For orchestras to remain vital, they must be authentically diverse institutions—not only onstage, but within their communities, staff, and boards. Yet inclusion and diversity, while critically important, are not always easy to achieve. What does it take to get there? How can orchestras more consistently engage multiple constituencies in their communities? What larger socioeconomic factors come into play?
On June 7, the “Inclusion and Diversity: A Big-Tent View” session at the League of American Orchestras’ National Conference in Dallas examined the topic from multiple perspectives. Three experts discussed how orchestras can advance their diversity work, including audience, musicians, staff and board, repertoire, and guest artists, while creating the organizational culture needed to sustain their commitment over time.
Panelists at the session were Aaron Dworkin, founder and president of the Sphinx Organization, which works to bring young musicians of color into the classical music world; Errika Flood-Moultrie, consultant at Clarkson Davis, which offers strategic planning, resource development, and operational services for nonprofit organizations; and Jessica Schmidt, director of education and community engagement at the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
For a broad look at American orchestras and diversity, check out Susan Elliott’s article “Breaking Through” in the July-August 2010 issue of Symphony. The summer issue 2012 of Symphony, which comes out on July 15, features a report on two successful programs that are helping musicians of color develop orchestral careers. Check back here on July 15 for a direct link to the article.
Watch the video of the session below, and be sure to share your thoughts
in the comments field at the bottom of the page.