UK Orchestras Signing Up To Diversity Audit To Include More Black And Asian Musicians

Friday, July 31, 2020

I’M IN, an organisational self-analysis tool that LMM developed with support from management consulting firm AlixPartners and Diversity and Inclusion consultants Frost Included (who led the diversity and inclusion strategy for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games) to help music organisations build strategies to dismantle racism and all forms of prejudice and drive systemic change

LMM has hand-picked two cohorts that consist of a range of organisations from right across the music sector, in order to power long-lasting change and ultimately ensure the music industry becomes more inclusive, diverse and more representative of the society we live in

The first I’M IN cohort, taking place this summer, comprises of 27 music organisations:

Awards for Young Musicians, BBC Concert Orchestra, Cheltenham Music Festival, City of London Sinfonia, Live Music Now, London Contemporary Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, MishMash Productions, Multi-Story Music, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, NMC Recordings, Opera Holland Park, Orchestras for All, Orchestras Live, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, RSNO, Schott Music Ltd, Sinfonia Cymru, Sinfonia Viva, Sound Connections, Soundcastle, Spitalfields Music, The Nucleo Project, Tŷ Cerdd, WildKat PR

London Music Masters has also selected its Autumn Cohort consisting of 13 music organisations. The I’M IN Autumn Cohort consists of:

Bromley Youth Music Trust, CBSO, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Music Studies Network, Haringey Music Service, HarrisonParrott, Music Education Islington, Music Teachers’ Association (MTA), NYMAZ, Odyssey Trust for Education, Royal College of Music, Royal College of Music Junior Department, Royal Northern College of Music, Tri-borough Music Hub

Of the Summer and Autumn Cohorts combined, the majority are orchestras at 27%. Then, 11% are conservatoires, 11% are music networks, 9% are music education hubs and 7% are youth ensembles

Elsewhere, commercial music makes up 5%, community music totals 5%, festivals are 5%, opera/music theatre make up 5%, schools total 5%, artist management makes up 5%, funders makes up 2% and sound recording total 2%

Entities signing up for both Cohorts come from England, Wales and Scotland, with an income ranging from £75K – £30M+. This difference reflects London Music Master’s committed effort to get as many areas of the industry involved in creating systemic change

Both I’M IN Summer and Autumn Cohorts will answer questions on Motivation, Leadership and Organisational Culture. Diversity & Inclusion specialists will then review the findings in October, and provide the I’M IN users with feedback. This feedback will consist of a deep report on their results, and a roadmap for progression

Speaking of I’M IN, LMM’s Executive Director Rob Adediran said: “We were blown away by the response from the sector to the launch of I’M IN. Clearly organisations ranging in size from small community outfits to our major symphony orchestras are recognising the need to go beyond issuing statements about diversity and start creating inclusive cultures. The music sector is a complex and interdependent ecosystem, for change to happen it has to happen everywhere: in education, in management, in ensembles, in the commercial sector, in festivals and in venues. We hope that the breadth of organisations who are taking part will inspire others to join us on this mission to change music for good. Change starts by taking a hard look at what we are getting wrong, and what we are getting right and I’M IN will help all of the organisations who signed up this summer to do just that. I can’t wait to see what happens when they do and look forward to working with them all to build a platform for real change.”

Speaking of London Philharmonic Orchestra’s participation in I’M IN, David Burke, Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to be able to work with London Music Masters with I’M IN and appreciate all the work they have put in to bringing this to the sector. The LPO is absolutely committed to broadening access to classical music through all that we do, and recognise the potential for our sector to truly include the many inspiring voices that our diverse community represents. We expect our organisation to embrace and reflect our vibrant, multifaceted world, but appreciate the challenges in achieving this are deep and complex. We look forward to working with the tool kit created by LMM’s I’M IN as it will help us and others in our arts sector to make meaningful, sustainable strides towards our Diversity and Inclusion goals to reach and engage our wider community.”

Speaking of National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain’s involvement, Sarah Alexander OBE, Chief Executive & Artistic Director said: “Now is the time for listening, for learning, and for sharing the mic: NYO’s community of young people are passionate about racial justice and want to celebrate music written by a more diverse range of composers, telling more stories and representing more voices. We’re delighted to be part of I’M IN to ensure our organisation is reflecting the values of diversity and inclusion we are striving to represent in our music-making.”

Speaking of Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s involvement in I’M IN, James Williams, Managing Director, said“The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is proud to be a participant in LMM’s I’M IN Summer Cohort. The RPO wishes to challenge itself further to build a roadmap for sustainable and systemic change in making orchestral music more inclusive and representative of the society we serve. I’M IN provides an opportunity for us to reflect on the RPO’s achievements to date, provide an honest playback on what isn’t working and create an action plan for the future with the advice and support from some of the top inclusion and diversity leaders in the UK.”

Speaking of Orchestras for All’s participation in I’M IN, Executive Director Nick Thorne said“We are proud to have been selected to the Summer Cohort of London Music Masters’ I’M IN. At Orchestras for All, we are committed to breaking down all barriers for young people to accessing music-making throughout the UK. We know we have more work to do in identifying how to break down these barriers and look forward to working with colleagues across the sector to understand how we can better equip ourselves to take meaningful action against inequality through our work.”

Speaking of Tŷ Cerdd’s involvement in I’M IN, Deborah Keyser, Director and Steph Power, Chair, said: “Tŷ Cerdd is thrilled to have made it into the first I’M IN cohort. We couldn’t be more aware that our sector’s performance in equality, diversity and inclusion is sadly lacking, and our own organisational track-record is a part of that picture. We are keenly focused on starting to right these wrongs, and are working with partners to move the agenda forward, specifically in race, disability and class. We’re a tiny organisation and need to learn from others, so the understanding we gain from I’M IN will feed directly into our action planning – it’s perfect timing for us and the sector!”

The tool is designed to be an annual audit so that companies can measure progress over time

Users for both the Summer Cohort and the Autumn Cohort can access the entire annual audit for £800, which otherwise is behind a paywall

I’M IN was developed in 2017, with 10 music organisations involved in the initial development

Founded in 2008 by Victoria Robey and Prof. Itzhak Rashkovsky London Music Masters teaches 1,300 children each week in some of London’s most diverse boroughs to play the violin or the cello. Of these children, 41% are eligible for free school meals. In some of its schools, up to 70% of children come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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