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Article Published: 27 May 2020

A Statement from OPERA America: Black Lives Matter

In response to deplorable racist acts across our nation and the historic failure to respond to them, OPERA America reaffirms its commitment to be an agent for change. Black Lives Matter.

We invite everyone in opera to join us in a determined and sustained effort to eradicate racism and ensure equity and justice throughout the field and across the country. We acknowledge that many of opera’s inherited practices and prejudices have created barriers that exclude people of color from participating. We envision a future that affirms and uplifts Black artists, audiences, educators, trustees, and staff. We are committed to supporting the efforts of all opera stakeholders to achieve healing and catalyze change in our organizations and communities.

OPERA America takes action, and we are determined to do more to encourage Black artists, administrators, and audiences. OPERA America’s ALAANA Opera Network provides a forum to identify issues and set goals. IDEA Opera Grants and IDEA Opera Residencies are available to nurture the talent and support the work of Black composers and librettists. Civic Practice Grants help companies build their capacity to serve their communities through robust, mutually beneficial partnerships. OPERA America convenings provide opportunities for individual learning and change; members heard on May 27 from an extraordinary lead speaker and dynamic panelists about how we can create real belonging in opera. Additional research and program design are underway.

This work takes time, but it will and must continue.