From the National Endowment for the Arts ~
The National Endowment for the Arts has selected Ann Meier Baker as its new director of music and opera, effective January 12, 2015. As head of the NEA’s Music and Opera Office, she will lead NEA grantmaking in music and opera grants as well as the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships, and represent the agency to the field.
“Ann’s experience leading national music and education organizations makes her ideally suited to connect with our partners in the music and opera community,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. She has led a variety of coalitions and collaborative projects, and this knowledge will enrich her public service at the NEA.”
Currently, Baker serves as president and CEO of Chorus America, where she leads the national membership association of more than 2,000 professional, volunteer, symphonic and children/youth choruses. She was founding director of the National School Boards Association Foundation, an incubator for new ideas about the challenges facing urban school board leaders and other issues in public education. Baker also worked for the League of American Orchestras, the National Association for Music Education, and began her career as a professional singer with the United States Air Force Singing Sergeants. The author of several books on music organization governance, she has garnered several awards, including Chorus America’s induction into the Classical Music Hall of Fame in 2011.
"I have seen firsthand the positive impact that the National Endowment for the Arts has on arts organizations and its power to spur innovation and creativity,” said Baker. “It will be my honor to join the NEA leadership team, and to contribute to the agency’s work that ensures the arts thrive and bring value to communities throughout the country."
Baker replaces Wayne Brown, who stepped down as longtime music and opera director in January 2014.