Blog Post by Jim Hennessey
What does it mean for an organization like CGMC to be more diverse and inclusive? Isn’t an LGBTQ+ performance group already inclusive? Did something happen to bring this topic to the forefront? What results do we expect to get from this effort?
Those were just a couple of the questions people asked after CGMC announced to its members last month that the Chorus was launching a Diversity & Inclusion Task Force. CGMC has always stated that the Chorus is a welcoming space for everyone regardless of how they identify within the LGBTQ+ community, or even if someone identifies as straight or non-binary. Membership isn’t limited by race, age, or ethnicity, and you don’t even need to be a Chicago resident to be part of the group. But is it how CGMC as an organization is designed to operate? That is the purpose of this new effort.
The Task Force will explore CGMC stands with regards to diversity and inclusion across our leadership, membership, board, and audiences. This effort will expose any existing issues that interfere with inclusiveness, develop an on-going culture within CGMC that embraces the diversity of our city, and maintain an inclusive environment.
A tremendous amount of planning is underway to ensure we do this right. We have consulted with or accessed resources from GALA Choruses, Americans for the Arts, ASAE Foundation for Non-Profit Leadership, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, National Diversity Council, Arts Action Fund, and the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus to seek best practices.
The Task Force will begin work on July 1, 2019.We will select eight members for the representing segments of the broader CGMC family (Board, Volunteer Leaders, Alumni, Audiences, Donors, and Members). Apply for the Task Force below. Applications are due no later than 5 pm, Friday, May 10.
And we must fund the effort! Establishing support for the Task Force through donations or grants will provide access to thought leaders and information that will enhance our goals. We will use this blog to provide ongoing updates and share other opportunities for people to join the effort.
Jim Hennessey has been a member of CGMC since 2012. His first show was “Make the Yuletide Gay.” He is an elected member of the Membership Council, the Bass Section Rep, and has served as Membership Council President for the 2018-19 Season.