Dianes gaming Sept 12 – Sept 30 2019

The League of American Orchestras has awarded a grant to the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) to strengthen its understanding of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) and to help transform organizational culture. 

The grant was given to 28 orchestras nationwide. The one-year grant is the second round of The Catalyst Fund, the league’s three-year, $2.1 million grant-making program. Funding is from a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation. 

“IPO believes in the strength of our community and our art form,” said IPO Executive Director Christina Salerno. “We are excited to be taking a holistic approach to ensuring that our orchestra embraces equity, diversity and inclusion across multiple organizational lines in the hope that we might achieve greater understanding and openness, both on the stage and in our communities. 

“We are thrilled to be awarded this second Catalyst Fund grant to help us continue this important trajectory forward into our future as a more inclusive and diverse orchestra,” Salerno said. 

“Recent events have underscored the deep racial disparities existing in our country, already amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic’s unequal impact on communities of color,” said Jesse Rosen, President and CEO of the League of American Orchestras. “The work orchestras are undertaking with support from the League’s Catalyst Fund highlights the urgency of addressing EDI as orchestras attempt to confront decades of inequity within our field. We must understand and address our personal and organizational roles in systems of inequity.”

Catalyst Fund grants support orchestras’ use of inclusion practitioners who help implement a range of organizational development activities involving musicians, staff, board and, in some cases, volunteers and community leaders. These activities include anti-bias trainings, institutional audits, the creation of formal EDI plans and work to build consensus and integrate EDI into mission statements and culture. Community building is a key component of the program.

For more information, visit ipomusic.org or call (708) 481-7774.

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