At Müzewest Concerts, we have taken time to consult with members of the black community and other visible minorities. This has taken time to do so properly and we thank you for your patience as we assembled actionable items that our small organization can do to help move our society toward greater racial justice. The arts have the fundamental power to transform and nourish us and we will be taking great care to ensure that our activities align with affecting positive social change. We find ourselves in a radically different world and as an organization, we also want to address the negative effects of social isolation caused by COVID-19 as well. The activities that we have planned hope to address issues of connectedness and representation in the arts. We invite you to support our activities by either sharing the finished products or through financial means if you are able.
1) BACH IN THE KALEIDOSCOPE – We have commissioned cellist Bryan Cheng to perform all 6 solo suites by J.S. Bach. A dancer who is from a visible minority community will choreograph a dance to the prelude from each suite and we will host an interview and discuss whether or not this western art music serves as an authentic vehicle for expressing the dancer’s experience as a minority in Canada. These performances and conversations will be recorded and available for free on our YouTube channel.
2) BACH AND ME – Cellist Bryan Cheng will perform all 6 suites by J.S. Bach and introduce each movement in a child-friendly manner. We will take time to develop a study guide of activities for kids that support their social-emotional learning by listening to these suites. All resources will be made available at no costs to schools and families.
3) TAKE NOTE – This is the name of our new podcast! We’ll be hosting a diverse panel of people to talk about issues of social justice and music and how these intersect. It will be professionally edited and available to a broad audience. Some of the interviews will be conducted via video. The aim of this podcast is so that diverse voices can hold space and we simply listen. After observing various responses to Black Lives Matter, this seems like a productive way for our small but dedicated team to proceed.
4) HIRING PRACTICES – We have also committed to programming more black musicians and that will result in increased travel costs as many of the artists we hope to engage live outside of British Columbia and Canada itself.
5) PROGRAMMING – We have committed to commissioning composers who identify as being a visible minority. Our stages will be a space for their creative voices.
All of these initiatives require careful consideration and planning on the part of our staff. We will proceed in a thoughtful manner and ensure that these five commitments are visible changes in our organization. We invite you to be support us in these ventures.
Support can be made through PAYPAL – www.paypal.me/muzewest