The Diversity & Inclusion Resource Center is designed to provide practical and helpful insight, advice, and a path to greater diversity and inclusion in every part of your organization. Hundreds of free resources — including two pioneering diversity studies published by the League — are available to help you better understand and create a deeper connection with your community.

Our Commitment

For the League of American Orchestras, achieving diversity means affirming the inclusion and involvement of a broad representation of our community, reflecting its true make-up, including race, ethnicity and cultural background, gender, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, disabilities, education, geography, and religion. The League has pledged to:

  • Promote diversity within its board and staff;
  • Promote greater understanding of, and respect for, diversity in its member orchestras; and
  • Help orchestras advance their work in the area of diversity and inclusion, including audience, orchestra and staff personnel, repertoire, young artists, boards and governance practice.

To get started, choose an interest area from the menu on the right or scroll down to see the most recently added content.

Commentary from Jesse Rosen

A Time to Act (August 2017)
Read a statement from our CEO, Jesse Rosen, on the role of orchestras in this time of escalated divisiveness and intolerance.

Confronting homogeneity at American orchestras is the focus of Jesse Rosen’s article in Grantmakers in the Arts’ GIA Reader. Read it here.

League President and CEO Jesse Rosen spoke on diversity in American orchestras at the recent conference of the Association of British Orchestras.


Racial/Ethnic and Gender Diversity in the Orchestra Field

Racial/Ethnic and Gender Diversity in the Orchestra Field, commissioned by the League with research and data analysis by Dr. James Doeser, reports on gender and ethnic/racial diversity in orchestras among musicians, conductors, staff, executives, and board members. Learn more.

Forty Years of Fellowships: A Study of Orchestras’ Efforts to Include African American and Latino Musicians

Forty Years of Fellowships: A Study of Orchestras' Efforts to Include African American and Latino Musicians, commissioned by the League with research and analysis by Nick Rabkin and Monica Hairston O'Connell, is an in-depth examination of orchestras' past efforts to diversify their musician ranks with fellowships for African American and Latino musicians. The report presents program and impact data about diversity fellowships from 1976 to the present day, and explores the perspectives of fellowship program alumni. Learn more.


Our 2017 report Of and For the Community includes essential demographics statistics for participants in orchestras’ education and community engagement (EdCE) programs. It also explores how orchestras are establishing increasingly dynamic partnerships with the communities they serve, as a basis for meaningful engagement with new and more diverse audiences.  

Conference 2017 — Detroit Rising / Transformation in American Orchestras

The League’s 72nd National Conference took place in Detroit, June 6-8, 2017. Sessions included:

  • The 2017 Diversity Forum was the League’s third national convening of leaders from the field to address strategic priorities including a national diversity audition fund, national instrumentalist mentorship and audition training, field-wide board and staff diversity, and music education pathways.
  • Diversity and Inclusion in Action
  • No Sound Barriers: Sphinx at 20

Conference 2016 — The Richness of Difference

Nearly 1,000 orchestra administrators, musicians, trustees, and volunteers gathered in Baltimore for the League's 71st National Conference June 9-11. This year's conference focused on diversity, particularly as it relates to increasing the involvement of members of underrepresented communities in all aspects of our orchestras—on stage, in the board room and the executive offices, and in the audience.


Powerful address on diversity from The Honorable Elijah Cummings, U.S. Representative (MD-7)


Keynote speaker Earl Lewis, President of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation


Address from DeRay Mckesson, civil rights activist; Address from Dr. Monique Chism, deputy assistant secretary for policy and programs, OESE, U.S. Department of Education; Closing Luncheon Remarks and Panel



Case study of the nation's largest El Sistema-inspired program, OrchKids



Developing Your Diversity Plan




Session on Resourcing Diversity Work with Janet Brown, president & CEO, Grantmakers in the Arts; Susan Feder, program officer, performing arts, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Marian Godfrey, cultural advisor, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation; Edwin Torres, deputy commissioner, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs


Session on Inclusive Leadership with Andrés Tapia, senior client partner, Korn Ferry Hay Group and author of The Inclusion Paradox - 2nd Edition: The Obama Era and the Transformation of Global Diversity.



Music Unwound: Connecting Underrepresented Communities to Orchestras through the Humanities



Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra/Cincinnati Conservatory of Music Diversity Fellowship overview


Symphony Articles

A New Will to Confront Homogeneity in American Orchestras: this article by League President and CEO Jesse Rosen originally appeared in the Winter 2017 issue of the GIA Reader, a publication of Grantmakers in the Arts.

How Can Orchestras Become More Diverse: League President and CEO speaks with a roundtable of distinguished African American orchestral musicians about their lives at American orchestras.

The State of the Board: Report from BoardSource on board diversity—and how to increase it.

Forward Steps: Orchestras are working to broaden musician diversity with a rich array of talent-development projects, fellowships, and mentoring programs.


The Diversity & Inclusion Resource Center is made possible by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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