Stanford Thompson, newly appointed executive director of Equity Arc.

“In October, Play on Philly (POP) Founder and Executive Director Stanford Thompson announced that he would be stepping down after 13 years at the helm, ‘to continue my life’s work of ensuring equitable access to quality music education and training for musicians across the country,’” writes Susan Elliott in Wednesday’s (4/19) Musical America (subscription required). “He’s already on his way. Thompson is the first Executive Director of Equity Arc, a new membership organization formerly known as the National Instrumentalist Mentoring & Advancement Network (NIMAN), which self-defines as ‘a national coalition that works to align, promote, and develop equitable opportunities for musicians of color.’ NIMAN had its first convention last month in Cincinnati. Equity Arc has tweaked NIMAN’s identifier as ‘a national coalition of organizations developing and promoting equitable advancement opportunities for aspiring professional classical musicians from underrepresented ethnicities.’ Members range from the Cleveland Orchestra to Interlochen. Thompson has been on the board of NIMAN since its inception two years ago. He is also founding board chairman of El Sistema USA, on which POP is modelled, a TED Fellow, on the faculty of Global Leaders Program, and a professional trumpeter with a degree from the Curtis Institute of Music.”