Our first major step in formalising this activity has been to establish a Diversity Working Group, led by Wesley John, who has run our Academic Partnerships programmes at the Academy over the past few years and now takes on a role leading our Diversity & Inclusion activity.
At our AGM in July 2019, we held a panel on the theme of ‘Understanding Barriers to Equality in Music Creation’, comprising Vanessa Reid, CEO of PRS Foundation; The Ivors Composer Award winning composer, Cassie Kinoshi; Olga Fitzroy, Recording & Mix Engineer; renowned record producer Robin Millar; and our own Fran Matthews, Director of Awards and Membership. Wes moderated the discussion. The engaging session was insightful and informative and will be discussed further by our Working Group as they formulate our strategic campaigning around this subject.
In May, The Ivors Academy and BBC Radio 3 held a workshop at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, resuming the cultural diversity conversation we begun together in 2017. Attended by 40 contributors, comprising composers, programmers, publishers, editors and commissioners, the event focused on discussion of issues related to diversity in classical music in particular, and generating ideas as to how we can begin to tackle them as an industry. We look forward to arranging the next session and building on the ideas to commit real programs to see change and increase diversity in the field.