By BOA and TRG Arts
Social justice advocacy group Black Opera Alliance (BOA) and international arts management consultants TRG Arts have released the first Insight Report tracking progress U.S. opera companies are making toward the eight areas of needed transformation defined in BOA’s “Pledge for Racial Equity and Systemic Change in Opera.”
“Historically, the lack of industry-wide accountability has been a prime culprit in stalling substantive industry progress in the EDI space. This report shines a spotlight on how and where the sector is making gains,” said Dr. Derrell Acon, Project Director / BOA Leadership Council.
As of March 10, 2021, 44% of opera companies in the U.S. have signed the pledge. 33% are “In Progress” as they work toward signing. 19% have not responded and one company has declined to sign.
“The status ‘In Progress’ is a starting place. We have assistance, such as EDI specialists, available for organizations who are trying to figure out how to commit to The Pledge. We want opera companies to be successful in this work and we can help,” said Pamela Jones, BOA Leadership Council.
Dr. Acon added, “There are now many different versions of The Pledge. We understand that one document is not going to fit the needs of all opera companies. There is room for compromise as long as the spirit of The Pledge is upheld, and commitment is made to addressing the barriers that exist.”
This first report also highlights correlations between pledge signing status and percentages of Black populations within a community. The U.S. population is 12% Black. Opera companies in communities where Black populations are greater than 12% have been more likely to respond “Yes” to the pledge and have the greatest proportion of “No Response.” Opera companies in communities where Black populations are less than 12% have been more likely to have a response of “In Progress.”
“The benefit of the data is that it shows us the challenges unemotionally. It helps our community understand specifically where and how we can help. Additionally, it positions opera companies as participants in the structural change we are trying to see. It’s a clear and streamlined look at the ecosystem as it is right now,” said Garrett McQueen, BOA Leadership Council.
“This Insight Report demonstrates the powerful role data collection and analysis are playing in advancing the adoption of The Pledge,” said TRG Arts CEO Jill Robinson. “Using this systematic approach is helping to accelerate BOA’s mission for the opera sector at a time when its success is critical, and I’m excited to see future results and progress.”
To develop further insights, BOA will next be sending out a data collection workbook, created in conjunction with TRG Arts, to opera companies to help understand where they are with the items outlined in the pledge.
To download a copy of the Insight Report visit https://go.trgarts.com/boa-trg-insight-report-apr