CYSO has had the honor of receiving funding from the League of American Orchestras’ Catalyst Fund twice over the past few years to support our equity, diversity, and inclusion work, and we are thrilled to have this work recently featured in a case study about fund grantees.
Thanks to the Catalyst Fund, in 2019, CYSO completed an “inclusion audit” to examine the ways in which our programs, policies, and procedures were inclusionary, especially around issues of race and ethnicity. In 2021, we received funding again to explore accessibility across our programs and materials with the hope of creating a more welcoming and supportive environment for students with disabilities.
Our work was recently featured in “A Youth Orchestra’s Approach to EDI,” a Catalyst Snapshot case study published by the League of American Orchestras. These case studies are meant to share learning across the industry and CYSO was proud to be the only youth orchestra featured among other professional orchestras. Executive Director Susan Lape and Community Engagement Manager Karen Mari were both interviewed about what we’ve learned through this work, the challenges and pitfalls we’ve faced, and how CYSO has put our learning into practice in actionable ways.
We are proud to be part of the important work of making CYSO, and the entire orchestra field, more responsive and welcoming to musicians of various backgrounds, abilities, and identities, and look forward to continuing our EDI learning for seasons to come.