Rhode Island Philharmonic to expand diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in music education

Posted on: June 23, 2022

“The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Music School announced Tuesday … a major four-year partnership with Papitto Opportunity Connection in an effort to expand diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives within its music education programming,” writes James Bessette in Tuesday’s (6/21) Providence Business News (RI). “Rhode Island Philharmonic Executive Director David Beauchesne [said] that Papitto will provide more than $3 million over the next four years to support the philharmonic’s work to promote diversity within the music education it provides to the community…. Along with increasing financial aid for students to attend the music school and offer more free community concerts, the philharmonic also hopes to expand [its program] at Agnes Little Elementary [which] offers students [free] afterschool music instruction three days a week [and] hire more guest artists and conductors, faculty and staff, and orchestra extras who identify as Black, Indigenous or people of color…. The philharmonic has increased the number of BIPOC artists hired from 20% to 50% over the last four performance seasons. Additionally, the philharmonic increased from 4.5% to 19% the number of works performed … written by BIPOC composers…. ‘We believe we have a long way to go…. Nevertheless, we are encouraged by our progress,’ Beauchesne said.”