Interview: Polly Moller Springhorn, CMC Grant Writer
We’re welcoming Polly Moller Springhorn to our staff as the new Grant Writer. Polly is no stranger to CMC. She’s visited many times as a concert goer and serves on the Board of Directors for Outsound Presents, which puts on a new music summit in the Concert Hall every summer. Polly’s passion for music runs deep. She is an accomplished performer and published composer as well. Welcome aboard Polly!
What’s your background?
I was born and raised in the Bay Area in Walnut Creek and on the Peninsula. I started playing flute when I was eight. I want to San Francisco State and got my undergrad in Flute Performance. I went on to study at UC Santa Cruz and received my masters in 20th Century Performance Practice. I’ve taught flute lessons to a 40 plus cohort of elementary aged children through older adults. I am a published composer with three published pieces of flute choir music and a solo piece for piccolo, available through ALRY Publications. I also have written many unpublished improvisation frameworks for my colleagues in the free improvising musical community in the Bay Area.
What are some of your career highlights?
I worked for the San Francisco Girls Chorus, where I wrote the proposal for the Wallace Foundation Excellence Award. I was a grant writer at the San Francisco Art Institute and wrote an NEA grant for a mobile app. I also worked at SFJAZZ and wrote the proposal for a Google grant. I have served on a review panel for the California Arts Council, which was really informative for learning what’s going on in the arts statewide.
How did you first come to CMC?
I have visited CMC many times to attend performances given by the free improvisation musical community. After I joined the Outsound Presents Board of Directors, I started volunteering at the Outsound New Music Summit, which is held at CMC in the last week of July.
What drew you to the position?
I have a lot of experience in arts grant writing. I already admire the organization and I know people who have worked and taught here. I can relate to everything that happens at CMC, as a former student and teacher, and in my present life as a performer and composer and improviser.
How is going so far?
It’s going really well. CMC has an impressive portfolio of foundation funders. It’s no surprise given the organization’s long history, great reputation, and potent mission. I’m enjoying being here every day. I am enjoying hearing the practicing and the taking of lessons as I work. It’s great!
What are you passionate about in your work?
I’ve always been a writer. In my undergrad, I was doing a double major in both music and creative writing. At one point, I had to choose between the two. I chose music, but I never stopped writing. I found out I could write grants and write them well. I love that my job is to secure money for arts organizations. I feel driven by that mission.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to rehearse and play gigs and record with my band Reconnaissance Fly. I like making music with Usufruct, a duo of computer music, flute, and voice. I like to rehearse and perform with Ghost in the House, a free improvisation band, in which I play bass flute. I like to spend time with my parrot Murphy. I like to cook vegetarian food and eat vegetarian food in restaurants. I also like going on hikes and visiting the desert, specifically Wonder Valley which has a superb underground arts scene.