These days, news from the U.S.-Mexico border is fraught with tension. Increased U.S. restrictions on asylum-seekers have left hundreds of migrants from Central America and elsewhere stranded on the Mexican side of the border, and relations between the two countries have been strained. In response, various cultural and human rights groups are reaching across the border to help stranded migrants and to reinforce the historic bonds between the two countries. Among them are a handful of choral music organizations, including two choral initiatives centered on the San Diego-Tijuana border region.
Chorus America has announced the recipients of its 2020 awards program, recognizing a broad range of achievements in choral music, including artistic excellence, adventurous programming, innovative education programs, and lifetime service to the choral art.
*Also in this series:
Choruses and choral leaders who launched creative online participatory singing outlets to combat COVID-19.
Choral broadcasts sprouting up in the face of COVID-19.
As diversity, equity, and inclusion have increasingly come to the forefront for so many classical music organizations today, there’s a forum that has become a leading space in DEI conversations for the past five years: SphinxConnect.
(NANM board members in 1941, Foster Memorial Hall, Pittsburgh. Pictured are Blanche K. Thompson, Josephine Inness, Henry L. Grant, Mary Cardwell Dawson, Clarence Hayden Wilson, and Florence B. Price. Photo credit: Carnegie Museum of Art, Charles "Teenie" Harris Archive)
The National Endowment for the Arts announced the recipients of its first round of 2020 grants, and Chorus America is honored to be the recipient of a $90,000 award. We are also excited to see many of our partners and choral organizations represented in the list of awarded grants, including:
American Composers Forum
Barbershop Harmony Society
Brooklyn Youth Chorus
Cathedral Choral Society
Chicago A Cappella
A panel discussion at the 2019 Conference capped off Chorus America’s inaugural “Voices of Change” program—an effort to foster more collaboration and inclusiveness in the Philadelphia-area choral community and provide leaders with education on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Now the time has come to identify insights from this cohort that are relevant to choruses elsewhere. What might choral leaders expect when venturing into DEI discussions and attempting to build new connections in their choral communities? Voices of Change participants, facilitator Nicole Robinson, and Chorus America staff reflect on what was gained over the course of the year, as well as seeds planted that will take continued work to nurture.