“The League of American Orchestras’ upcoming national conference in Detroit falls just days before the fiftieth anniversary of the 1967 Detroit uprising, the largest urban disruption in America since the Civil War,” writes League of American Orchestras President and CEO Jesse Rosen in the Winter 2017 issue of Grantmakers in the Arts’ GIA Reader. “According to Detroit Symphony Orchestra president Anne Parsons, the 1967 riot was the context for the orchestra’s fellowship program for African American musicians….. Overcoming decades of discrimination in orchestras is as complicated and multidimensional as it is for any sector. … With the rise of white nationalism, with debates about the limits of ‘identity politics’ as a galvanizing ideal, and with the continuing Black Lives Matter movement, the subjects of race, ethnicity, gender, and class are more urgent than ever…. We at the League of American Orchestras are inspired by the new will in the orchestral field to confront the issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We pledge to continue to fuel this new will—and to do so in the long term—through all our resources: our national task force, our working groups, our 2017 conference in Detroit and those thereafter, our leadership training, our advocacy, our research, our publications, and our dissemination channels.”

Posted March 13, 2017

Pictured: Conductor Kazem Abdullah, jazz violinist Regina Carter, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at the DSO’s “Classical Roots” performance on March 3, 2017. The program included the world premiere of Terence Blanchard’s “Detroit 67” and David Schiff’s “4 Sisters: Concerto for Jazz Violin and Orchestra.”