Anna Lomax Wood Retiring as President and Executive Director

February 9, 2022

Anna Lomax WoodAnna Lomax Wood, the visionary longtime head of the Association for Cultural Equity, is leaving the role of President and Executive Director after 26 years with this wonderful organization. While she is leaving these positions, Anna will still be quite active in the organization and its work until a new Director is able to take over and will remain on the board as Co-Founder of the organization. She will also see the Global Jukebox through to completion. Meanwhile, Anna, the staff and the board are engaged in a transition process to create the conditions for ongoing growth and impact for ACE. We are also making plans for a celebration that will honor the accomplishments of Anna and ACE’s staff.

Anna brought her formidable skills and expertise as an anthropologist, ethnomusicologist and folklorist to her work as a co-founder and leader of ACE. In 1996, she stepped in to succeed her father, Alan Lomax, who founded the organization, determined to fulfill and extend its mission. Inspired by Alan’s work, Anna and a small, dedicated team capitalized on the ACE’s small size and flexibility and on the value and reputation of its iconic collections to launch groundbreaking initiatives such as Endangered Cultures and Emerging Cultural Leaders. Early on, the publication of over a hundred curated CDs and box sets of Alan Lomax’s recordings in fifteen series (winning two Grammy awards for one, and two nominations for another) made possible the organization and digitization of the Archive. It also made possible a sustained initiative to locate and reestablish a royalty stream to artists and their heirs—necessary after years of little to no activity with the catalog. The physical archive was acquired by the Library of Congress, which digitized and made available all of its manuscripts. With the restored digital copies, ACE was then able to create a free online archive of all Lomax’s media (recently relaunched on a new platform), and to carry out over fifty repatriation projects which have brought the archive’s collections back to their countries and communities of origin.  Anna and her staff and colleagues have also carried out extensive research, writing and curatorial work on Cantometrics and Choreometrics and their data, and the Global Jukebox, originally prototyped by Alan, has been reimagined and published online.

Having sustained the organization and renewed its vision, formed strong partnerships, raised funds, and nurtured and encouraged staff and mentees, Anna believes it is a great time to bring in new leadership. We are all confident that ACE is in an excellent position for this crucial transition.

The board has formed a search committee to conduct a national search to find an outstanding individual to increase its capacity to support cultural equity and social and racial justice. Keep your eyes open for a posting of this position later this month, with applications and inquiries to be sent to Kiki Smith-Archiapatti, Managing Director, has agreed to serve as Interim Executive Director until we bring aboard a new full time ED into the organization.

We look forward to many great years ahead for ACE and thank you for your continuing support of our organization.

-Barry Dornfeld, on behalf of the ACE Board of Directors