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Inclusive Cultures

League member orchestras are taking active steps to build the inclusive organizational cultures that ensure that a diverse workforce is supported and its potential is fully realized. 

In 2023, 60 of these orchestras took part in a data-driven effort to better understand their staff and musicians’ experience of inclusion and belonging, and to create a benchmark for future progress. 

Below, we preview key insights from the attitudinal data supplied by 1936 musicians and 830 staff members working in these orchestras. Collectively, these insights provide an indicative overview of inclusion and belonging in U.S. orchestras today.

Thank you to Accordant Advisers, who delivered the survey and data analysis as part of the League’s Inclusive Stages program. Further results will be presented online and at the League’s 2024 National Conference in Houston, TX

League Insights

  1. Musicians from all backgrounds reported lower levels of inclusion and belonging than orchestra staff from all backgrounds.
    • Musicians told us they feel less often empowered than staff across the orchestras, even though they feel slightly more often respected.
    • Woodwind and string players report lower levels of inclusion and belonging than brass players and percussionists.
  1. Musicians from under-represented backgrounds reported experiencing inclusion and belonging significantly less often than their peers.
    • Musicians who reported working with colleagues from “similar backgrounds to themselves” experienced feelings of inclusion 77% of the time and belonging 80% of the time.
    • In contrast, those musicians who told us that they were “often the only person from their background” reported feelings of inclusion only 59% of the time and belonging 58% of the time.
  1. In general, smaller budget orchestras report better outcomes than larger budget orchestras, including higher levels of inclusion and belonging among both staff and musicians. 

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