Diversity & Inclusion

Systemic racism pervades all segments of our society, and music education and performance are not immune. The national discourse on race in 2020 spurred the Music Institute to do something all good musicians must do—listen carefully.
For many years, MIC has been expanding access to music education and musical experiences to economically and racially diverse communities through our Arts Link and Third Coast Suzuki programs throughout the Chicago area. We also regularly provide scholarship and financial aid support for families in need, and this continues to be a growing fundraising priority. However, the Music Institute of Chicago can do more and must do more.


In summer 2020, MIC established a Diversity and Inclusion Working Group, facilitated by Trustees Carlos Cardenas and Barbara Sereda and comprised of a diverse representation of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and current families invested in ensuring the values of access, diversity and inclusion are woven throughout all areas of MIC operations. Their message is simple—we must work toward a vision where our staff, leadership, and curricula are fully representative of and responsive to the communities we serve.

MIC is working to enact a series of recommendations designed to help us become a more inclusive and welcoming place for all—from evaluating our faculty and staff hiring and board recruitment to providing diversity, equity and inclusion training that will ensure we are inviting all voices to the table and the stage. As part of this process, MIC is challenging itself to develop new curricula and performances that are relevant to and celebrate communities of color. One Composer, One Community, a program dedicated to featuring composers of color across all teaching departments and performance platforms launched in January 2021 and explores the work of composer William Grant Still.

We are also seeking ways to expand our footprint in our own backyard, finding new avenues for providing music education to classrooms of diverse students in the City of Evanston through ArtsLink, Third Coast, and other programming.

The Trustees and senior management team join the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group in affirming that a more diverse and inclusive MIC will greatly enhance its mission of leading people toward a lifelong engagement with music and look forward to sharing our continued progress.