During Hispanic Heritage Month, we highlight one of our hardest working long-term volunteers, Miguel Gonzalez. We are grateful and thank him for his 22 years of service!
Solo Opera is proud to be part of the SF Bay Area - a region rich in culture and diversity: including the Latinx, Asian, Black, Indigenous, LGBTQIA+ communities, along with many others. We acknowledge that being an arts organization in this rich environment is an opportunity for us to work to address racial inequity and other injustices in our area through our policies, plans, and mission. We look forward to growing as an organization and accepting the responsibility to serve the diverse communities around us.
Solo Opera is committed to:
- Work to ensure that we do not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, disability, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, or sexual orientation/ gender identity/expression. We are committed to providing a just, inclusive and welcoming environment for our board, staff, volunteers, contractors, performers, audience, and all those in the community we serve. Our employee handbook contains this nondiscrimination, anti-racist policy, and a section on complaint procedures
- Work to increase the diversity of our Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, and audiences.
- Work to create diverse and inclusive casting and hiring.
- Work to make opera accessible to all through our outreach, concerts, and main stage productions- sharing opera with those who are financially or physically challenged. We achieve this through reasonably priced tickets; free tickets for disadvantaged and disabled, marginalized seniors and youth; free Opera in the Park concerts/ parade performances; opera to youth in the schools and seniors in retirement homes/communities.
- Work to create community partnerships with other businesses/groups in our area to further our DEI mission.
- Work to create more diverse programming- Example: The theme of our 2021 opera, “Scalia/Ginsburg”- “We are different. We are one.” -highlighted bi-partisan friendship and contained a healing message of accepting one another no matter our differences.
As an extension of our DEI Statement above, Solo Opera has written a list of Principles of Racial Equity that help guide us in our programming/services and policies.
CONFRONT- On our racial equity journey, we work to confront racism head on. We acknowledge the white privileged culture that has permeated the arts world and marginalized many talented BIPOC persons. We hope to help dismantle racism one step at a time. This principle shows up in our DEI statement as a promise to diversify our board, staff, employees, volunteers, audience, etc. We begin this journey by educating our organization from the inside out.
CONVERSATIONS/COMMUNICATE- We must take the steps to go into our diverse community to meet new groups and have conversations- What are their needs? How can Solo Opera be of service to them? Since we have a large Latinx community in our area, our DEI team is beginning to meet with organizations such as the SF Bay Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT- Conversations lead to community engagement and shared goals to strengthen and uplift our BIPOC and marginalized communities. We are working now to add new and diverse Community Advisory Board members, volunteers, and collaborators to our organization.
CHANGE- In order to change, we must analyze our organization’s weaknesses and strengths in our racial equity work. Only then can we create a shift in power to help dismantle systemic racism. We are doing the intentional work to diversify our hiring, collaborations, and operas/concerts/outreach.
CREATE/COMMIT- We want to create a just world filled with love, not fear, which in turn will lead to a more diverse and welcoming operatic field. This new path forward must be filled with safety, transparency, and accountability. We understand this long journey towards racial healing is a shared commitment with our entire community.