Cultural Equity

Update as of July 20, 2020:

Our offices were closed on 6/19 in observance of Juneteenth and 6/22-6/23 for an all-staff learning lab about dismantling racism and organizational transformation.

As a result of that two-day workshop, our staff and leadership teams are embarking on the process of operationalizing and articulating a Cultural Equity plan for Portland Opera that includes immediate, near-term and long-term plans.

Our vision is to be an anti-racist multicultural opera company.

We will continue to share updates here.

We are grateful to Keryl McCord and her team at Equity Quotient for continued partnership and guiding our work.

Portland Opera’s board of directors adopted a public strategic plan for Portland Opera in August of 2019. One of the core priorities of this plan is to create a cultural equity plan that empowers systemic and institutional change at Portland Opera.

To build the Portland Opera of the future, we have to enact real and lasting change. We have to acknowledge racism and exclusion in our field and our company. We recognize that a commitment to future deliverables is not enough, and we have a lot of work to do internally right now. We know that dismantling legacies of privilege and racism will take time, but that time must not be an excuse for inaction.

We are listening and learning. We are encouraging participation and dialogue. We are examining ourselves and our company. We are holding work sessions to identify and call out opportunities for change through administrative, artistic, community, and executive leadership paths. In June we held an all-staff two day workshop and learning lab about dismantling racism, followed by a Board of Directors retreat in August of 2020. Based on the outcomes of both of these working sessions, we are creating a task force to help draft, publish, and activate our public cultural equity plan for Portland Opera. We will share more detailed information in the coming weeks.

If you have questions for us during this process, or would like to reach out please email feedback@portlandopera.org.


A message of solidarity.

“This week, the murder of George Floyd added to a heartbreaking list of heinous injustices. We, at Portland Opera, share in the anger and sadness of our nation, seeking justice and change.

The Portland Opera family stands in solidarity with our community—specifically with Black artists, colleagues, collaborators and leaders within the opera, arts and classical music fields. To them we say: your voice matters. Your artistry matters. You are heard. Your life matters.

Black lives matter.

The power of voice to protest, to heal, to evoke empathy, to speak out, and speak up remains one of our greatest tools. In this moment, we reiterate our commitment to actively confront and dismantle the legacies of racism and exclusion in our field and community.

Let us join in raising our voices together.”

– Portland Opera, May 24, 2020