Opera on Tap works to be a diverse, equitable, and inclusive company across all aspects of our administration, programming, and performances. Not only will we never tolerate exclusion for any reason, but we work to empower and amplify the voices, literally and figuratively, of those who have been historically silenced or unheard in our communities around the world. We seek to engage communities of color and communities of economic disadvantage, which have historically been excluded from the world of classical arts, through our performance projects and educational programming.
Opera on Tap pledges commitment to and consistency in examining our own practices, mindsets, and worldview in order to further equity and inclusion in our own work and among our partners and constituents. We will identify those areas in our organization and programming that need change, and encourage openness among all our staff, artists, and educators.
Opera on Tap’s newly revised governing by-laws establish a standing Equity Committee to address DEIB issues, which includes constituents from every level of the organization. We have designated a staff Director of Equity for the organization to sit on the Board Committee.
In June of 2020, protests swept the US, catalyzed by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other African American brothers and sisters. In 2021, the US has seen a surge of anti-Asian hate crimes across the country, including harassment, vandalism, assault, and the murder of our AAPI brothers and sisters in Atlanta.
It has become painfully clear that issues such as the demographics of symphony orchestra members and access to music education are in fact symptomatic of a larger system of racism and discrimination that is intended to disadvantage and undermine communities of color.
Opera on Tap understands that stereotypical tropes, commodification, and dehumanization can lead to violence. White supremacy is at the root of the model minority myth, and pits different peoples and cultures against one another. Black Lives Matter, Asian hate is wrong, and every voice deserves to be lifted and heard. We stand firm against discrimination, micro-aggressions, and toxic stereotypes. We stand even more firmly for inclusion – we reaffirm our commitment to opera for everyone. Who you are matters to us. Neither how you look nor how you are perceived by society define your voice or the song that you have inside.
Opera on Tap is committed to examining our own internal biases, with the knowledge that storytelling is universal, yet the diversity of the human experience is staggering. Therefore, we pledge to provide creative, administrative, and performance opportunities, resources, and agency to AAPI artists among our present and future ranks.
- On the production front, we commit to seeking out and commissioning projects whose creators and production teams understand and reflect diversity in their storytelling, casting, creative control, and decision-making.
- Across our chapters, we commit to providing our singers and collaborators with a musical environment that celebrates their diverse backgrounds and provides them agency throughout their respective career journeys.
- In our educational programming, we commit to actively seeking out racially and economically diverse student communities, and teaching artists and administrators who reflect the diversity of the communities at large with which we engage.
Finally, we are committed to listening and learning – we are not infallible, we know we have blind spots, and we know we have made mistakes. We hope that you view Opera on Tap as a safe space, where you can openly communicate with us when we have fallen short; in return, we promise to take proactive and corrective action, and to do better, always.