Almost two month ago, we officially launched BIPOC Arts! Since then, over 100 opera professionals have answered the call to register and have generously shared information about our site with their networks—THANK YOU!
BIPOC Arts was created out of a desire to provide a one-link response to the inevitable question around diversity - “There just aren’t enough [insert profession] of color.” My response is usually, “Have you looked?” In those moments, I have wanted to give that person one link and say, “Here you go. Do some research and find what you need. We are out there and we are ready to be hired.” BIPOC Arts is meant to be that link.
In some ways, this database is not the first of its kind. In fact, my research has led me to a plethora of community-sourced spreadsheets full of BIPOC designers, stage managers, singers, etc. Where I feel BIPOC Arts Database adds to the discourse is through creating a visible, public space for the opera industry to celebrate the work of BIPOC professionals, and a place where companies and collaborators can find talent for administrative positions and artistic productions.
This is a space for joy. There are many BIPOC individuals working in opera today—we are making art, sharing our talents, and lifting up opera organizations with our skills. BIPOC Arts is creating a space where we can celebrate each other's accomplishments and find inspiration.
For some folks working in opera, they are often the only person of color working in the organization, and one of a handful in the region. It can be difficult to feel seen, and to see other BIPOC professionals in our field. BIPOC Arts is a place where we can find each other and build our community, a place where we know that there is someone out there who we can connect to and who might better understand the complexities of being BIPOC in opera.
Whether you work as an artist or administrator, we are all creative people. We hope this is a space where BIPOC artists and administrators can find others to connect with to create new things. Whether it’s a new opera production or launching a new initiative in your organization, BIPOC Arts is a space for professionals to build new relationships with colleagues and mentors, share ideas, and build a stronger community of BIPOC opera professionals.
This is also a place for those who are hiring artists and for administrators to seek talent. Whether you’re looking for a costume designer or your next General Director, this is the place to get to know people working in the field now. Scroll through the database and get to know these individuals, connect with them, and HIRE them.
As we continue to build out the site, we will also be creating a space for job postings. This is a place where you can share open positions or production needs that will be seen by BIPOC professionals. One step to hiring racially and ethnically diverse candidates is ensuring that you have a diverse applicant pool to begin with. Here is a place to share your open positions and find talent that you may miss through your usual hiring process.
This site is currently a small sampling of all the talented BIPOC opera professionals currently working or looking to work in the opera field. As we grow, we hope that we can continue to share the great work of these individuals, to build a strong community, and to become the go-to resource for companies and recruiters as they search for new talent. We will continue to grow to meet the needs of BIPOC professionals as our field evolves and provide support to BIPOC professionals and artists in their work and professional development; and, perhaps, expand to other performing arts fields.
Join us. Register for the site, share this resource, learn about BIPOC professionals you haven’t yet met. You might find the perfect professional or collaborator you’re looking for!