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Finding Aid for the Guide to the American Composers Forum Los Angeles Chapter records, 2000-2005 (bulk), 1906-2007
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Guide to the American Composers Forum Los Angeles Chapter records
    Date (inclusive): 2000-2005 (bulk), 1906-2007
    Collection number: 1974
    Creator: American Composers Forum Los Angeles Chapter
    Extent: 17 document boxes (12.25 linear ft.) 4 record cartons
    Abstract: 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.
    Language: Finding aid is written in English.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. 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.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    The collection was donated in 2011 by Heidi Lesemann, director of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Composers Forum from 2000 to 2005.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Mike D’Errico in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), with assistance from Jillian Cuellar.
    The processing of this collection was generously supported by Arcadia   funds.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Guide to the American Composers Forum Los Angeles Chapter records (Collection Number 1974). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.


    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 listservs.

    Scope and Content

    Collection primarily consists of promotional materials, administrative documents, financial reports, membership files, program reports, and correspondence created during Heidi Lesemann’s tenure with the American Composers Forum Los Angeles chapter, 2000 to 2005. There are materials related to the Los Angeles chapter's formation, annual budget reports, planning for the chapter website, and membership e-mail lists. Of particular research interest are the New Music LA calendars–a comprehensive bi-monthly calendar of music events in the Southern California area, featuring a guest editorial focusing on issues of local concern. Also included in the collection are personal composer applications for outreach initiatives such as the Composers Suitcase educational residency and the Subito grant program, with proposed projects and sample curriculum.

    Organization and Arrangement

    Arranged in four series:
    1. Organization and Outreach, 2000-2005
    2. Events, 2000-2005
    3. Administrative, 1999-2007
    4. Leonard Stein papers, 1906-1988

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    American Composers Forum Los Angeles Chapter

    Related Material

    The following sources provide additional information on the classical and “New Music” scenes in Los Angeles: