Strategic focus was the theme for the American Choral Directors Association National Leadership Conference held in Dallas, TX, June 7–9. In this unique gathering, ACDA state presidents, division presidents, treasurers, standing committees, executive committee, national board, and ACDA staff and consultants gave their best analysis to our national membership survey results, and provided forward thinking toward the building of a strategic plan for our ongoing mission. It was an exciting gathering, hosted by the city that will be home to our 2013 National Conference. With the help of transformational leadership strategist Hugh Ballou, our groups methodically worked through the data gathered by ACDA President-Elect Karen Fulmer and her strategic planning committee to bring focus to our future direction. We were able to celebrate the focus and simplicity of ACDA’s new Mission Statement. The mission of the American Choral Directors Association is
To inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.
We are continuing the celebration of this simple, clear mission statement in all our publications and media releases. As a member of ACDA, it is my hope that you will embrace this statement in your own publications and interactions, since together we are ACDA. As we move into the next phase of strategic planning, you will see and hear our leadership delivering “strategic thinking” that resulted from our work together in Dallas in June. We wrestled with the big goals of our mission, which embraces excellence in education, erformance, composition, and advocacy. As we contextualize this mission into our own regions and states, we will move beyond operational work, and struggle with the grand vision and these big goals. In the national office, strategic thinking has moved us directly into “prioritizing” the big dreams and thoughts we gathered in Dallas. It was very clear that the passion we have as an association is first for choral performance, choral repertoire, lifelong opportunities for choral singing, mentorship, and advocacy of our choral art. These great ideas will begin to be integrated into our association’s dayto-day work, and our language. We will start the process of allocating resources to turn new strategic initiatives into the successes that all of us will have as we take a piece of these priorities into our own work and activity. Big goals must translate into the work that the national staff does, and the things that our national leadership talks about and targets for conferences, festivals, and other collective efforts. You will see this playing out in our 2013 National ACDA Conference in Dallas, TX, next March 13–16, as educational sessions, master classes, performances, and other offerings converge on the theme of “Choral ART-Advocate, Remember, Teach.” And finally, ACDA will appropriately measure the results of this strategic planning process to learn from our work as we repeat this cycle in years to come in order to remain relevant and sustainable in our mission.