American Songbook Association Inc.

Preserving, promoting,and Advancing the American Songbook

aka Na   |   New York, NY   |  www.americansongbookassociation.org

Mission

The American Songbook Association (ASA) seeks to preserve, promote and advance the legacy of American popular music, the Great American Songbook (classic and new), and the unique art form of cabaret. The ASA publishes the long-established Cabaret Scenes magazine, conducts educational programs in New York City public schools, and creates performances serving its audience of seniors, students and others. We strive to Inspire, transform, empower and create torchbearers for future generations so they may understand, appreciate and embrace the historical and cultural importance of America's rich musical heritage.

Ruling year info

1979

President, Board of Directors & Executive Director

Dr. Keith Meritz

Main address

PO Box 1594 Cathedral Station

New York, NY 10025 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Cabaret Scenes Ltd.

EIN

13-2970537

NTEE code info

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

Printing, Publishing (A33)

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

We seek to preserve, promote and advance the legacy of American popular music, the Great American Songbook (classic and new), and the unique art form of cabaret. The Great American Songbook is a unique American contribution to musical culture. Wikipedia defines it as “...the canon of the most important and influential American popular songs and jazz standards... the most popular and enduring songs from the 1920s to the 1950s, created for musical theater and film.” Our definition is more flexible, but everyone can agree that these great musical “standards” are in danger of being lost due to lack of attention and a dwindling concentration on arts education.

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?

Education and Outreach

Monthly programs presented in New York City public schools to present the music of the Great American Songbook, jazz and musical theater, to educate as to their cultural importance, and help build future audiences to keep America's musical heritage alive.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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.

o expand the audience for the American Songbook through promotion, education, and visibility.

a. Educational outreach to underserved communities, we bring performance and study of American popular song to school children with a series of participatory workshops and performance. Those living in senior citizen homes are isolated, and music has been shown to provide benefits for dementia symptoms, but this population gets very little exposure to live music -- we plan to expand our concerts and singalongs at care facilities. Our YouTube channel is a rich resource of recorded performances for research, education and the fans of the genre.
b. Support to performers, including cash grants and a summer workshop. Grants are awarded to performers interested in the Great American Songbook of any age. The summer workshop trains singers on the artistic and practical aspects of performing.
c. A directory of cabaret performances, ASA/Cabaret Scenes is the only magazine dedicated to the art of cabaret. It supports performers and venues with comprehensive listings of performances, feature articles, reviews, a directory of performance venues, websites and organizations promoting this music.

a. Our existing team of editors and freelance reviewers publish ASA/Cabaret Scenes magazine in print and online. We are the only existing magazine dedicated to the art of Cabaret and the music and performers around the world who take part in this genre.
b. We have recruited a Board of Directors that includes performers, devotees of the genre and lawyers. It is a working Board that helps with all aspects of the organization.
c. Support of the community. We have been able to recruit singers and musicians to volunteer their time on all of our programs and fundraisers. We seek to be, and are, the leading organization of its type.
d. Proven fundraising ability. We have been able to attract donors who want to make annual grants to performers as well as support annual costs. Our fundraising events tend to be sold out.

a. Our educational outreach is a vibrant, popular program, led by a Board member. In 2019 we brought our singing workshop to public schools in all five boroughs of New York City, with an emphasis on minorities and schools lacking arts programs.
b. We visit nursing homes and give performances bringing joy to shut ins. Performers from the theater, Broadway, TV, film and cabaret donate their time to perform live for our education and outreach programs. We plan to take the program nationwide by training teachers.
c. We are currently developing a website and YouTube channel that will provide video, original content and quizzes, as well as encourage kids to sing! It will be fun and educational.
d. We give the Margaret Whiting Award and in 2020 we will expand our grant program to performers funded by a recent gift to the ASA.
e. ASA/Cabaret Scenes magazine has been published since 1995 with an expanding global readership. It is the leading resource for audiences, performers and performance venues.
f. We have given out two Lifetime Achievement Awards as part of our fundraising Gala, including Sheldon Harnick, acclaimed Pulitzer Prize lyricist for Fiddler on the Roof and Marilyn Maye, 92-year-old legendary singer, Johnny Carson’s favorite vocalist, who has a storied nightclub and television career.

Financials

American Songbook Association Inc.
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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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American Songbook Association Inc.

Board of directors
as of 4/25/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr. Keith Meritz

Keith Meritz, MD

Frank Dain

Carolyn Montgomery

William Sensenbrenner

Craig Pomranz

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? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • 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? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No