Conversations about diversity are happening everywhere these days. The changing face of America is increasingly bringing what used to be a dodged or back-burnered dialogue to the forefront of the national debate. The visibility of this issue has grown in recent years due to highly publicized police incidents, national grass-roots protest and advocacy movements, and the resignation of university presidents. Talking about diversity can be difficult and potentially fear provoking, and can often leave people feeling defensive, shamed, or angry. But the discussion is happening. In a recent @musochat Twitter conversation, Gahlord Dewald led a fearless and poignant exchange about diversity in new music. Without presuming to have any answers, I want to expand the dialogue and rearticulate the pressing need for us to cultivate an atmosphere of active diversity in our music and projects. Not just because we should but also because the studies are clear: people thrive when surrounded by others who are different.
Diversity Is Good
As discussed in two recent articles—”Diversity Makes You Brighter” in The New York Times and “How Diversity Makes us Smarter” in Scientific American—studies routinely prove that groups that are infused with a diversity of cultures, thoughts, and disciplinary backgrounds outperform homogenous groups every time. The conclusions overwhelmingly suggest that surrounding ourselves with a diversity of people will help to make us smarter and more creative. I believe this paradigm transfers beautifully to music making and always has. Full story.
Brian Chin (NewMusicBox) / March 17, 2016