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World Music Inc.

 720 Massachusetts Avenue
 Cambridge, MA 02139
[P] (617) 876-4275
[F] (617) 876-9170
Jim  Ricciuti
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 22-3036665

LAST UPDATED: 01/04/2019
Organization DBA World Music/CRASHarts
Former Names World Music (2001)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes


Mission StatementMORE »

Since 1990, the artistic vision of World Music/CRASHarts has answered a need for cultural programming that offers a contemporary picture of our global community.We strive to create one-of-a-kind experiences brought about by the interaction of artists and audiences engaging in cultural exploration through music and dance, bringing the transformative power of the arts to a truly diverse audience.
World Music/CRASHarts presents over 60 concerts and events each year in various venues throughout greater Boston, and reaches an audience of 42,000+ annually. Our esteemed international artists represent cultures from the far and near corners of the globe offering bold and adventurous programming in world music and dance, contemporary dance, jazz, and world indie. Each season educational programs are offered in conjunction with performances and special engagement activities are available to our members.

Mission Statement

Since 1990, the artistic vision of World Music/CRASHarts has answered a need for cultural programming that offers a contemporary picture of our global community.We strive to create one-of-a-kind experiences brought about by the interaction of artists and audiences engaging in cultural exploration through music and dance, bringing the transformative power of the arts to a truly diverse audience.
World Music/CRASHarts presents over 60 concerts and events each year in various venues throughout greater Boston, and reaches an audience of 42,000+ annually. Our esteemed international artists represent cultures from the far and near corners of the globe offering bold and adventurous programming in world music and dance, contemporary dance, jazz, and world indie. Each season educational programs are offered in conjunction with performances and special engagement activities are available to our members.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2018 to June 30, 2019
Projected Income $2,654,050.00
Projected Expense $2,640,422.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Concert Jazz
  • Contemporary and World Dance Concerts
  • Global Music Concerts
  • World Indie Music

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Since 1990, the artistic vision of World Music/CRASHarts has answered a need for cultural programming that offers a contemporary picture of our global community.We strive to create one-of-a-kind experiences brought about by the interaction of artists and audiences engaging in cultural exploration through music and dance, bringing the transformative power of the arts to a truly diverse audience.
World Music/CRASHarts presents over 60 concerts and events each year in various venues throughout greater Boston, and reaches an audience of 42,000+ annually. Our esteemed international artists represent cultures from the far and near corners of the globe offering bold and adventurous programming in world music and dance, contemporary dance, jazz, and world indie. Each season educational programs are offered in conjunction with performances and special engagement activities are available to our members.

Background Statement

World Music, Inc. was established as a nonprofit 501c3 organization in 1990 to connect performing artists from cultures around the globe with audiences in greater Boston. After a decade of fulfilling that purpose, CRASHarts was launched in 2001 as a division of World Music dedicated to the presentation of contemporary performing artists. In 2002, the organization changed its name to World Music/CRASHarts to better reflect its synthesis into a multidisciplinary performing arts organization. In 2009, World Music/CRASHarts expanded its programming in yet another exciting new direction with an eclectic mix of indie rock, electronica, jazz, and edgy international sounds. Today World Music/CRASHarts is a multidisciplinary performing arts presenter, producing over 60 performances and related engagement and educational programs annually.


Over the last 28 years, the organization has presented over 1700 concerts featuring more than 850 different artists, and remains steadfastly committed to its core mission of cultural exchange. Performers hailing from 75 different countries have brought their unique artistic and cultural expression to stages throughout greater Boston, and more than 1 million people from diverse backgrounds have attended these performances. We have premiered more than 150 dance works by local, national, and international companies, and introduced numerous international stars to Boston audiences.


WM/CA believes that the arts should play an integral role in representing the true cultural expression of a community and over the years has developed deep ties to greater Boston’s immigrant communities that reflect the artists we present. WM/CA feels a strong sense of responsibility to serve the public by providing opportunities for individuals to interact with visiting artists and to connect with one another through the arts. Numerous educational and residency programs are offered in conjunction with community collaborations that deepen the impact of the artists’ performance.


World Music/CRASHarts continues to be led by founder Maure Aronson, the current Executive Director, and has a dedicated team of 8 full time staff members supplemented by interns and volunteers. The organization’s offices are in Cambridge, Massachusetts and are currently located in Central Square. Concerts are presented in venues throughout greater Boston including Symphony Hall, Berklee Performance Center, ICA/Boston, and Sanders Theater to area clubs and alternative venues.

Impact Statement

FY 2018 accomplishments:

  • WM/CA commissioned its first new work featuring choreographer the Alonzo King LINES Ballet and acclaimed tabla player Zakir Hussian, who performed onstage with the dancers. The East Coast premiere of SUTRA was presented at the ICA in three sold out performances. Learning communities enhanced participation in the creative process.
  • In February 2018, we celebrated the 3rd annual CRASHfest, a global music festival at House of Blues with 10 international bands on 3 stages presenting the music of global indie artists. We have successfully attracted a new culturally diverse audience of 21-40 year olds.
  • In spring 2018, WM/CA presented a series of three sold-out concerts celebrating the musical legacy of tabla virtuosos Zakir Hussain. One of the most influential percussionists in modern music, these concerts provided a platform for Zakir Hussain’s exploration of three distinct artistic genres: classical Indian music, contemporary dance, and jazz.
  • Two new trustees joined our board in FY18 and we exceeded our fundraising goals for the year.

FY 2019 Goals:

  • To exemplify artistic excellence and risk-taking in both our core programming and new artistic ventures through bold initiatives that foster cultural inclusion and respond to changes in the arts sector. This includes: commissions of new works every other year, establishing a Boston jazz festival, continuing CRASHfest, and building learning communities to deepen impact between artist and audience.
  • To reposition the organization and increase its visibility through institutional rebranding with a name change, new visual identity, and strategy for vibrant messaging; launch of the new name and brand will be in spring 2019.
  • To increase organizational capacity through major gifts, grants, corporate sponsorships, and new board leadership. With a loyal full-time staff of eight, WM/CA has prioritized future staff positions required to fully achieve the artistic and organizational goals we have set.

Needs Statement

WM/CA’s areas of current organizational needs related to growth and artistic vision:

  1. Support ongoing artistic programming as related to annual themes of pluralism and contemporary arts: Artists fees $100,000
  2. New artistic programming to include 4nd annual winter global music festival, CRASHfest, and new concert jazz festival: CRASHfest Global Music Festival $30,000 / Concert Jazz Festival $50,000
  3. Develop a commissioning fund to underwrite artists fees and production costs of multidisciplinary new works every other year: (RubberBand Dance has been commissioned to present a new work in FY20) Commission of new work & artists fees $65,000 / Concert production $23,000 / Learning community events $15,000
  4. Institutional re-branding campaign in FY 2019: Implementation of newly branded materials $50,000
  5. Develop new engagement and education activities with visiting international artists to promote cultural exchange and inclusion of urban populations to enhance impact: Underwrite educational programs $15,000
  6. Increase staff capacity to assist with fully achieving artistic and organizational goals: Over two years hire digital media manager, PT bookkeeper, and engagement manager $150,000

CEO Statement

Maure Aronson, Founder & Executive Director

When WM/CA was founded in 1990, I personally formed many important relationships with members of immigrant communities on the soccer field or at the corner café. These immigrant friends would share their enthusiasm for an artist or suggest others, and their investment in a particular artist would ensure the success of that concert. Today, we continue to rely on these well-established relationships with immigrant communities, and, of course, we take advantage of digital communication to attract new audiences and organizations to our concerts, using the best of old and new methods for deeper community engagement.

Artistic excellence is at the core of WM/CA’s mission, rooted in a continually evolving methodology and rigorous approach to program curation. We balance uncompromisingly high artistic quality with a commitment to audience connection and community relevance. Our curation is both culturally and artistically diverse, offering a multidisciplinary concert platform where artists can share their creative expression and inspire a vibrant cultural community. Artists are presented in venues that suit their style of music and anticipated size of audience; using Symphony Hall, Berklee Performance Center, Sanders Theater and Somerville Theater for larger audiences, and the ICA/Boston, Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, and area clubs for more intimate experiences. Keeping ticket prices low encourages a larger community of adults and students who are enthusiastic about the performing arts to take risks in seeing unknown artists. WM/CA seeks to present a contemporary picture of today’s global community for greater Boston’s culturally diverse communities and adventurous arts audiences.

In 1994, the Boston Globe wrote that our concerts “provide a common meeting ground for all the communities of greater Boston.” Over 20 years later, this is still the case. Step inside a venue in which we present a concert and you will hear audience members singing along in their native language or dancing in the aisles. You will find a place of discovery and sharing, of artistic excellence, and a one-of-a-kind concert experience. We are proud to say that music knows no borders.

Board Chair Statement

Nagesh Mahanthappa – WM/CA Board President   


I have been a member of World Music/CRASHarts’ Board of Directors for 5 years, and was elected President of the Board in FY17. My relationship with WM/CA extends back to when I first moved to the Boston area in 1991. As a first-generation American of Southeast Indian descent (born on the East Coast and raised in the Rockies with some formative years in Europe), my worldview has always been global. In Boston, I sought out performances by international artists that I later discovered were being presented by WM/CA, which inspired me to join the organization as a member. When the then-premier presenter of modern and contemporary dance in Boston closed its doors in 2001, Maure Aronson stepped into that breach to ensure that Boston audiences had access to outstanding contemporary dance performances. As a dance enthusiast, I increased my giving to WM/CA and deepened my involvement with the organization.

Market research and discussions at the Board level have revealed that while WM/CA is a tremendously successful arts organization it does indeed face challenges. Among these are: 1) low public awareness of WM/CA as a not-for-profit cultural organization despite the great appetite in the Boston-area for its programming; 2) a corresponding need to establish an organizational foundation for additional robust capitalization; and 3) the need to address the long-term sustainability of WM/CA’s mission through transitions of leadership, senior staff, and Board members over the next few years. Each of these topics is now being systematically addressed through our current five year strategic plan.

Regarding WM/CA’s visibility as a cultural institution, and thanks to the support of the Wallace, Barr and Klarman Family Foundations, and The Boston Foundation, we have conducted extensive membership and audience research that has yielded deep insights into the demographics of our audiences and their awareness of the WM/CA brand. This output is already guiding initiatives to cultivate greater public understanding of the organization’s vision and mission through rebranding of the organization. Furthermore, WM/CA’s first commissioning of a new dance work in FY18 underscored the public’s perception of the organization as a cultural institution and not merely as a presenter of performances. These endeavors have served as the basis for WM/CA to build upon its first capital campaign, the Next Stage Campaign, to reduce reliance on membership and ticket revenues, allowing us to increase organizational capacity that will drive innovative programming and continued outreach to diverse audiences. Addressing the succession of leadership is the subject of evolving dialog among WM/CA’s senior staff and the Board.

Maure Aronson has created a singular institution in the Boston area, and we realize that his mentoring of the organization’s next set of leaders will be an additional critical aspect of his role as executive director. We collectively recognize that the Board will also need to grow in a manner that reflects the broader diversity of our audiences and constituencies–this effort is ongoing. It is indeed an exciting time in the history of WM/CA, and it is a privilege for me to serve this vibrant institution.

Geographic Area Served


World Music/CRASHarts reaches a diverse audience of over 42,000 people annually. We serve greater Boston and draw from a wider area of New England including Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.

Organization Categories

  1. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Arts & Culture
  2. -
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Concert Jazz

WM/CA presents international jazz artists in concert settings, such as the Berklee Performance Center and ICA/Boston, generating the excitement and recognition these great musicians deserve. Each season we present four to six jazz concerts with artists of both national and international acclaim who are important innovators in the jazz world today. Jazz represents 11% of our programming. Preconcert lectures by jazz scholars enhance the performance experience for audience members.
Budget  $166,200.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Music Performances Presenting
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success  In FY19, WM/CA will present world-class choreographers and dance companies including Larry Keigwin & Nicole Wilcott from NYC, Michelle Dorrance with Dorrance Dance from NYC, ATE9 Dance Company from Los Angles, and Boston Dance Theater under the co-artistic direction of Jessie Jeanee Sinnett and Itzik Galili. WM/CA will also bring back Dance UP for its second year—a curated showcase featuring Boston premiere works by Danza Organica, Prometheus Dance, and the Wondertwins. After the completion of the first successful commission of a new work by WM/CA, we will embark on a new dance commission to be presented in FY20.
Program Long-Term Success  Presenting cross-cultural and multidisciplinary collaborations that offer a fusion of jazz with world music and/or contemporary dance will inspire and engage greater Boston jazz audiences and encourage cross-over of audience members from other genres. Each year, we will continue to present Boston debuts of groundbreaking new jazz artists.
Program Success Monitored By  Using all the data collection methods listed for other program areas, jazz concerts will be tracked separately to determine if we have obtained new audience members and if loyal global music and dance patrons have been adventurous in exploring the world of contemporary jazz. Responses to postconcert surveys will indicate audience members’ interest in attending an annual Boston jazz festival featuring international artists.
Examples of Program Success 

“We left feeling grateful for the experience, both for the effort expended by the committed and superb artists, and for having WM/CA in our city to bring us such fine events.” Audience Member

“WM/CA has developed an audience that is second to none in terms of its representation of the diversity of the greater Boston community. The organization’s dedication to artistic excellence, exploration, interdisciplinary collaboration, and artistic innovation builds on the foundation WM/CA has established for world music, jazz, and dance artists, and audiences members to develop creatively and take risks. It is a rare presenter that does both as well as WM/CA.” Pamela M. Green, PMG Arts Management

Boston’s jazz audiences are knowledgeable and open to the cross-pollination of jazz that goes beyond the traditional into a seemingly boundless range of contemporary music. This is the focus of our jazz presentations–to provide artists with opportunities to “step out” and create new music.

Contemporary and World Dance Concerts

Each year, six to eight dance performances of both contemporary and world dance companies are presented by regional, national, and international artists as part of our multidisciplinary programming. Dance represents an average of 17% of WM/CA’s overall programming. Over 150 Boston dance premieres/debuts have been presented since 2001 with innovation and passion. Engagement programs are offered to the community by visiting artists including master classes, preconcert lectures and artists talk-backs, and public high school and community dance classes.
Budget  $418,200.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Dance Performances Presenting
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success  In FY19, WM/CA will present world-class choreographers and dance companies including Larry Keigwin & Nicole Wilcott from NYC, Michelle Dorrance with Dorrance Dance from NYC, ATE9 Dance Company from Los Angles, and Boston Dance Theater under the co-artistic direction of Jessie Jeanee Sinnett and Itzik Galili. WM/CA will also bring back Dance UP for its second year—a curated showcase featuring Boston premiere works by Danza Organica, Prometheus Dance, and the Wondertwins. After the completion of the first successful commission of a new work by WM/CA, we will embark on a new dance commission to be presented in FY20.
Program Long-Term Success 


· Audiences experience and discover artistic excellence attending dance performances presented by world-class choreographers and dance companies. WM/CA will provide a platform for artists to explore their creative process, develop unusual artistic collaborations, and share new works through presenting 3 to 4 Boston debuts each season. Success will be measured by an increase of 5% of new and repeat-ticket buyers for dance performances over the next five years.

· WM/CA feels a responsibility to encourage and deepen opportunities for local dance companies to build audience and gain new skills through professional production. Each year, we will present 2-3 local dance companies in concert as a learning community to gain expertise in marketing and production skills, while building their audiences.

· 15-20 dance workshops and artists talks each year are open to the community, and 2-4 artists residencies will be provide each year in conjunction with urban high school educational programs.

Program Success Monitored By  Success and value of our ongoing dance programming and response to this new commission will be determined by the artists’ feedback and by gauging the excitement expressed by audiences attending the concerts. Statistics will be kept regarding participation in our engagement-oriented activities. Video documentation of certain components of the creative process of the commissioned work will be available on our website. Public response, staff capacity, and income versus expenses will be key factors in program decision-making for the future. We will use the methods outlined above to determine audience growth and diversity.
Examples of Program Success 

“WM/CA’s commitment to contemporary dance provides crucial local support for a long-struggling art form.” The Boston Globe

Body Traffic’s performance was truly among the highlights of all the concerts we've seen and we also appreciated the talk-back with the performers. It's fascinating to hear the dancers give voice to their work and explain some of their process.” Audience Member

World and contemporary dance are integral to WM/CA’s vision and mission. Our biannual flamenco festival sells out each year. Contemporary dance concerts have expanded from 2-night runs to 3-nights with over 85% ticket sales. Collaborations with schools, community organizations, and local dancers have created deeper experiential engagement activities. WM/CA strives to make Boston’s cultural life richer.

Global Music Concerts

Global music represents the majority (44%) of WM/CA’s annual concert presentations. Over the past 28 years, 850 artists from 75 countries have presented over 1700 concerts in various venues across greater Boston. Artists present both traditional and contemporary music of the following traditions: Celtic, Europe and Eastern European, Southeast Asia, Middle East, Latin America, Portugal (specific to Flamenco), Africa, Asia, and Jewish music. Traditional music from the United States is represented by blues, gospel, Hawaiian, Cajun, and Native American music. WM/CA is the primary source for introducing undiscovered global artists and renowned international ensembles to greater Boston audiences at sold-out concerts.

Budget  $714,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Performing Arts
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success 

Our FY19 season features a range of performers from Latin, African, and European backgrounds featuring 32 different concerts with artists representing 14 different countries. From July 2018 through April 2019, artists from the United States, Lebanon, Ireland, France, Guadeloupe, Italy, Greece, Turkey, England, Spain, Senegal, South Africa, Mali, Canada, and more will grace Boston's stages. This group of incredible artists includes established starts such as The High Kings from Ireland, Buika from Spain, Youssou NDOUR from Senegal, and Coeur de Pirate from France as well as Boston debuts including Sona Jobarteh Band from the Gambia, Mamadou Kelly from Mali, and Stelios Petrakis Quartet from Greece.

Program Long-Term Success  Artistic risk-taking and innovation with seasonal themes that explore our pluralistic society will attract not only new and diverse audience members but also corporate sponsors, foundation grants, and government support to maintain our financial model of 35% contributed income. By FY2020, we will increase our general audience for global music by 8% and the overall diversity of non-white audience members from 19.9% to 26% drawing from Boston’s immigrant communities and international professionals of greater Boston. We will develop deeper partnerships with community and neighborhood organizations that represent the cultures of the international artists we present.
Program Success Monitored By  Evaluation, assessment, and growth of all our programs are measured by both qualitative and quantitative measures. We will track audience attendance and acquisition of new audiences through our ticket sales of first time, repeat, and multi-ticket buyers in our database. Demographics on age and diversity are collected through the ARTSBoston’s Audience Initiative databank. We are able to analyze statistics related to our marketing success using social media tools, and we acquire feedback from audience members through postconcert surveys. Given our presentation of world-class artists, we will document all media coverage and reviews.
Examples of Program Success 

“If it wasn’t for WM/CA presenting Ladysmith Black Mambazo concerts every year since 1991, we would never have the continued relationship with the people of Boston that we have today. Twenty-five years of sold–out concerts! Thank you World Music.” Joseph Shabalala, Founder/Leader of Ladysmith Black Mambazo

“At WM/CA concerts, I feel a small connection to the sub-communities of Boston when I realize that I am surrounded by Asians, Africans, Brazilians, or whatever the nationality is of the people gathered to hear one of their own.” Audience Member

Over one million people have attended WM/CA concerts since 1990. WM/CA is unique among Boston’s cultural organizations in that we provide a common meeting ground through music and dance for the diverse audiences that attend our concerts and share in the excitement of cultural discovery.

World Indie Music


Drawing on the musical talents of young award-winning musicians, WM/CA has increased its focus on performers that pull from folk, pop, and an array of world music traditions to inspire a new generation of global music explorers. Concerts are generally produced in clubs and non-traditional venues with a party atmosphere where people can dance. In FY16, we inaugurated a winter music festival called CRASHfest at House of Blues with 10 bands on 3 stages. Representing 28% of our programming with 8 to 12 concerts each year, world indie offers an eclectic and modern sound bringing an exuberant, youthful energy to traditional music.

Budget  $331,800.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Music Performances Presenting
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success  The fourth annual CRASHfest will be in February 2019 and will include a mixed roster of world indie artists and participatory engagement activities. From the target demographic of 21-40 year olds who were introduced to WM/CA through CRASHfest, we have seen success with an 18% re-engagement rate to another WM/CA concert from the 2017 festival. This year, WM/CA will test increased marketing through influencers on social media for all indie concerts, and specifically for CRASHfest. Our CRASHers’ membership program (for 21-40 year olds) remains strong with 66 members and we have reached over 400 CRASHers special event attendees. 
Program Long-Term Success 

WM/CA will strategically invigorate its programming and audience engagement to attract a new, diverse audience of 21-40 year-olds who are eager to explore cultural diversity through the performing arts. CRASHfest, our new winter music festival presenting global indie artists, will become a self-sustaining annual festival by 2020, attracting over 2,500 people.

Program Success Monitored By  Through working with a market research consultant, we have developed new methods for data collection with regards to the acquisition and retention of the 21-40 age group. Over the next three years, we will be tracking attendance at CRASHfest and the conversion of first-time ticket buyers within the target age range into repeat buyers within the current season and also over the next three years. We will pay particular attention to audience demographics, both age-related and by diversity, to help inform new marketing strategies and partnerships. Solicitation of formal and informal feedback from artists, audience members, and partners will assist with developing a brand for this festival and our CRASHers engagement activities. As with all other programs, membership acquisition and retention of this target demographic will also be tracked.
Examples of Program Success 

“CRASHfest was great!!! It was exciting to be at a world music festival where I had my pick of multiple world music concerts at once! How luxurious! I'm thrilled that WM/CA and CRASHers are maintaining a thriving world music scene in Boston and for reaching out to young people like me!” CRASHfest Audience Member

The music was beyond my expectations!” CRASHfest Audience Member

The recent focus on world indie music presented in clubs and non-traditional venues has ignited a spark with a new generation of music lovers. We have identified a core group of young people to participate on an advisory leadership council, and have identified 29% of our total database to be under-40. CRASHfest is our entry point into a new programming area that will build sustainable audiences for the future.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Mr. Maure Aronson
CEO Term Start June 1990
CEO Email
CEO Experience

Maure Aronson, originally from South Africa, began his professional career in the arts in South Africa as an artist manager and presenter. From 1986 to 1990, he was general manager for two Boston modern dance companies, Beth Soll & Company and Concert Dance Company. In 1990, he founded World Music, Inc. and in 2001, launched CRASHarts, a division of World Music dedicated to presenting a multidisciplinary contemporary performing arts series. As executive and artistic director, Aronson curates and oversees all aspects of concert production with an annual budget of $2.3 million. Mr. Aronson has been honored with two distinguished awards: The Proscenium Award for Audience Development and The Heinz Award for Entrepreneurship in the Arts. He served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters from 2004 – 2007, and was a founding member of GLOBALfest in NYC. World Music/CRASHarts presents approximately 60 performances annually and has engaged more than 800 performing ensembles from all corners of the globe since 1990.

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ms. Cheryl Weber Director of Development

Cheryl Weber has been involved in the arts her entire career as both an arts administrator and a performing musician. Her career has spanned from consulting to performing arts ensembles as booking agent, education director and fundraiser to overseeing a community music and art school as executive director. Cheryl spent nine years at New England Conservatory in Institutional Advancement as Director of Alumni Relations before joining World Music/CRASHarts. In her role as Director of Development at World Music/CRASHarts, Cheryl has designed and implemented the organization’s first capital campaign and developed a major gifts program, fundraising over $1,125,000 in the past two years. As the liaison to the Board of Directors, Cheryl facilitates cultivation of new board members and strategic planning. She has successfully obtained both local and national grants for the organization. Cheryl performs with the internationally renowned world music ensemble Libana.

Ms. Susan Weiler Association Director/Director of Marketing

Susan Weiler, Associate Director & Director of Marketing            Susan started at World Music in 1993 as Director of Marketing, Development and Community Outreach. Today, as Associate Director and Director of Marketing of World Music/CRASHarts, she develops goals and oversees all marketing, communications and public relations plans. As a member of the senior staff, she supports the development of the vision, strategy, and brand identity for the organization. Susan is the current president of BAMA (Boston Arts Marketing Association) and serves on the board of overseers for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay.



Award Awarding Organization Year
The Heinz Award for Entrepreneurship in the Arts Heinz Awards, Inc. 2005
Proscenium Award for Audience Development Proscenium Fund For Audience Development Inc 2001


Affiliation Year
AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) --
Americans for the Arts --
Association of Performing Arts Presenters --
Boston Dance Alliance --
MASSCreative --
National Endowment for the Arts --
New England Foundation for the Arts --
New England Presenters --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


Over the past 25 years, WM/CA has developed deep and ongoing collaborations with a variety of cultural institutions and community organizations. Co-producing and sharing venues: Institute of Contemporary Art, Berklee College of Music, Harvard/Sander’s Theatre, Cutler Majestic Theater/Emerson College, Hibernian Hall in Roxbury, IBA/Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, Cross Roads Presents, Live Nations. Educational and Engagement Programs: The Dance Complex, Boston Conservatory, Boston Arts Academy, Intercultural Institute/New England Conservatory, Boston Center for Adult Education, MetaMovements, Spontaneous Celebrations in Jamaica Plain, Zumix in East Boston. Arts Service Organizations: Boston Dance Alliance, New England Foundation for the Arts. Community Organizations: LearnQuest Academy of Indian Music, French Cultural Center, local consulates (Portugal, Israel, French, Quebec, Brazil, Spain, Ireland, Turkey), MASS Alliance of Portuguese Speakers, Madison Park Development Corporation, Iranian Association of Greater Boston, Pakistani Association of Greater Boston, Jewish Arts Collaborative, Japan Society of Boston.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 7
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 28
Number of Contract Staff 18
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 6
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 5
Male: 2
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit No
State Registration No

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Mr. Nagesh Mahanthappa
Board Chair Company Affiliation Founder/CEO of Scholar Rock, LLC
Board Chair Term Sept 2016 - June 2020
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Maure Aronson World Music/CRASHarts Voting
Ms. Pamela Coravos Retired Attorney/Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Ronnie Fuchs Private Practice - Psychiatry & Neuropshychiatry Voting
Mr. Alan Geismer Attorney, Sugerman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen Voting
Ms. Jamie Jaffee Jamie Jaffee Enterprises (JJE) Voting
Ms. Edith Joyce Senior VP, Enterprise Bank Voting
Mr. Eric Klotch Systems Analyst, Intex Solutions Voting
Mr. Nagesh Mahanthappa CEO, Scholar Rock, LLC. Voting
Purnima Thakre Refine + Focus --
Tracy Weisman Self-employed --

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 2
Caucasian: 8
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 5
Male: 5
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 5
Board Meeting Attendance % 91%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 40%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Audit
  • Compensation
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Finance
  • Nominating

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $2,257,670 $1,716,566 $2,701,774
Total Expenses $2,159,145 $2,259,203 $1,895,766

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $15,700 $16,200 $14,600
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $15,700 $16,200 $14,600
Individual Contributions $894,098 $278,479 $1,364,690
Indirect Public Support -- $0 --
Earned Revenue $1,346,380 $1,421,824 $1,322,223
Investment Income, Net of Losses $1,351 $67 $26
Membership Dues -- $0 --
Special Events -- $0 --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $141 $-4 $235

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $1,653,488 $1,765,192 $1,457,951
Administration Expense $361,725 $340,627 $292,572
Fundraising Expense $143,932 $153,384 $145,243
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.05 0.76 1.43
Program Expense/Total Expenses 77% 78% 77%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 16% 52% 11%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $860,566 $690,576 $1,201,983
Current Assets $856,466 $686,821 $1,197,740
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $279,736 $208,271 $177,041
Total Net Assets $580,830 $482,305 $1,024,942

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 6.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 3.06 3.30 6.77

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's IRS Form 990s. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?


For the past 28 years, WM/CA has made deep connections within the diverse communities of greater Boston through the performing arts. We provide a common meeting ground for meaningful cultural exchange and discovery, and a place where audiences can explore their own personal heritage or experience that of their neighbors. We also provide a platform for artists to expand and share their newest works, presenting cutting edge premieres and unusual artistic collaborations. Always building on our relationships with Boston’s diverse communities and immigrant populations. Artists’ residencies provide educational opportunities for urban students and community members to experience and understand how performers utilize traditional and new music and dance elements. We seek to build bridges and break down walls among greater Boston’s diverse cultures through inspiring transformational experiences which further intercultural understanding and appreciation. As WM/CA moves towards its 30th season, we continue to work diligently on three primary initiatives to support our cultural work in greater Boston: maintaining excellence in artistic programming and identifying new areas for artistic risk-taking; continued diversification and inclusion of new audiences; and organizational sustainability.

1) Excellence in artistic programming and risk-taking: WM/CA is committed to presenting renowned traditional and contemporary artists that would not otherwise be seen in Boston. Artistically, our goal is to continue to identify and introduce new global artists, and each season to present these artists in different programming formats that exemplify a pluralistic expression of cultural inclusion and exchange. Our success will be measured by our ability to conceptualize, produce, commission, and underwrite annual presentations that provide a platform for our artists to explore new creative endeavors.

2) Diversification and inclusion of new audiences: Our audiences reflect Boston’s diverse ethnic communities, and we have been praised for our multicultural/multigenerational attendance at concerts. We have successfully increased our 21-40 year old audiences from 19.9% to 30%, and have increase the diversity of our non-white patrons from 15% to 20%. We will continue to engage and reach out to these target populations with special programming. 

Organizational sustainability: WM/CA has laid a strong foundation for long-term capitalization using our 25th anniversary year as a fundraising platform to build a reserve fund for the organization. This reserve fund will allow us to move confidently into the future and support experimentation with new venues and engagement tools. As part of our current five-year strategic plan, success is defined as sustaining a strong financial model with a mix of 35% contributed revenue and 65% earned revenue, which we are maintaining with an operating surplus of 5% by FY 2017. In 3 years, our board size will increase from 10 members to 13 members


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

1) Excellence in artistic programming and risk-taking: Over the next five years we will continue to develop new large-scale festival events and unique artistic collaborations including: CRASHfest, an annual global music winter festival at House of Blues; a new concert jazz festival to be presented in March 2019; commissioning and presenting new works every other year; and the development of specially-themed concerts to expand the cross-collaboration of artistic voices to create a pluralistic vision of cultural discovery and appreciation. Filling an important need in Boston as a lead presenter of contemporary dance, each year we will showcase 4-6 national and international dance companies and debut new works, and provide presenting opportunities for Boston area dancer companies through DANCE UP.

2) Diversification and inclusion of new audiences: To address a changing age demographic, we have established CRASHers, which focuses on engagement activities for culturally diverse 21-40 year olds. In FY16, we launched CRASHfest at the House of Blues with 10 global bands on 3 stages that now attracts 2,000 people–56% in the target demographics and 17% people of color. It is our intent to move first-time festival attendees into seasonal ticket buyers, then to multi-ticket buyers, and eventually to loyal members and donors.

WM/CA is committed to presenting artists and attracting audiences that reflect the diversity of greater Boston’s population. Demographic data research identifies our audience members as “citizens of the world” with almost half speaking a 2nd language fluently and 25% indicating they were born outside the United States. Strategies include developing partnerships with the ever evolving and growing immigrant communities of the region, co-hosting educational events with colleges and universities, and by offering discount tickets and special events with the artists we present.

Organizational sustainability: WM/CA’s strategic plan addresses long term artistic vision and impact, institutional branding, capitalization, and capacity. Since 2013, we have increased the size of our board of directors from 6 members to 10 members. It is our intent to increase the size of the board to 13 members by FY20. Acquisition of new members/donors and increasing the giving level of current members are primary to our long-term sustainability and maintaining our goal of 35% contributed income. We have had significant success in obtaining major grants over the past two years which have provided opportunities for artistic risk-taking and organizational growth. Identifying new funders to replace completed grant cycles is imperative to the implementation of our artistic vision and sustainability. Our re-branding process, to begin in FY19, will improve our institutional visibility and strengthen WM/CA’s standing as a cultural leader in Boston

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


First and foremost, WM/CA’s tremendously successful concert series has clearly demonstrated that an enthusiastic audience exists in greater Boston ready to appreciate the richness of the music, dance, culture, and art of other nations. With artists ranging from South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo to Ireland’s Altan, from India’s Zakir Hussain to Mali’s Salif Keita and from Colombia’s Cimarrón to Spain’s foremost flamenco dance companies; and including contemporary and jazz musicians such as Joshua Redman, The Bad Plus, and Kronos Quartet; and dance companies like Dorrance Dance and Doug Varone Dance Company, WM/CA’s concerts appeal to a wide spectrum of music and dance enthusiasts. The organization has been acclaimed by the community, funders, and the media for its risk-taking, artistic vision, innovation, and the exceptional quality of its programs.

WM/CA continues to be led by founder/executive director Maure Aronson, who oversees all operations and artistic curation. The organization has a dedicated team of 8 full time staff members and also relies on interns and volunteers. The associate director has been with the organization for 25+ years and has developed deep relationships within the community. A development director oversees fundraising, grant writing, and board development. WM/CA has maintained earned revenue of 80-85% over the past 23 years. We are working to change our financial model to 65% earned revenue and 35% contributed. We have appropriately 1,000 loyal members who support the organization over and above ticket purchases. Each year, we attract an average audience of over 42,000.

WM/CA does not own a venue, which allows us to present concerts in the size venue and location that best suits an individual artist. We partner with other Boston and Cambridge cultural and educational institutions to co-produce concerts and educational programs including: ICA/Boston, Harvard University, Boston University, Boston Conservatory, Berklee College of Music, Boston Arts Academy, Dance Complex, House of Blues,  and more. In addition, we work with international consulates and cultural organizations such as The French Cultural Center, LearnQuest, Meta Movements, and the Iranian Association of Boston.

In FY19, WM/CA will launch a new name and branding to increase institutional messaging and present vibrant new messaging. Through a four-year Wallace Foundation grant, we have established a new “signature” festival called CRASHfest with the goal of acquiring a younger diverse new audience to carry us into the future. This project has enabled us to collect and analyze data to assist with making data-driven decision-making regarding programming, desired demographics, and membership. WM/CA will also join a cohort of 15 Massachusetts arts organizations funded through the Barr Foundations’ ArtsAmplified initiative dedicated to artistic excellence, artistic risk-taking, relevancy, and civic leadership.

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?


Excellence in artistic programming and risk-taking: Artistic quality of programming is measured by tracking attendance and ticket sales; audience feedback through social media and surveys; previews/reviews by press and media; increase of new membership and returning patrons. Each year, we review concert revenue and production costs to make data-driven decisions in future programming. In general, our concert attendance is at 85-90% of venue capacity indicating a strong interest in the artists we present. Cultural exchange is measured by the candid exchange between artists and community and post-concert feedback from surveys.

Diversification and inclusion of new audiences: Inclusion and engagement of our 21-40 year old audiences is formally measured by repeat attendance at concerts and events, assessment of special activities by participants, and formal and informal wrap-ups with partner organizations and artists. Subjective information is collected after each event and marketing outreach is evaluated and reworked. 

Audience diversity is measured by analysis of our database through the ARTSBoston Audience Initiative. This database has access to over 1 million culturally active households in greater Boston and the ability to run reports on demographics and audience participation. In addition, we use in-house tracking systems through our Theatre Manager box-office database to analysis the buying and giving trends of our patrons and members based on demographics. In FY17, we worked with a consulting firm to create a targeted marketing plan to identify and build new audiences based on specific demographics we would like to reach. We also participated in an Audience Diversification Pilot Project funded through the Barr Foundation. Analysis of our database in April 2018 indicated that we have reached a 30% goal of attracting 21-40 year olds to concerts, and our non-white audience grew to 20%. We are committed to sustaining our 21-40 year audience and continuing to grow our non-white audience in FY19.

Organizational sustainability: Long-term financial stability and capital growth are measured through the success of our earned revenue (ticket sales) and fundraising. As of the end of FY18, we have exceeded our fundraising goal by 11% through increased individual gifts and new foundation grants. Membership donations have remained stable with a 66% renewal rate and 2% revenue increase. Our goal is to increase membership by 5% each year for the next three years. Earned revenue fluctuates each year depending on the number of concerts produced and the seating capacity of the venue. We have maintained a positive budget balance the last two years. Currently our board is at 10 members and it is our intent to increase the board to 13 members by FY20. The board is at 100% participation in their annual donations. With renewed energy, the Board is embarking on implementing our new strategic plan.

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

What we have accomplished:

· Artistically, we continue to be a leader in Boston’s cultural arena offering programs of artistic excellence and relevance to today’s contemporary society. The launch of CRASHfest in FY16 provided a platform for emerging new world indie artists to be professionally presented and enables us to build deeper engagement with our under-40 demographic. This festival has become a “signature” event for our audience.

· In FY16, WM/CA celebrated its 25th anniversary, a milestone in the life-cycle of an arts organization and an opportunity to garner institutional appreciation for the impact our programming has provided to over a million audience members since 1990. Capitalization through new grant monies has enabled WM/CA to take new artistic risks and venture into innovative programming areas for FY19—a new concert jazz festival and establishing a commissioning fund for new works.

· We have selected a new name for the organization and will launch our new brand in FY19 to reposition the organization within the cultural landscape of Boston. We have improved our digital technology and upgraded our website and social media to reach these different audiences, and to be responsive to new mobile technology.

· We have deepened our efforts to increase the size of our board and engage new organizational leaders. A new strategic plan completed in FY17, addresses issues of leadership succession, capacity, and impact of our programming to help guide us into the future.

What we have learned and need to ensure success:

· Over the next two years, we will need to obtain new funding sources as grants that have made significant impact on our programming and capitalization come to an end.

· We will continue to assess and learn more about the key drivers and barriers related to CRASHfest through our market research and data analysis to determine the long-term sustainability of this festival. We will need to monitor greater Boston’s appetite for all of our new projects and ensure ticket revenue is sustainable moving forward.

· Implementation of a new brand will require a significant infusion of capital to launch this new name, rebuild our website and invest in printed collateral and social media messaging.

· To maintain the health of the organization, staff capacity and responsibilities will be realigned with consultants supplementing specific work activities to achieve greatest benefits from best practices.

· We will continue to seek out new partnerships with both non-profit and commercial organizations and community groups as a means of reducing financial risks associated with presenting new artistic programming and to assist with audience building.

  • We remain committed to artistic excellence, inclusion, and community collaborations, and hope to remain nimble enough to respond to environmental changes that affect our programming.