Upon recommendation of the Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Board of Trustees unanimously adopted at its mid-year meeting on 30 June 2021 a formal “Statement of Commitment,” presented here in full:
As custodian of the legacies of Kurt Weill and Marc Blitzstein, the trustees and staff of the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music embrace both composers’ lifelong commitment to social and economic justice, equality, and inclusion, as well as their all-encompassing compassion and crusade for human dignity. We recognize, however, that much has changed in the intervening seventy years since Lost in the Stars and Regina. Institutional and cultural barriers continue to exclude, marginalize, and otherwise discriminate against people of color within the global performing arts environment. In our desire to envision a Kurt Weill Foundation for Music as an institution responsive to today’s challenges and opportunities, we reaffirm and renew our commitment to principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our programs, policies, and practices.
To that end, we have adopted intentional, inclusive practices to ensure that our various programs reflect this commitment and that entities engaging with our organization are aware of our expectations of congruent values from them. We have incorporated a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion into our grant program’s application, criteria, and evaluation, and are incentivizing projects that engage BIPOC personnel on stage and off. We will allocate funding and resources for ongoing anti-racism and implicit bias learning/training for staff and board members. We will continue to adhere to equitable hiring and recruitment practices and intensify efforts to recruit BIPOC candidates for positions. We will actively seek collaborators and vendors who share our DEI values and manage our investment portfolio with that lens in mind.
In pursuit of our mission “to nurture talent in the creation, performance, and study of musical theater,” we will encourage BIPOC writers by funding musical theater/opera development programs. We will inaugurate a scholarship program for BIPOC singers who have earned distinction in the Lenya Competition. And in order to realize more sponsorship opportunities of BIPOC Lenya Competition alumni, the KWF will partner with an expanding group of diverse “young artist” opera programs and analogous opportunities in musical theater.
In so doing, the KWF reaffirms its core mission while responding in the spirit of its namesake to impact decisively the global performing arts community by championing the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion to foster a sense of “belonging” for all.