The American Composers Forum is a national organization that provides opportunities for composers to create and engage their
communities in artistic creation and performance. The organization supports composers at all stages in their careers through
grants, commissions, performance programs, and educational workshops. The Forum also works to foster an appreciation for new
music while developing the next generation of composers, musicians, and communities. Included in the collection are administrative
documents covering Heidi Lesemann’s tenure with ACF-LA, as well as distribution materials and e-mail correspondence between
members regarding various outreach projects and music events in the Los Angeles area. Furthermore, a series dedicated to Leonard
Stein—musicologist and former director of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute at the University of Southern California— provides
a wealth of research materials on pioneering contemporary music composers Arnold Schoenberg and Pierre Boulez.
In 1973, a group of graduate students in composition at the University of Minnesota created the Minnesota Composers Forum
using a $400 grant from the University’s Student Club Activities Fund. In 1996, the organization changed its name to the American
Composers Forum, and eventually established local chapters in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Atlanta,
Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Through granting, commissioning, and performance programs, the over 2,000 member
national Forum provides composers at all stages of their careers with valuable resources for professional and artistic development.
By linking non-profit arts organizations with composers and performers, the Forum fosters a demand for new music, enriches
communities, and helps develop the next generation of composers, musicians, and music patrons.
The Los Angeles chapter was created by Heidi Lesemann—an experienced worker in various non-profit arts organizations—who
served as director from 2000 to 2005, with composer Karl Montevirgen as assistant director. Their tenure with the ACF resulted
in a wealth of outreach and education programs including the Subito professional advancement grant program for composers,
as well as educational residencies at various K-12 schools. Furthermore, they established a strong community of composers,
performers and educators in the Los Angeles area through the Composers Salons workshop series and the New Music LA annotated
calendar of new music events in Southern California. While the chapter initially received financial support from organizations
such as the California Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, these funds grew increasingly difficult to come
by in later years, and the chapter now functions primarily on a volunteer-based level through online message boards and e-mail
Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright,
are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright
and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where the UC Regents do not hold the copyright.