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Seattle Opera.

Equity Commitment

Racial Equity and SOcial Impact Plan

Seattle Opera cares deeply about eradicating institutional racism and engaging with our community in a way that centers social impact within our art form and beyond. We believe in being leaders in racial equity work among our opera peers nationally, while keeping an open mind to learning and growing in areas where our company needs improvement. We are pleased to publish our 2020-2023 Racial Equity and Social Impact Plan and welcome reactions and feedback from our community.  Please send your comments and questions to seattle.opera@seattleopera.org and we will answer them during our upcoming Community Conversation all about our RESI plan on October 14, 2020 at noon. Details will be on our website calendar soon.

Read Racial Equity Plan

Our support for justice

 "Truth is powerful and it prevails." — Sojourner Truth⁣

The need for deep-seated change in our society existed long before the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the other Black lives lost in 2020. Seattle Opera stands in solidarity with our Black artists, audience members, staff, donors, subscribers, and community. We are committed to justice for Black Americans, and for all People of Color, and will continue to prioritize our own anti-racism work and growth, amplify the work of Black opera artists and creatives, and through dialogue and listening, create change for a more equitable and inclusive opera/classical music industry, and make amends where we have caused harm. It is our goal to create a future where Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color are an integral part of the creation of operas on and off stage. – June 1, 2020

 Recent blog posts:

 

Our Commitment to Equity

Seattle Opera, in desiring a more equitable world, is committed to fostering equity in our art form. This works includes building, fostering, and sustaining a company that reflects, celebrates, and serves the diverse communities of the Pacific Northwest.

Seattle Opera believes that:

  • Opera in the twenty-first century can and should demonstrate today’s values of equity.

  • Our ultimate goal is to go beyond inclusion and diversity. Equity means that everyone, including People of Color, have power, influence, and a seat at the table of opera.

  • The history of opera includes inherent but not insurmountable challenges to equity. We commit to making every effort to refrain from propagating harmful stereotypes, regardless of what has been done in the past.

  • The European origins of opera have created barriers in accessing an art form that should belong to everyone. In particular, these origins have contributed to White storytellers having the most power and influence in representing People of Color. In American opera, these barriers have been further amplified by systemic racism and xenophobia, to name a few. Mirroring Hollywood and other predominantly White art and entertainment, opera has contributed to the oppression, marginalization, and "othering" of non-White people. As a historically White organization, Seattle Opera takes ownership of where it has harmed People of Color, and commits to creating a new path forward.

  • In order to better engage with communities of color and other marginalized groups, Seattle Opera must be willing to listen and learn from these groups, and work to build meaningful partnerships

  • Our artistic and community-engagement programming should be socially relevant to today’s audiences, and at times, offer themes that challenge the status quo.

  • We are responsible for making opera financially, geographically, and physically accessible to everyone.

  • Increasing equity within the arts and cultural sector starts with our own leadership. In order to increase equity, Seattle Opera must continually evaluate and work to transform our leadership, employment, community engagement, and artistic practices such as casting and the selection of creative teams. Seattle Opera is committed to being a change leader among our peers.


To learn more about equity, diversity, and inclusion work in the US opera industry, read the Opera America resources.

Over the past two years, Seattle Opera has encouraged conversations within our community about the intersection of opera, art, race, and diversity.
Learn more about our next community conversation