What can a community music school do to make things better?

June 16, 2020

 

In the past few weeks, the Music Institute of Chicago has reflected on its role in the community at a time when citizens have vigorously demonstrated their pain, despair and frustration over a lack of action on a range of issues surrounding racial equity. Through town hall forums with faculty and staff, queries to our students and their families, and an honest discussion at a meeting of our Board of Trustees, we have asked the question, “What can a community music school do to make things better?” I shared my initial thoughts on this question last week in a statement to the MIC community and since then, many more ideas have been generated.

 

We know that we can be better at listening, speaking the truth, educating, bringing more diversity into our environment, and using music as a powerful tool in the march toward social justice. To that end, I have asked our Trustees to form a diverse working group of constituents that will, through research, analysis, and inclusive conversation, develop action recommendations for the Music Institute to address issues of racial equity, diversity and inclusion in fulfilling MIC’s mission…to lead people toward a lifelong engagement with music by providing widely accessible resources for high quality music teaching, performing, and service activities.

 

I have asked that the working group deliver their recommendations to me within 90 days. However, I will not wait to act upon suggestions already received from our faculty, staff, and community. I look forward to keeping you apprised of this work.

 

As always, I welcome your input. Please also let me know if you are interested in participating in the working group.

 

Mark George, President and CEO

Music Institute of Chicago