Artist Rights Alliance

May 12, 2021

2 min read

ARA Executive Director Ted Kalo to Step Down, Will Remain on Hand for Transition

Washington, D.C. — The Artist Rights Alliance (ARA), an artist run nonprofit fighting for a healthy creative economy and fair treatment for all creators in the digital world, has announced that Executive Director Ted Kalo will be stepping down. He will remain on hand to assist in the selection of his successor and will act as an advisor to the organization moving forward. Under Ted’s guidance and leadership, the ARA has become one of the most respected and trusted voices advocating for artists and songwriters in the music policy landscape today. Recent ARA accomplishments include successfully advocating for the inclusion of robust songwriter protections in the Music Modernization Act, and supporting the Copyright Office’s implementation efforts that led to the recent payment of nearly $500 million in “black box” royalties to the Mechanical Licensing Collective.

“It has been an honor to serve the Artist Rights Alliance and to fight for a better future for the musicians and songwriters it represents,” says Kalo. “What makes ARA unique is that it is run by artists advocating for their fellow artists — a factor that made my five years serving as Executive Director particularly special. I am forever indebted to ARA’s artist-run board for their guidance, insight, and friendship. I look forward to the organization’s continued growth and success advocating for a more sustainable music economy that better supports the people who make the music we love.”

“Ted’s decision to step down as Executive Director of Artist Rights Alliance is a significant loss for our organization,” board member Rosanne Cash says. “His brilliance in matters of policy and law, coupled with his patient guidance and unwavering vision, gave so much wind to our sails and so much clarity to our mission of protecting and advancing artists’ rights. He will be deeply missed, but we are fortunate to have benefited from his wisdom and will always count him as friend and advisor.”

“Ted’s departure is a huge loss for the Artist Rights Alliance,” says board member John McCrea. “At what was a critical and formative juncture for the organization, Ted was there to provide consistency, foresight, and unwavering dedication to the cause of artists rights. Although we are sad to see him go, we remain grateful for his well-timed but too brief tenure.”

Upon launching the Artist Rights Alliance, Kalo sought to engage the creative community by establishing an executive board of musicians and creators as well as naming over 80 artist advisors. He oversaw campaigns and efforts that improved the current climate for musicians and artists, constantly challenging unfair practices from the major players in music streaming and honing a laser focus on securing fair pay for creators. During the heat of the political landscape in 2020, Ted organized a nationally recognized campaign to pressure politicians to ask for permission before using artists’ music in political ads and events, enlisting Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler, Lorde, Pearl Jam, Sia and other internationally known musicians to sign off on a letter to congress.