Black Lives Matter.
Many arts organizations and musicians in Ontario, whose activities are the main focus of The WholeNote's work, are joining the call for urgent and concerted action to bring an end to systemic and deeply entrenched racism in society and the arts, especially, at this moment, as it relates, within the larger framework of racial inequity, to anti-Black racism. As publisher of The WholeNote I add my own voice to that call.
But beyond expressions of solidarity, we have much work to do. For 25 years, our aim has always been to support the musical life of our community by painting as comprehensive a picture as we could of that collective musical life. But calling something comprehensive does not make it so, and in fact makes us complicit in maintaining an inequitable and unjust society.
If we are to be part of the solution and not the problem, we must, individually and collectively, answer some fundamental questions:
- From whom do we actively seek information about their musical activity?
- How do the methods we use for gathering that information, and the structures we impose for presenting it, hinder inclusivity?
- How do we decide what types of music merit coverage?
- Who and how do we hire?
- How do we decide not just what stories are worth telling but who the storytellers need to be?
As with the arts organizations and musicians whose activities are the main reason for our existence, joining this call for action is a necessary first step. But, moving forward, what we actually do about the things we are saying here is what we will all be judged by. That will be the real story.
-David Perlman, email@example.com