Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (OTSL), an Arts and Education Council grantee, announced today the creation of two initiatives that will further the company’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, both onstage and in administration.

The first initiative, the Clayco Future Leaders Fellowship, will cultivate future leaders in arts administration who come from historically underrepresented backgrounds. Individuals who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) are encouraged to apply for this program, which provides in-depth work experiences to build the skills, knowledge, and capabilities that make careers in the arts possible. Over the course of the program, participants will serve in a full-time position specializing in one department while gaining hands-on experience in a range of essential functions across the organization. Through this fellowship, Opera Theatre hopes to develop successful arts administrators who represent the diversity of our communities and who will add to the vibrant future of the opera field.

Each Fellowship class will include three fellows selected from a nationwide candidate pool. All fellows will receive a full-time salary, benefits, professional development opportunities and a relocation stipend. The Fellowship will launch on January 4, 2021 and conclude on July 30, 2021. Applications for the inaugural class will open on September 30 with a deadline of October 30. The Clayco Future Leaders program is made possible through a three-year commitment from Clayco and Bob and Jane Clark.

OTSL also announced the creation of the Voices Fund: A Path for Empathy, Dialogue, and Change. This new fund aims to amplify voices in St. Louis and beyond by supporting projects that create dialogue with the diverse voices and concerns of our region. The first project made possible by this fund will be “Songs for St. Louis: A Concert in the Commons,” a concert produced in conjunction with the Nine Network. recorded in the Public Media Commons, the concert will feature three members of OTSL’s 2020 Gerdine Young Artist Program, and will be broadcast on Nine PBS on Monday, November 16.

To learn more about these new initiatives advancing equity in the field of opera, visit opera-stl.org.

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