Symphony Tacoma announcement.
Tacoma, WA—The League of American Orchestras has awarded a $75,000 grant to Symphony Tacoma to help create a more equitable organizational culture through collaborative, peer-driven learning opportunities. Given to just twenty orchestras nationwide, the three-year grants are made possible by a $2.1 million leadership grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation. The Catalyst Fund Incubator drives change by incorporating models from high-tech incubators, such as creating strong peer communities for brainstorming and strategizing and developing new ideas through mentorships. An important element of the program focuses on building capacity to attract new resources—including funding and partnerships—for the orchestras’ equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) work.
“Through this incredible opportunity, Symphony Tacoma is ready to take our EDI journey from the awareness phase to the action phase,” said Symphony Tacoma Executive Director Karina Bharne. “The grant contract earmarks funding for a consultancy with an EDI firm which will help make our goal a reality, along with seed money to initiate new community programming. We are thrilled to partner with Tammy Dowley-Blackman of the TDB Group, who will be working with all of our stakeholders—orchestra musicians, board, administrative staff and members of our community.
“We are actively interrupting a centuries-old pattern of exclusion in our field, to lessen racial disparities and to foster a culture of inclusivity—both on and off the stage,” continued Bharne. “Symphony Tacoma seeks to become truly representative of, and essential to, our community. We are excited about the possibilities in the next three years of this journey and would like to thank the League of American Orchestras.”
“We’re so grateful to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their vision and years of support, and to the 49 orchestras in the initial Catalyst Fund pilot program who have infused the field with insights and helped the entire field begin to effect change,” said Simon Woods, the League’s President and CEO. “The new Incubator program accelerates and deepens this work, inspiring orchestras to nurture and sustain inclusive organizational cultures over the long-term. I’m especially excited about widely sharing this learning, including our new guide, Promising Practices: Actions Orchestras Can Take to Make Progress Toward Equity, and a fantastic slate of additional Catalyst resources to come later this year.”
2022 Catalyst Fund Incubator Grant Recipients: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras, Hawai’i Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Napa Valley Youth Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, Stamford Symphony, Symphony Tacoma, Chicago Philharmonic, Louisville Orchestra, Walla Walla Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Youth Orchestras of San Antonio (YOSA)