Songbook Foundation undergoes Museum Assessment Program

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The American Alliance of Museums recently selected the Great American Songbook Foundation to participate in its Museum Assessment Program, which helps organizations strengthen their operations and plan for the future through a process of professionally guided self-study and on-site consultation.

The Songbook Foundation, founded by performer and music preservationist Michael Feinstein, maintains an exhibition gallery and a vast historical archive at the affiliated Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel. The Foundation’s ultimate goal is to establish a Great American Songbook Hall of Fame Museum, similar to the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame and other such institutions.

According to the news release, the MAP Organizational Assessment will guide the staff, board of directors and other stakeholders in analyzing strengths and weaknesses and developing a roadmap for sustainability and advancement. The 1-year process emphasizes strategic planning and ensures that activities, resources and structure are aligned with the museum’s stated mission and benchmarked to the highest professional standards of the field.

The foundation’s assets and programs have expanded rapidly in its first decade of operations. The Songbook Archives & Library has amassed more than 100,000 items representing the creators and performers of timeless music from Tin Pan Alley, Broadway, Hollywood and beyond. In 2017, the Foundation became a Cultural Affiliate of the Grammy Museum, joining only a handful of institutions worldwide.

Earlier this year, the foundation received a gift valued at more than $30 million: The 107-acre Asherwood estate in Carmel, once owned by the late real estate magnate Mel Simon. His wife, Bren Simon, made the gift in support of the foundation’s museum planning.

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