Toward a better future

July 1, 2020

In solidarity with the peaceful protests and voices of Black leadership around the country and the world, we are examining who we are, what we do, and how we do it so that we can develop a plan toward a better future.

We’ve seen that music can be transformative. We believe that music holds a powerful role in making our communities just and equitable. And we know that music can bring people together to create a better world.

Our mission is: To inspire individuals in the communities we serve through musical experiences of deep personal significance.

Using our mission as the north star to which we aspire, we have begun evaluating our work and ourselves from a new perspective. Through this process of reflection and learning, we have developed commitments to ourselves and our community to guide our work going forward. We are implementing some of these measures immediately, but others are long-term initiatives that will require more time and thought.

We share these reflections and intentions with you so that we may hold each other accountable as we create a better future together.

Who are the communities we serve? Who feels welcome in our community?

We intend …

  • To broaden the scope of what we consider our community.
  • To build a staff and Board of Directors truly representative of our community at every level, specifically seeking out underrepresented groups such as BIPOC, women, and members of the LGBTQ+ communities. 
  • To seek out service partners in underrepresented communities locally, regionally, and nationally.

How do we employ our mission and resources to promote equity, acknowledge racism and oppression, and create just, inclusive spaces? How do we employ our mission to make space for community members’ voices?

We intend …

  • To amplify marginalized voices by expanding the boundaries of our artistic experiences to better reflect our community.
  • To examine our funding sources and practices, and work to diversify our donors and institutional partners.

How can we revise existing resources and services to better serve the entire Austin community and beyond?

We intend …

  • To provide our teachers with tools to connect and engage with students of all identities.
  • To hire diverse, service-minded teachers and artists for education programming representative of the students we serve and hope to serve. 
  • To reimagine our curriculum and other education resources to ensure the individuals we serve have access to a wide variety of materials and experiences that represent the cultural spectrum of our community.
  • To identify, understand, and eliminate barriers to participation that may be inadvertently present in our artistic, education, and social service programs.

Do we currently create a culture that feels safe and welcoming for all identities to be seen as whole individuals with worth and dignity? How can we foster an environment that empowers individuals to participate meaningfully?

We intend … 

  • To empower our staff by providing opportunities for professional development and pathways to leadership.
  • To nurture a culture of understanding and connection within our staff and Board of Directors through learning experiences on anti-racism, anti-sexism, and anti-oppression.
  • To foster an environment welcoming to all identities so that individuals feel seen, valued, and inspired to flourish.

We look forward to sharing more stories and beautiful moments with you as we strive to fulfill our mission to inspire individuals in the communities we serve through musical experiences of deep personal significance.