At the Cleveland Institute of Music, a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for learning and music-making is core to our mission of empowering the world’s most talented classical musicians and our vision to be the future of classical music. In fact, we believe that it is an artistic, moral, and business imperative to strive every day to be curious, be compassionate and challenge the status quo.  While we are particularly focused on increasing participation among Black and Latinx musicians and audiences, we value access and belonging in many forms, particularly as a national and international center of higher education and an anchor arts organization in Cleveland. CIM commits planning, personnel, and financial resources to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in its recruitment, retention and programming practices and policies for students, faculty, guest artists, administrators, families and trustees.  

Examples of this commitment in action include:

Academic and Artistic Initiatives

  • Musical Pathway Fellowship (MPF), which provides concentrated scholarship and pre-college opportunities within the Academy at CIM for aspiring young Black and Latinx classical musicians in the Cleveland area.
  • Regional and National Convenings, including June 2022’s Theorizing African-American Music Symposium with Case Western Reserve University.
  • Concert programming across all ensembles and series featuring underrepresented performers and composers 
  • Refreshed First-Year Seminar, Senior Seminar, Master’s Seminar and elective courses to ensure that every CIM student receive access to music and ideas from a global collection of creators, performers, and scholars and has the space to explore critical issues and their own artistic identity.

Policies and Training

  • Commitment to diversity incorporated into Institutional Learning Goals and an increasing number of course syllabi.  
  • Development of a Community Standards Policy to establish a method of reporting and addressing issues of bias, harassment, cultural insensitivity and discriminatory actions which do not meet the institution’s Code of Conduct and our shared expectations for our community.  
  • Commitment to education through access to offerings like Kent State’s nationally recognized Diversity Education and Training Lab, workshops led by workplace culture consultant Joan Maze.
  • Implicit Bias training for search committees and hiring policies to promote recruitment of women candidates and candidates of color.

Collaborations for a Diverse Future

  • Sphinx Organization⁠—the nation’s largest organization dedicated to the development of young Black and Latinx classical musicians and leaders⁠—and providing accommodations and assistance for their Sphinx Virtuosi, Sphinx Performance Academy and Sphinx Lead program. 
  • National Instrumentalist Mentoring and Advancement Network (NIMAN)—which works to coordinate pathway efforts to diversify classical music at a national level—to establish relationships with programs such as the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Talent Development Program (TDP), Nashville Symphony Orchestra's Accelerando Program, the Philadelphia Music Alliance for Youth (PMAY), Artists’ Initiative, and many others. 
  • Other important partnerships are in the works—check back soon!

Student Groups Advocating for Change

Longer-term, our vision is for CIM to be the preferred destination for Black and Latinx classical music students, with a national reputation for demonstrating best practices for equity and inclusion across the field. CIM’s bold vision is to be the future of classical music – and it is imperative that the musical universe of the future is more inclusive and diverse.