We stand against injustice and racism, and we stand with our fellow citizens in the black community. As members of the Maryland/DC Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association, we know that the many ensembles we lead have already posted similar and stronger statements; we know that we are in alignment with our national organization.
We know that as leaders of our choral art, an art like so many performing arts that has to reinvent how we continue to connect and collaborate during this pandemic, we are pillars of the social and emotional health and well-being for our communities and their members. We know from the 2019 Choral Impact Survey spearheaded by Chorus America, that choral singers are remarkably strong contributors to their communities, volunteering more frequently than the general public to address a wider range of areas of need, both inside and outside of the arts, and through volunteer hours as well as financial contributions (https://www.chorusamerica.org/resource/chorus-impact-study-singing-lifetime).  We challenge ourselves and each of you to do our part even more than statements of solidarity and protests that are happening in all 50 states:

  1. First and foremost, we want to listen to the voices and cries for help, reform, justice, and equality. We are about creating and sustaining community, we represent the work of many who dedicate lives and careers to ensuring all voices are heard and valued.
  2. We sing in defiance of those who would suppress the rights and lives of others, and in solidarity with those who are strengthened and emboldened to face racism and discrimination head-on.
  3. We advocate for bills that take on police reform, and we know that the most important work in this arena has to happen with local leaders at local levels across our region and throughout our nation.

Respectfully,

Michael Wu, Rachel Carson, Joshua Fishbein, Megan Fitzharris, Edryn Coleman, Max Nolin, Rebecca Vanover, Keith Schwartz, Ocie Shaquan Banks, Allan Laino.

Representing the Leadership Team, Maryland/DC Chapter, ACDA

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