08 Jun A Message of Solidarity
At Les Délices, it has been my practice to put hours ÔÇô weeks, months ÔÇô of research and thought into the programs I develop. It has been my goal for everything I do to be of impeccable quality.
I have been struggling to draft a statement that addresses the unconscionable violence, hate, and health disparities being experienced by Black Americans right now in both a timely and flawless way. But today, I am making an effort to give authentic voice to the fact that even this deliberation over my words is steeped in white privilege, and that taking time to identify the “right way” to be an ally to my friends, fellow musicians, and all Americans of Color is in itself a privilege.
Les Délices has always been aware of the lack of diversity in the field of Early Music. Not only is it born of European musical tradition, but its largely white practitioners have benefited from the age-old systemic racism that has led to our ability to access education, afford musical training, and spend time immersing ourselves in art and scholarship.
The lack of diversity in our field is something that has always concerned us at Les Délices. We have always wanted to develop programming and other initiatives that elevate the artistic work, perspectives, histories, and contributions of artists of color, but to date we have not made that happen.
Today I can say that Les Délices is making a renewed commitment to prioritizing diversity and inclusion in performance and to continuing necessary work for our organization—and the field of classical music—to combat racial injustice and fight inequality in the arts from the inside out. In the next few weeks we will be announcing a project that gives substance to these claims, and that we hope will have a positive, if small, impact on the lives and careers of Artists of Color whose voices and contributions are vital to the future of the field.
Les Délices believes in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Les Délices recognizes the roles of all marginalized persons in the history of music. We believe that music has the power to express deep emotions, provide respite from turmoil, and to heal communities through the common act of listening. But as artists we must not retreat into the comforting cocoon of music-making and lose sight of the injustices in our own field. On behalf of Les Délices’ staff and board, I accept that challenge.
Debra Nagy, Artistic Director
Laura Weigand, Executive Director
Joe Sopko, Board President