Shop Talk S01E08: Centering Equity

In a week where giving thanks is on the mind, I am remarkably grateful these two dynamic and candid guests agreed to join the pod and talk about equity. Ruby Lopez Harper, Americans for the Arts Senior Director of Local Arts Advancement, and Dr. Brea M. Heidelberg, Associate Professor & the Director of the Entertainment & Arts Management program at Drexel University are going to do far more than drop some …

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Internalizing The Concept Of Equity

The more a work can reflect society from the time it was written and provoke thoughtful contemplation, the better. If the musicality and topic keep the piece on my mind for more than a week after hearing it, that’s a win. The more polarizing current events are, the more potential exists for a work to emerge that is capable of inspiring meaningful actions. If you subscribe to a similar outlook, then …

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Perspective And Pushback To Tommasini’s Commentary On Blind Auditions

The 9/10/2020 edition of New York Times published a follow-up article to the opinion piece written by Anthony Tommasini in paper’s 7/16/2020 publication. The follow-up is intriguing in that if contains several noteworthy perspectives. The best rejoinders came from groups of respondents. The first, Weston Sprott (recent Shop Talk guest), Alex Laing, Joy Payton-Stevens, and Titus Underwood. It does a superb job at poking holes in the idea that auditions, and …

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When It Comes To Diversity, Are We Just Churning Butter With A Toothpick?

I keep meaning to find time to write something on the topic of diversity and representation in response to an article on that subject by Anthony Tommasini in the 7/16/2020 edition of the New York Times. In a nutshell, Tommasini attempts to support the conclusion that diversity on-stage can be improved if orchestras abandon screened auditions. It fails to stick a landing thanks in large part because screened auditions don’t have …

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NEC Alumni Pressure School’s Leadership To Improve Diversity

More than 350 New England Conservatory (NEC) alumni have signed a letter addressed to the school’s president, Andrea Kalyn calling out the university for failing to acknowledge what they define as its role in “reproducing the social conditions it claims to abhor.” It is time for the Conservatory’s leadership to be courageous in addressing its history and sustained role in promoting the purported supremacy of Eurocentric musical traditions. This history has …

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