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History and Background

Fondazione Adkins Chiti: Women in Music

Donne in Musica (Women in Music), came into being in 1978 as a movement promoting and presenting music composed or created by women worldwide, of all genres and in all times. The International Adkins Chiti: Women in Music Foundation organises festivals, concert series, exhibitions, research projects, publications, conventions, and master classes. Its library and archives house over 32 thousand scores of women’s music. The Foundation is an Italian cultural organisation, partner within cultural agreements undersigned by the Italian Foreign Ministry, member of UNESCO’s International Music Council and the European Music Council, and is internationally recognised for its activities advocating equal opportunities in the cultural sector.

How many women composers and creators of music are included in textbooks and encyclopaedias? Far too few. Those present are there because other women – musicians, scholars and historians – have wanted to celebrate their contributions. If music is not performed, it is not perceived to exist; women’s music is a tangible and intangible part of world heritage. Making it known is the mission of Women in Music.

The Women in Music Foundation, the members of the International Honour Committee, (comprising national associations, composers, musicologists and distinguished women), together with a network of musicians in 116 countries, gives visibility, safeguards and sustains research regarding historic artistic production, encourages contemporary creativity and the musical and cultural diversity of women composers.

The document known as the “Declaration of Fiuggi” is a mission statement undersigned by members of the Women in Music Network, that works on behalf of women creators and composers of music with cultural institutions worldwide to promote women’s contribution to music, culture and development and to ensure women’s participation in the formulation and implementation of cultural policies at all levels and access to decision-making positions within the cultural world. It is important to preserve, promote, sustain, and safeguard the artistic rights of women artists and creators within all communities. Donne in Musica is internationally recognised for the diversity of innovative music projects and is a name for everything new in music: festivals, concerts, events, symposiums, exhibitions, bold presentations of new works and unusual musicological research. It presented the largest music project in the Millennium year with the Vatican Official Seal and has an ongoing relationship with the Italian Ministry of Culture, Foreign Ministry, Equal Opportunities Ministry , the Lazio Region and with many cities in Europe. It has created radio and television programmes for international networks and to date has publicly presented more than one thousand musical works by women living and working in every part of the world, commissioning over 30 new works each year.

The Women in Music Foundation has the largest collection of women’s music in the world – scores, books, recordings, videos, microfilms, paintings, lithographs, grey matter - and undertakes research projects, maintains international and italian data banks for composers and are consultants and collaborators to musical institutions and research centres world wide. The Library and Archives are under the protection of the State Archival Ministry.

The President and founder of the “Women in Music” movement worldwide, Patricia Adkins Chiti, is an internationally renowned professional musician, musicologist and former Italian State Commissioner for Equal Opportunities, as well as consultant on Equal Opportunities in the arts and culture for many European governments. In June 2004 the President of the Italian Republic honoured her with the title of “Cavaliere Ufficiale” for her work for music and for women in music.

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