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Seattle Opera.

Equity Commitment

Seattle Opera’s 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