Five Organizations Working Towards Equity in Classical Music
In the last couple of years, there has been a call in the classical arts space for equitable practices for artists and arts administrators, for strategic outreach, and for organizations to reflect the diversity of their respective communities. This work is paramount to the future of classical music.
Here is a list of organizations that you can support that are doing the work that is needed for a more inclusive and sustainable future in this art form.
The mission of the Black Opera Alliance is to empower Black classical artists and administrators by exposing systems of racial inequity and under-representation of the African diaspora in all facets of the industry and challenging institutions to implement drastic reform.
The Asian Opera Alliance (AOA) comprises a diverse group of Asian-identified industry professionals, who join together to uplift one another and advocate for greater Asian representation in opera while striving for broader equity.
Latina Women in Opera (LWIO), a grassroots initiative dedicated to promoting and supporting femme-identifying Latina and gender non-conforming Latinx. They operate on the philosophy of centering Black lives, Indigenous peoples, and LGBTQ+, who often are erased within our community. Their main goals include promotion, accessibility, and education.
PROTESTRA (protest + orchestra) is a volunteer-run orchestra and 501(c)(3) organization that bridges the divide between advocacy and classical music. PROTESTRA’s grassroots orchestral benefit concerts inspire activism by contextualizing classical music performance through multimedia education, and turn voluntary audience donations into targeted support for mission- and policy-driven groups related to the concerts’ themes. PROTESTRA’s new vision for classical music prioritizes diversity, equity, inclusion, representation, and accessibility in both its hiring and programming practices.
BIPOC Arts was developed in July 2020 out of a desire to have a collective place that features and celebrates BIPOC individuals in opera. Created by Alejandra Valarino Boyer, BIPOC Arts is a one-click response to “I just don’t know any good BIPOC [opera professional] to hire”. We are here. We are valuable. We are talented.