First steps: arts groups hire officers to increase diversity, equity, inclusion

Posted on: January 20, 2021

“Cultural institutions around the country are hiring their own diversity officers to increase the number of people of color on the staff and board, broaden their programming and address a widely acknowledged pattern of systemic racism,” writes Robin Pogrebin in Sunday’s (1/17) New York Times. “At the same time, experts warn, longstanding challenges remain—antiracism goals that are hard to measure; finding funds to pay for these efforts; and assuming that the hiring of one dedicated advocate means the work is done. ‘The principles of diversity, equity and inclusion are everyone’s responsibility,’ said Lavita McMath Turner, the new chief diversity officer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.… The new generation of executives are coming in with a range of titles … but they have a broad mandate that ranges from recruiting more trustees of color to changing the internal culture…. The Los Angeles Philharmonic in July established a diversity, equity and inclusion task force, which includes members of the board, orchestra and staff. Its Resident Fellows program, started in 2018, is now preparing symphonic musicians from underrepresented populations for positions in major professional orchestras.” Visit the League of American Orchestras’ Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Resources Center and the National Alliance for Audition Support for EDI information and support for orchestras.