Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Announces New Diversity & Equity Initiatives

By Logan Martell

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis has announced two new initiatives to further the company’s efforts towards equity and inclusion in the performing arts.

The first is the Clayco Future Leaders Fellowship, which gives individuals from diverse backgrounds the skills and experience needed to pursue a career in arts administration.

Participants will serve a full-time position as they specialize within a given department, as well as learning essential functions across the organization. They will receive salary, benefits, professional development, and a relocation stipend.

The fellowship will launch on January 4, 2021, and will run until July 30. Subsequent years of the program will run for ten months. Applications for the inaugural year will be accepted between September 30, and October 30, 2020.

The second initiative is the “Voices Fund: A Path for Empathy Dialogue, and Change.” This new fund will aim to support projects which amplify the diverse voices within the St. Louis area. The first project made possible by the fund will be “Songs for St. Louis: A Concert in the Commons,” which will be produced in collaboration with the Nine Network in the Public Media Commons.

“In this extraordinary moment, OTSL is pledging itself to our communities by using the funds raised for the 2020 Spring Gala to launch the Voices Fund: A Path for Empathy, Dialogue, and Change. This fund will be dedicated to lifting the voices of our neighbors, developing new talent, and creating bold, impactful art, all of which is crucial to producing work that advances equity,” said General Director Andrew Jorgensen in a press release. “We are fortunate to have a board of directors and generous friends of the company who support Opera Theatre’s expanding commitment to equity and inclusion, and are grateful to have their partnership as we launch these initiatives.”