PAUL, MINN. -To address the need to raise national consciousness
regarding the diversity of American Indian musical forms, the Ford
Foundation has granted planning funds to the American Composers
Forum (ACF) to develop an organized infrastructure representative
of the field of American Indian music. To be called the First Nations
Composer Initiative (FNCI), this project will provide a critical
response to the issues, needs, and concerns of American Indian musical
artists. ACF and FNCI plan to establish a "virtual" chapter
of the American Composers Forum to provide a network for interchange
in the field of American Indian music. Both Indians and non-Indians
will benefit from FNCI by encouraging the composition of music by
American Indian artists and providing linkages to a broad array
of composftional opportunities and performing venues.
a few months, FNCI will host an initial convening of experienced
American Indian Composers to shape the overall direction of the
initiative, to be followed by a larger convening for the field at
large. This effort is part of a new initiative at the Ford Foundation
to encourage support of American Indian Artists of all disciplines.
ideas are being suggested for FNCI's future, and the possibilities
Showcasing Indian compositions in established venues on a regular
composition camps to teach various musical genres to American
Indian youth. (ACF has just received additional funding from
the Minnesota State Arts Board to do research with Tribal Elders
and Youth from the eleven Tribal reservations in Minnesota).
an artist roster of American Indian film composers for film
a record label that promotes the highly varied music that American
Indians are composing and performing.
composers and museums together to create new commissioning opportunities.
goal of FNCI is to provide mechanisms and supports through which
the many voices of American Indian musical artists can be heard.
A new FNCI website is also planned to provide a centralized forum
for the community of American Indian musical artists, and a springboard
for the advancement of American Indian professional musical careers.
American Composers Forum
Composer Forum pioneers projects that actively involve communities
and composers. It facilitates residencies and new musical works
that renew and fortify relationships between artists and the public.
Headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, the Forum has regional chapters
in the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia,
Minnesota, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and the Washington D.C. area. Membership
in the American Composers Forum is open to all.
the Ford Foundation
arena of arts and cultures, the Ford Foundation fosters new artistic
talent, strengthens arts institutions, attends to cultural knowledge
and resources and encourages contributions of artists and art and
culture organizations to the quality of civic life and assists projects
that advance understanding of cultural identity and community.
more information, contact Patricia Shifferd