Music Canada Live announces the newly elected and re-elected board members at its annual general meeting
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After 11 years at UK’s PRS Foundation, Vanessa Reed moves stateside to become president and chief executive of New Music USA
By Anna Grace on 30 Apr 2019
Vanessa Reed has been appointed president and chief executive of New Music USA, following eleven years as chief executive of PRS Foundation, a UK-based funder of new music and talent development.
During her time at PRS Foundation, Reed has multiplied resources for diverse organisations, composers, songwriters and artists by devising an array of national and international programmes.
Initiatives include the Momentum Music Fund, created in partnership with Arts Council England, New Music Biennial which began as a programme of commissions for the UK’s Cultural Olympiad and Women Make Music, which was set up in response to the gender gap in music.
Reed was chair of the diversity panel at this year’s International Live Music Conference, leading the discussion on the importance of ensuring women reach the top of the industry.
Under Reed, PRS Foundation has awarded over £26 million to more than 4,100 new music initiatives. Major partners that Reed has introduced to the foundation include Spotify, BBC Music Introducing, the European Commission’s Creative Europe programme and the Arts Councils in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland.
“Vanessa has been the power house behind the force that has transformed the foundation in recent years,” comments Simon Platz, chair of PRS Foundation and managing director of Bucks Music Groups.
“Her passion and energy has been infectious and the strategic partnerships she has struck up between the foundation and all kinds of major funders, music organisations and national bodies like the BBC will be her enduring legacy.”
“Vanessa has been the power house behind the force that has transformed the foundation in recent years”
Reed is also known as the founder of the Keychange initiative, an equality campaign that has committed over 150 festivals and conferences globally to achieving gender-balanced line-ups. Reed will continue to support the international Keychange programme in a voluntary role as honorary chair.
The former PRS Foundation chief has been recognised over the past six years with awards from the Royal Philharmonic Society, Leeds College of Music, Music Week and the BBC.
“I believe that music, like every art form, deserves specialist resources and advocates that offer support, build new connections and create a better future for its creators, practitioners and audiences,” says Reed.
“That’s why I’ve loved every minute of my time at PRS Foundation in the UK and why I’m excited to be taking up this post at New Music USA which plays a crucial role in supporting and connecting America’s many talented and diverse new music communities. I look forward to joining the New Music USA Board and team in New York later this summer.”
New Music USA chairman Frederick Peters says the board is “profoundly grateful” to have sourced “such an extraordinary woman to lead our organisation in the future.” The New York-based organisation supports and promotes new music in the United States, providing financial support and useful connections.
“Vanessa’s deep knowledge of the field, her boundless energy and fountain of transformative ideas, and her collegial approach make her the perfect leader for New Music USA’s next phase,” adds Peters.
Reed will be based at New Music USA’s offices in New York. She replaces former chief executive Ed Harsh, who has left the organisation after 17 years to work as a senior staff member at the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music and to take on an independent book project.
Interim chief executive Deborah Steinglass will continue to serve in that role until Reed’s arrival.