American Composers Forum of San Francisco
For General Operating Support
Type of SupportGeneral Support/Organization
About the Grantee
44 Page Street, Suite 504, San Francisco, CA, 94102-5973, United States
Grants to this Grantee
for transitional support
Founded in March 1997 with a start-up grant from the Hewlett Foundation, American Composers Forum-San Francisco Bay Area Chapter (ACF-SFBAC) is committed to supporting creative musical artists and developing new markets for their music. Through a wide array of granting, commissioning, residency, and career enhancement programs, the Forum has historically provided composers at all stages of their careers with resources and opportunities for professional and artistic development. Unfortunately, the ACF-SFBAC has experienced a decrease in revenue from all sources since the economic collapse in 2008, resulting in a budget that has declined by nearly 50 percent since the 2007 budget of $298,570. The Performing Arts Program made a two-year general operating support grant to this organization in 2009, with the understanding that the Executive Director would work aggressively to help develop the organization’s infrastructure by increasing the number of board members, increasing amount of individual donations, and growing its membership. The organization was not able to meet these goals over the past 1.5 years, and follow up conversations with the Executive Director revealed that only in the last few months had the board of directors begun to substantively engage these organizational development goals. Given the lack of progress against its stated goals, continued revenue declines, cutbacks in Bay Area programs, and a lack of communication with foundation staff on the part of the staff and board, the Performing Arts Program has decided to end its ongoing support for ACF-SFBAC. The organization still finds itself in a precarious position, given that over 95 percent of its support comes from the Irvine and Hewlett foundations. Recognizing the possibility that the organization could close down as a result of our exit, we are recommending a one-year project grant to provide transitional support to ACF-SFBAC as it considers possible paths forward without Hewlett Foundation funding.