE

American concert music, past and present

aka ACA   |   New York, NY   |  https://composers.com

Mission

The American Composers Alliance mission is to encourage performances in the U.S. and around the world of music by American composers. We do this by making available a large catalog of music representing a broad spectrum of musical expression in the U.S. from 1900 to the present. Support services from ACA are provided for composers writing chamber music, choral music, new music, opera, dramatic and theatrical music, electronic music, and orchestral music.

Ruling year info

2007

Principal Officer

Gina Genova

Main address

PO Box 1108 % Gina Genova

New York, NY 10040 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Composers Facsimile Edition

EIN

13-1550544

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (A01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The majority of music compositions, scores and performance materials by American composers are unpublished or previously published but later lost and out of print. There is no central support system in the US for composers to display and offer their music for a reasonable use fee. There are places to give it away for free, and to pay for-profit companies to distribute it. ACA is working to update older format materials to make them viable for current artists to use. ACA creates easy access to music materials available at budget pricing to support the work of the writers and also of musicians who seek to perform the music. ACA is providing a central place for a variety of music creators to be discovered by music distributors, music stores, researchers, and performing musicians around the world.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

AMERICAN COMPOSERS EDITION

Music score licensing and distribution; Services for composers; Administration of rights and guidance in preparing sheet music for professional uses.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Students

Production management and support of concerts and recordings by artists who are actively supporting music by American composers.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Students

Where we work

Awards

Basic Agreement 2019

BMI Broadcast Music

Basic Agreement 2020

BMI Broadcast Music

Basic Agreement 2021

BMI Broadcast Music

Affiliations & memberships

Chamber Music America - Member 2006

Chamber Music America - Member 2019

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of performances

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Artists and performers

Related Program

AMERICAN COMPOSERS EDITION

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Number of licensed performances of music by American composers affiliated with support from our organization. Numbers tracked by performing rights organizations.

Number of requests for advocate products or information, including downloads or page views of online material

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Academics, Artists and performers

Related Program

AMERICAN COMPOSERS EDITION

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Number of completed requests for sheet music and performance materials from the ACA catalog.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

To provide support for American composers' music to be provided on request to performers, to help self-published writers with administration and rights issues in selling and licensing their work, and to help support performances in any way we can. Our central focus on American composers is unusual among arts organizations in the U.S. and ACA activities and results are showing that access and education efforts for this American art form has broad impact and importance. ACA began an initiative in 2009 to bolster the catalogues of music by composers of color represented in the ACA catalog of the past. By 2020, this effort resulted in increased interest in the ACA music catalog. Sales and licensing requests and income increased by more than 500% over a 10 year period. We pledge to continue making strides in processing works by composers of color in cases where the composer may not have adequate support or promotion for their work during their active years.

ACA maintains a catalog of musical works that can be provided in print or electronic format on request. ACA helps report performances to the performing rights societies, to support creators of music. ACA also generates activity in performance and recordings of music supported by its score distribution and administration work. ACA also provides performance support and small grants to performing artists who specialize in contemporary American music.

ACA supports chamber music in New York City and nationwide. The ACA catalog contains a variety of music by women, African-Americans, immigrants, and composers of all styles with holdings from 1905 to the present day.

From 2020-21 ACA supported creators and artists with support of over 50 premiere music recordings by professional musicians sheltering at home in order to support those who lost income due to the pandemic cancellation of live concerts. Sounds of past voices of the organization were prioritized as well as current new works. These activities have benefited artists and made more music accessible to experience by listeners worldwide.

In 2022 and 2023, ACA took over archives of significant composers whose families inherited music scores without the ability to manage them. ACA will soon offer their scores and performance materials in professional formats, together with the full catalog of works, which requires ongoing regular maintenance and upgrades, one piece of music at a time.

The longevity of the organization, which was founded by Aaron Copland in 1937 is based on the ability for composers' music to be respected and supported in public performance. This is a mission that was not addressed by performing rights organizations at the time it was founded. Composers should expect to engage in professional agreements with potential earnings and credit when their music is played, recorded, or copied and sold. American Composers Alliance can help self-published composers learn ways of managing agreements and engaging in revenue streams as the music business continues to evolve. ACA keeps informed about opportunities, and is looking at ways to continue keeping the catalog in print, and to continue growing the catalog with excellent works that should be preserved for current artists and for the future.

Since 2009, ACA has helped increase support, revenue and professional connections for its affiliated composers. Performance royalties tracked by the largest PRO companies for music from the ACA catalog increased by nearly 400% between 2009 and 2019. Licensing activity for access to scores and sets of performance materials, including the historical works in the archives as well as new works increased to its highest levels in 2020-21, more than 6 times higher than activity from ten years prior. The surplus income is used to further support creation of new editions, hiring of musical staff, and to provide services to individual composers. ACA leadership believes that the potential of the activity for the ACA catalog has not yet been met and that more work will bring the collection to an even wider audience.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

AMERICAN COMPOSERS ALLIANCE
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

AMERICAN COMPOSERS ALLIANCE

Board of directors
as of 07/19/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Dr. Robert Gibson

University of Maryland

Term: 2022 - 2026


Board co-chair

Gina Genova

NYU

Term: 2023 - 2027

Gina Genova

NYU

Robert Carl

Hartt School of Music

Barbara Jazwinski

Tulane University

Robert Gibson

University of Maryland

David Liptak

Eastman School of Music

Jody Rockmaker

Arizona State University

Michael Slayton

Vanderbilt University

Joseph Dangerfield

Woodrow Wilson High

David E. Gordon

Pinnacle Prep

Steven C. Sacco

Mannes Prep

Brian Schober

Edward Smaldone

CUNY

Richard Scerbo

National Orchestal Institute

Christine Clark

Theodore Front Music

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/19/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/20/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.