This year’s Conference promoted dialogue on how the critical issues of systemic racism and social injustice, made prominent through the events of this past year, connect to our work through repertoire, audience engagement, and approaches to community building. Please browse the sessions below.
All times listed in Eastern Standard Time.
Embracing our Power: Centering of Human Stories at the Heart of our Music
Monday, January 11, 11:00 AM-12:15 PM
This time of radical change demands that individuals and institutions acknowledge and address current and historical inequities in order to reflect the history, perspectives, and experiences of those who have been marginalized. What does this mean for musicians and presenters, and how can our understanding of these elements manifest itself as we seek to invite audiences to experience our work? This panel, led by BIPOC arts leaders and allies from a range of fields, will explain how centering humanity in our work has opened the door for powerful dialogue around social issues, and how framing musical performance to address representation, intersectionality, and identity can create context, activate conversations, and support the broader movement for racial justice and equity.
Calling for Radical Change: A Fieldwide Conversation: The Climate Crisis, Performing Arts Touring, and our Future
Presented in partnership with the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP), The Drama League, and the International Society of the Performing Arts.
Monday, January 11, 2:45 PM-4:00 PM
The current Coronavirus pandemic has brought performing arts touring to a crushing halt, resulting in an unfathomable, and yet overdue, shift in how we work. Simultaneously, the imminent, global climate emergency with its increasingly severe impacts is devastating our communities and changing how we engage them. During this necessary pause, we— artists, agents, programmers, producers and venues—have the rare opportunity to innovate and reimagine what’s possible in the face of both pandemics.
How can we as a field address the impending climate crisis while we still have time to do so? What have we learned during this time and how can we build on it?
In this session, join arts leaders, climate crisis experts, artists and innovators who are already responding to the crisis and calling for collective action to learn how the performing arts presenting, booking and touring field can tap our power for change and worldwide impact.
Community Heart: A Model for Arts and Revitalization
Tuesday, January 12, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM
Join this panel discussion with arts and community organization leaders to learn how the arts can play a role in community revitalization. From empowering residents and educating youth to supporting businesses and bringing access to resources, arts organizations can play a major role in helping communities thrive. Panelists will share their experiences creating shared goals, balancing expertise—the community is always the expert on what it needs—and how arts organizations should enter, exist, and even exit a community.
Navigating the Grant-Seeking Lifecycle
Tuesday, January 12, 1:00-2:00 PM
What are the steps to take before submitting a grant proposal? Successful fundraising requires making connections with people, learning about their application process, and advocating for your organization or project. This 60-minute session provides strategies and tactics for these key stages of the grant application lifecycle. Topics include initial approach and relationship-building, asking for application feedback, and gathering information on how to align your proposal with funders’ interests. Attendees will learn how to analyze opportunities, challenges, and setbacks for positive results; understand how to assess data on the performing arts field; and recognize the importance of cultural equity throughout the fundraising process with an eye to the long-term health of our arts ecosystem. This session will focus on the grant process for 501(c)(3) nonprofits, but its general principles are also useful for unincorporated ensembles and individuals.
BIPOC Community Conversation
Hosted and facilitated by Women of Color in the Arts (WOCA).
Tuesday, January 12, 6:30-8:00 PM
In an effort to help create agency among a constituency that has been historically underrepresented and marginalized, this session is specifically designed to hold space for and center the voices of people of color. Chamber Music America aims to become a more intentionally inclusive institution and to directly address race as a means to examine the organization’s processes, policies, and practices. In an open forum, attendees of this session will have an opportunity to occupy space in community with one another, lift up one another’s work, reflect on the conference experience, and unpack the experience of being a person of color in a historically and predominately white sector.
This space is designated for self-identified Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
Equity in the Arts: A Case Study in Arab Music
Wednesday, January 13, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM
Music creates visibility for marginalized and excluded ensembles. Through performances and workshops, Egyptian-American musician and teaching artist, Karim Nagi, has been advocating for Arabs and Muslims in the U.S., and disrupting the negative stereotypes that have denied them equity. This session will include live melodic and rhythmic demonstrations that reveal the chamber music qualities inherent in traditional Arab music. Nagi’s approach has familiarized many audiences with this vast music tradition, and sparked curiosity and empathy for his people. This method of musical diplomacy, paired with its power to disrupt xenophobia, can be applied to all underrepresented ensembles in the U.S. that are pursuing equitable treatment and broader audiences.
Getting to Know Your Social Media Audiences
Presented in partnership with the Wallace Foundation’s Building Audiences for the Arts Program
Wednesday, January 13, 1:00-2:00 PM
During the pandemic, musicians and presenters have transformed the way they reach audiences. Performances often draw hundreds more than they would be able to accommodate in person, and audiences are attending from across the globe. How can you learn more about who they are and begin to develop a longer-term relationship? This session will introduce you to analytic tools that will help you understand who is attending your performances, how to maximize your marketing efforts, and which platforms provide the most information.
Silence is Not an Option: Giving Voice to BIPOC Composers
Thursday, January 14, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM
This Summer a moment of racial reckoning ensued around the world forcing many to finally admit to and deal with the disparities, injustices, and inequalities Black people have endured for decades. As music institutions, arts organizations, and professional orchestras scrambled to interrogate their diversity, equity, and inclusion practices, they also began to acknowledge their systemic practices of complicit and explicit behaviors. In an effort to diversify the classical canon, some have decided to program music by BIPOC composers during special events. This, however, is not the solution. This session will address the common fears and myths on audience preference, retention, development, and more. Participants will leave with a blueprint and deeper understanding of how diverse music can serve as a catalyst for social change and empowerment. Moreover, participants will have a clear understanding of why silence is not an option.
The Role of Education in Promoting Equity
Thursday, January 14, 1:00-2:00 PM
Fact or fiction: The U.S.’s public education system is responsible for the small number of musicians of color in orchestras and the absence of BIPOC composers from classical chamber music concerts. What role does education play among student populations in creating, maintaining, or closing disparities as they relate to the arts? Can the chamber music community advocate for and effect change? Join two musicians and educators as they discuss music education’s triumphs and failings, and what it means for the future health and vitality of classical music.
Exploring Racial and Gender Equity Beyond the Concert Hall
Friday, January 15, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM
In August 2020, Lotus Chamber Music Collective created a virtual book club to facilitate discussions about systemic racism in music and music education. Through the book club, the Collective was able to connect with musicians, administrators, and educators from across the country as they openly shared personal experiences, implemented action items, and explored systemic racism in music. In this session, attendees will learn about materials and resources they can use to create their own virtual experience, various types of media to create a dynamic environment within the book/score club, and ways in which events beyond the concert hall can help to build common understanding and community.
All times listed in Eastern Standard Time.