Maestra Music Inc

for the women and nonbinary people who make the music in the musical theater industry

aka Maestra   |   New York, NY   |  www.MaestraMusic.org

Mission

MAESTRA MUSIC, INC. was founded by composer/lyricist and music director Georgia Stitt to give support, visibility, and community to the women and nonbinary people who make the music in the musical theater industry. Our membership is made up of composers, music directors, orchestrators, arrangers, copyists, rehearsal pianists and other musicians who are an underrepresented minority in musical theater. The organization’s initiatives include Virtual Technical Workshops, a robust mentorship program, Regional and Affinity groups, DEIA training, networking events, and online resources and partnerships that aim to promote equality of opportunity and to address the many historical disadvantages and practices that have limited women composers and musicians in the musical theater.

Ruling year info

2019

Founder and President

Georgia Stitt

Main address

215 West 104th Street #237

New York, NY 10025 USA

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EIN

83-3439518

NTEE code info

Music (A68)

Theater (A65)

Women's Rights (R24)

IRS filing requirement

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

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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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?

Maestra Directory

The Maestra Directory is a database that contains profile pages for over 1200 women and nonbinary people around the globe who are skilled and ready to work in theatrical music departments. The Directory is a free tool, and its listings have helped industry Music Supervisors, Contractors, and Producers find and hire more Maestras for music jobs. Maestra has also partnered with MUSE: Musicians United for Social Equity to create a partner directory that will increase visibility and provide more industry opportunities for musicians of color. A Jobs Board was recently added to the website and is visible exclusively to Directory members.
“I wanted to tell you what an invaluable resource the Maestra Directory was for us this year. We've now hired all of our music directors for this year's Festival, and 50% of them are women. We also met many other fantastic women who were committed to other projects but are now firmly in our sights. I'm deeply appreciative of the work you've done."-- NAMT

Population(s) Served

In March 2020 when Covid-19 forced a total industry shutdown, Maestra quickly turned its burgeoning masterclass series into an online program. The resulting Virtual Technical Workshop Series has offered 111 classes on Zoom which have provided the focused education and supplemental training necessary for Maestras around the globe to be successful in their work. In an effort to dismantle barriers to access, these workshops have been offered at no cost and covered topics like orchestration, conducting, playing rock piano, music copying, writing an artist statement, music technology, creating inclusivity in a music rehearsal room, and more. Since this program began, there have been 9,601 registrations from 66 countries and 49 states. Attendees of all genders were welcome to attend, but each class was taught by a Maestra, so that everyone present could have the experience of learning from a woman or nonbinary expert in the field.

Population(s) Served
Artists and performers
Women and girls

The Maestra Mentorship program began in 2018 in partnership with New York Youth Symphony’s Musical Theatre Songwriting program and paired nearly 20 mentors with mentees, 50% of whom were people of color. In 2020, Maestra launched Student Maestras, and through the Mentorship Program has created an additional 36 pairings providing support to early-career Maestras. We have just announced our 2021 class which has 49 pairings, our largest group to date! Maestra also provides DEIA Training within the mentor/mentee community and actively works to find and promote opportunities for Maestras of color.
“Something I struggled with a lot was staying motivated (because I was a virtual student) -- keeping myself immersed in music and remembering where I got my inspiration. Through this program, my mentor was able to introduce me to so many different cool programs I could apply to, and I did get into some of those. I’m so grateful!” – Rebecca Oladejo (Dallas), mentored by Faye Chiao (NYC)

Population(s) Served
Young adults
Women and girls
Transgender people
Artists and performers

The #Get2Work Campaign is a data-driven initiative which launched in the summer of 2021 and was powered in collaboration by three non-profit community partners: Maestra, MUSE, and ASTEP. This awareness campaign built a website hub that asked the community to Get Informed and Get Involved in much-needed change as theaters and music venues re-open in a post-pandemic reality. The #GetToWork website presented the results of the 2021 American Federation of Musicians/Local 802 membership survey, highlighting for the first time the self-reported race and gender makeup of creatives in our industry and revealing the great disparity among the musicians who work in Broadway’s pit orchestras. The website centralizes the toolkits, initiatives, and resources being gathered by organizations fighting to effect change in the American theatre. #GET2WORK aims to spark and facilitate productive, positive conversations about the equity and inclusion our industry requires in order to move forward.

Population(s) Served

Maestra Moms, a network of Maestras who are also parents, is dedicated to supporting, connecting, and uplifting the Maestra parents who make music in the musical theater industry. The group has an active Facebook group and enjoys meet-ups and picnics, for which Maestra provides childcare. Many in Maestra’s organizational leadership know too well the challenges faced by mothers in the arts, and at meetings and in Maestra Moms communications, the group works to foster community that grows and nurtures through transparency, honesty, and the belief that when one is lifted, are all lifted. The “village” of moms allows members to see and hear themselves in others’ stories. In August 2021, The Motherhood Concert: Truth Set To Music, an inaugural celebration of Maestra’s talented mothers, produced in partnership with the Parent Artist Advocacy League, premiered to a joyous reception, showcasing (and compensating) the work of parent artists, from writers to musicians, orchestrators to singers.

Population(s) Served

Maestra Care provides connection, acknowledgement, and care for the Maestra community and models inclusion, encouragement, and celebration among its membership by providing a platform to inspire and celebrate Maestra members in their career and life events. The team aims to stay aware of any celebrations, needs, and life changes within its membership and to provide appropriate acknowledgement, support, and resources. They send eCards, emails/texts/Facebook messages, and even gifts and gift cards to recognize weddings, births, birthdays, graduations, illness or loss. Recent accomplishments have included connecting a member in need of a digital keyboard with another member who had one to give. Maestra Care has begun to share resources for financial, emotional, and physical health. It is imperative for the mission of Maestra to embrace and encourage other members rather than be in competition with each other in an already demanding professional arena.

Population(s) Served
Artists and performers
Women and girls
Artists and performers
Women and girls
Artists and performers
Women and girls
Artists and performers
Women and girls
Artists and performers
Women and girls

Where we work

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 shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    People We Serve: Women and non-binary composers, lyricists, music directors, orchestrators, arrangers, copyists, rehearsal pianists, pit musicians, and other musicians who are an underrepresented minority in musical theater. Musical Theater Decision Makers: Producers, general managers, contractors, and others of those who hire, supervise, promote, or mentor musicians in our community. Supporters and Advocates: Donors/funders, volunteers, champions, select industry and women’s organizations whose missions connect to ours. Consumers: Audiences, theater and concert goers, music listeners and educators who seek more variety in the musical offerings that have historically been available to them.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Community meetings/Town halls,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We surveyed our community about the Virtual Technical Workshop series, seeking feedback from the people who had participated both as educators and as students. We learned that the scheduling of the classes prevented some of our members in distant time zones from participating, and that led to the launch of Maestra Replay, a program that allows us to offer videos of our classes on demand. Similarly, when the pandemic sent many of our New York-based musicians scrambling to all corners of the world, we threw more muscle behind our Regional Groups, responding to feedback that our organization could not be so New York centered in a time when there was very little industry in New York, itself.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    It has always been a priority of Maestra leadership to make sure that the members of our community felt like they had a voice in the decisions of the organization. We are still so young that I'm not sure there has yet been much of a change in the power dynamics of the organization. We are trying to build our infrastructure with that sort of equity in mind from the beginning.

  • 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 act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

Maestra Music Inc

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Operations

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

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Maestra Music Inc

Board of directors
as of 01/19/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Georgia Stitt

Emily Grishman

Laura Ivey

Christie Twillie

Monica Davis

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 ? Not applicable
  • 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? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/26/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/26/2021

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

Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • 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.