Kansas City’s arts groups work to level the playing field for Black musicians, dancers, actors, and administrators

Posted on: December 7, 2020

“In Kansas City, performing arts organizations large and small have begun to recognize the importance of Black voices both onstage and behind the scenes,” writes Paul Horsley in Friday’s (12/4) Independent (Kansas City, MO). “For its part, the Kansas City Symphony announced this summer the appointment of a significant Black artist as its new Principal Percussionist … Josh Jones…. ‘For the majority of musicians, when you ‘win the job’ there’s already a space created for you because there’s always been someone like you represented in some capacity,’ Jones said. ‘When I win a job, I have to create that space. What I believe has improved is that some organizations recognize these issues and try to ensure that things are fair and equitable.’ This summer the League of American Orchestras issued a jaw-dropping statement acknowledging historical biases and pledging transformative change…. The statement … promises the commitment of massive resources toward fixing the problem. Acknowledging bias is a first step toward solving it, but action needs to follow in order for us to take such statements seriously. Kansas City’s arts leaders have begun to act.” Also included in the article are Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and Kansas City Ballet. Read the League’s Statement on Racial Discrimination here.