Recommendations | Diversity in the Orchestra Field 2023
Informing the Work Ahead
The League of American Orchestras is committed to supporting the field in finding ways to accelerate the pace of change in equity, diversity, and inclusion. Through our conferences and meetings, our webinars and online resources, our partnerships, our research, and especially through the work of the new Inclusive Stages coalition for racial diversity, we are focused on building an orchestra field that reflects and embodies the diversity of this country.
The below recommendations are intended as a starting point for the action-focused discussions to come. They draw directly on our analysis of current representation, the extent of progress made between the 2013-14 and 2022-23 seasons, and comparisons with the 2021 U.S. population estimates.
- Address the low representation in the following areas:
- Black or African American, Latinx/Hispanic, and American Indian and Alaska Native people in all artistic roles, particularly within larger budget orchestras.
- Women in conductor and music director roles, particularly within larger budget orchestras.
- People of color in top executive and governance roles.
- Nonbinary people in conductor, music director, top executive, and governance roles.
- Progress women’s representation in top executive roles towards the level seen in the wider non-profit sector, particularly within larger budget orchestras.
- Accelerate the moderate progress seen in recent years towards improved representation among people of color among orchestra staff members.
Each person reading this report will have their own questions to ask and their own experiences and perspectives to bring forward in the conversations that must now take place. We invite you to join us in the work ahead. Explore our equity, diversity, and inclusion reports and resources online, and sign up for our mailing list to receive news about future League programs and initiatives.
Jump to another page:
- Key Findings
- Technical Notes
- Detailed Analysis 1: By Orchestra Role (see full PDF)
- Detailed Analysis 2: By Demographic Group (see full PDF)
- Detailed Analysis 3: By Role and Budget Size (see full PDF)
- Detailed Analysis 4: Focus on the Pandemic Years (see full PDF)
- Appendix 1: Methodology
- Appendix 2: Stories of Progress in Orchestras
- Appendix 3: References
This project was supported in part by an award from the Research Grants in the Arts program at the National Endowment for the Arts, Grant #1863433-38-20. Additional funding was provided by a generous grant from the Mellon Foundation, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.