As an organization dedicated to living musical creators and cultivating a community for their work to thrive in, ACF strives to be diverse, inclusive, and equitable like many in our shared ecosystem. To do so, however, we must acknowledge the historical exclusion of BIPOC artists in the musical world – particularly Western European-based classical music – and provide a platform to the very artists we seek to support. On Saturday, September 7, 2019, we invited artists, partners, colleagues, and leaders to join us in listening, learning, and discovering tangible ideas to activate more racially inclusive and equitable opportunities for creative musical artists today.

We want to continue the conversation. Please join us!

ways to join our conversation:

  • Join our Monthly Study Group!  We’ll meet on Zoom each month. Look for registration links in our calendar. Curious listeners looking to learn together, please.
  • Sign up for our mailing list to learn about future programs and gatherings.
  • Follow us on Social Media: Twitter | Facebook | YouTube

what we are reading/listening to:


  • Representatives experiencing, working in, and/or seeking to participate in building diversity and greater representation of non-white artists in musical presentations (artists, artistic administrators, music/artistic directors, executive directors, producers)
  • Artists and advocates seeking a forum for listening, learning, and connection about Racial Equity and Inclusion
  • Community members who want to participate/engage in ACF’s efforts to assess and revise our programs


The Racial Equity and Inclusion Forum was generously supported by an investment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Knight Foundation Logo

Special thanks to the Twin Cities PBS for their support of this event.

livestream still available to view:

Saturday, September 7, 2019

8:30am Welcome, Thank you, and Overview of ACF and this convening

Vanessa Rose, ACF President & CEO

Sound Painting: Let’s create music together!  Led by Nirmala Rajasekar*

9:00 – 10:30am The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians: Then and Now

Janis Lane-Ewart, moderator

Ernest Dawkins*, Nicole Mitchell, * Amina Claudine Myers,* Taalib-din Ziyad*

11am – 12:30pm Inclusive Programming: Opportunities, Obstacles, Integration with Artistic Vision

Patrick Castillo*, moderator

PaviElle French,* Delta David Gier, David Hamilton, Jonathan Bailey Holland,* Garrett McQueen, Dameun Strange*

12:30-2pm Lunch Break

2:00 – 3:30pm Seeking Artists: Recruitment, Selection Process, Criteria for Relevance and Impact

Anne Gotte, moderator

Brent Michael Davids,* Gabriela Lena Frank,*  Mary Kouyoumdjian,* Reinaldo Moya,* Eleanor Savage, Laura Zabel

3:45pm Learning from Creative Artists: Our Call to Action 

Justin Laing, Facilitator and Thought Partner & Vanessa Rose

4:25pm Closing: Vivian Fung*, ACF Board Vice-Chair

4:30-5:30pm Reception

*Composer/Creative Artist

Location: Twin Cities PBS (TPT) is located at 172 4th Street East, Saint Paul, MN 55101.