Diversity Fellowships

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CCO Diversity Fellowships

The CCO was recently awarded a special grant from the NY State Council of the Arts (NYSCA) to help fund a brand new initiative to foster diversity.  Orchestras across the country have been working to find ways to help foster diversity in classical music, both in the audience and on stage.   We are truly thrilled that this new grant has enabled us to create an Arts Career Fellowship for Underrepresented Communities.

With the Eastman School of Music as a partner, our first Fellowship recipient was selected through an application/audition process from the student body at Eastman.  We were very pleased to introduce cellist BOUBACAR DIALLO as our first recipient. Boubacar not only joined us on stage for the Orchestral Series, he also presented some educational and community outreach programs and spent time learning about the administrative side of a professional orchestra. Boubacar grew up in the South Bronx after his family emigrated from west Africa.

The second Diversity Fellowship recipient was announced in January 2020.  ADRIAN JACKSON grew up in Austin, TX and had his first viola lesson in 9th grade.  He was accepted into the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy for his senior year before winning an audition for the Eastman School of Music, where he is now in his second year.  His fellowship included a number of coachings/lessons and one orchestral concert prior to March 2020 when in-person activities essentially ceased for a number of months.  At that point, we were able to modify his plan to include video performances, online lessons, and weekly mentoring sessions during which Adrian worked one-to-one with elementary string students from BJM elementary,

We’re extremely grateful to NYSCA and their Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) for providing the funding to make this timely program possible.  The grant covers most, but not all costs, of this Diversity Fellowship and career grant program through June 2021.  We are currently seeking partners to help sustain this program into our 2021-22 season.  If you are interested in supporting the CCO’s initiatives in fostering diversity and inclusion both on and off stage, please contact us to learn more today.


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