2019-20 End of Season Statement
Our 6th season is ending in a different way than we expected. Due to COVID-19, we were not able to present our final two scheduled programs, Honor the Light and Beards in Space, each of which were to feature commissioned extended works and creative partnerships in nontraditional choral venues. While the current landscape prevents us from committing to new dates for these programs, we are committed to presenting these singular events when we are able to do so safely.
We are also ending our season grieving the murder of George Floyd. We recognize that we have not done enough as an ensemble and an organization to challenge and uproot systems of racism and white supremacy that pervade our society and allowed for the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. These are the same systems that pervade the classical music industry and our choral community, and it is our responsibility to work to dismantle them. We strive to be a choir for all spaces and communities, but we have failed to uphold that vision for communities of color, as evidenced by the overwhelming whiteness of our board, singers, audience, guest artists, collaborators, and featured composers, all of whom we love and value dearly and count on to help us grow and change. While we continue to address these organizational shortcomings and explore longer-term strategies, understanding that words and statements alone will not lead to racial justice and equity, we wanted to share some short-term commitments we have made for our future:
- performing repertoire by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) composers regularly—not to just check a box, but to meaningfully engage with, support, and lift up voices that have been underrepresented and undervalued in our past programming,
- commissioning BIPOC composers to create new work,
- supporting BIPOC-owned businesses in our performance venues, purchasing of food, printed materials, and other expenses,
- engaging BIPOC communities, organizations, businesses, and artists as potential co-creative collaborators—with the goal of creating meaningful, reciprocal relationships and partnerships.
As we begin our new fiscal year without public performances on our calendar, we will use this valuable time to continue these conversations, plan and implement anti-racist work for the betterment of our community. We warmly welcome and seek your input.
Samuel Grace, Artistic Director, and the MPLS (imPulse) Board of Directors