A new caucus has been established within the American Guild of Musical Artists. The AGMA Black Caucus will empower marginalized voices and bodies to combat systemic racism throughout the opera, dance, and choral music industries, and the larger performing arts community.
The Caucus serves to work toward several ongoing objectives. Highlights include:
- Making Black union members more aware of their rights as members and compelling AGMA to do anti-racist work, within the Union and with its affiliated companies, to foster a stronger relationship between AGMA and its Black members
- Ensuring that the Union demands that companies implement policies, training, and hiring procedures that shift workplace culture, advance equity, and create safe working spaces for Black artists
- Promoting education and activism to help change the arts world
The first official kick-off meeting for the AGMA Black Caucus will be held over Zoom on Tuesday, August 25, at 7:00 p.m. EDT. All Black AGMA Artists are encouraged to join. In order to receive the Zoom meeting details, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
"AGMA's identity is founded upon advocacy and solidarity," said Ray Menard, AGMA President. "AGMA leadership looks forward to the progress we will make in working with the AGMA Black Caucus to effect needed change in the world of Opera, Concert and Dance."
The founding members have established both a mission and vision statement.
“We demand our institutions address systemic inequities, by listening — specifically to Black Artists, in the development of new trainings, policies, and procedures,” reads a section of the vision statement. “We expect our fellow members to uphold these principles and count on AGMA leadership to enforce them. We believe this will transform the culture of our performing arts industries, while recognizing and supporting the legacy of Black Artists.”To join or inquire for more information, please email email@example.com.
“The formation of the AGMA Black Caucus is just the beginning,” said Len Egert, AGMA’s National Executive Director. “AGMA will continue to seek out ways to make sure our members feel that they belong, are respected and protected, and are valued inside the union and throughout the performing arts industry.”