Metropolitan Opera hires chief diversity officer, its first

Posted on: January 28, 2021

“Marcia Sells—a former dancer who became an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn and the dean of students at Harvard Law School—has been hired as the first chief diversity officer of the Metropolitan Opera, the largest performing arts institution in the United States,” writes Joshua Barone in Monday’s (1/25) New York Times. “Her appointment, which the Met announced on Monday, is something of a corrective to the company’s nearly 140-year history and a response to the Black Lives Matter demonstrations that followed the killing of George Floyd in 2020. It’s also a conscious step toward inclusivity by a major player in an industry in which … diversity has lagged.… Since last summer, cultural institutions across the country have made changes as the Black Lives Matter movement drew scrutiny to racial inequities in virtually every corner of the arts world…. As a member of the [Met’s] senior management team, [Sells] will report to Peter Gelb, the general manager. The human resources department will be brought under her direction, and her purview will be broad: the Met in its entirety, including the board…. She plans to start at the Met in late February.”