Press Released: 01 Jun 2006

OPERA America Receives National Award for Promoting Diversity in the Opera Field

OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, announced that the company won a Leading Lights Diversity Award from the National MultiCultural Institute (NMCI). The Leading Lights Diversity Awards celebrate exemplary leaders in the nonprofit sector whose demonstrated courage, innovation, and commitment to diversity lead to a more inclusive society. Three awards are presented annually to organizations that serve as role models for enhancing diversity and encouraging respect and inclusion within their organizations and with the diverse communities they serve. Recipients are selected from the following non-profit categories: Education, Human Services, Health Care, and Arts & Culture.

OPERA America was recognized for its visionary leadership in creating a national dialogue throughout the opera community to promote diversity in the performing arts and encourage outreach to culturally diverse communities. The Association first addressed opera and multiculturalism at Opera Conference 2005: Diverse Voices, hosted in May 2005 by Michigan Opera Theater. Most recently, OPERA America presented its first annual Diversity Award to Opera Company of Philadelphia at the Association's 2006 annual conference in Seattle.

“The inclusion of diverse voices can have a transformative effect on many endeavors, from corporate innovation to artistic expression,” stated Marc A. Scorca, President and CEO of OPERA America. “ Opera Conference 2005: Diverse Voices allowed us to explore ways we can win expanded support among a broader group of stakeholders and examine how opera can be enriched by diverse participation. I am especially grateful to OPERA America 's Managing Director, Diana Hossack, for her dynamic leadership of this important effort.”

In conjunction with Opera Conference 2005, OPERA America created a Diversity Resources Handbook which is available for downloading via the OA website. This document provides an annotated listing of events, organizations, websites, books, articles, training materials, and people that can assist companies in addressing diversity issues in their community. The Handbook can be found at http://www.operaamerica.org/about/Diversity%20Resources.pdf

NMCI's mission is to work with individuals, organizations and communities in creating a society that is strengthened and empowered by its diversity. Through its initiatives, NMCI leads efforts to increase communication, understanding, and respect among people of diverse backgrounds and addresses some of the important systemic issues of multiculturalism.

“NMCI is pleased to honor OPERA America for its visionary leadership in creating a national dialogue throughout the opera community to promote and value diversity in the performing arts and encourage outreach to culturally diverse communities,” said NMCI's chairman, Denyse Sabagh.

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For more information on OPERA America, visit About Us.

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