Policy on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access

The ICO is committed to increase inclusion, diversity, equity and access in all aspects of the organization and strives to be a leader among non-profit performing arts organizations. Toward this goal, we will establish policies, procedures and training programs, pursue specific initiatives and commit significant resources. This policy is closely aligned with our long-term strategic plan. Inclusion, diversity, equity and access is closely connected to our mission of offering music for the small orchestra to everybody in the community, including those who might have had little exposure to classical music in their lives. We commit to explore any underlying, unquestioned assumptions in our organization that prevent us from reaching these goals. The Executive Director and Music Director are expected to be visible leaders for achieving diversity and inclusion for the organization.


At ICO, all staff employees, musicians and volunteers are treated respectfully and their contributions are valued, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, education, disability or sexual orientation. We provide equal opportunity for employment and advancement. We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages, encourage employee feedback and ensure all voices are heard and valued. We believe that a diverse workplace boosts the quality of decision-making and fosters innovation. We expect all employees to embrace tolerance and show a commitment towards diversity. We will offer ongoing education and training to the staff in regards to diversity and inclusion. We will include this policy in employee onboarding. We will establish hiring procedures for staff and volunteers to make certain that conscious and unconscious bias is minimized. Job postings will be reviewed to ensure appropriate flexibility around formal education requirements, openness towards non-traditional leaders and publishing a salary range if possible.


We are committed to maintain and increase the diversity of the board, especially in regards to gender, race, ethnicity, and age. The board has established a diversity committee to spearhead diversity initiatives. Board committees are encouraged to add external members from minority groups as appropriate. We will establish annual measurements to ensure continuous progress with board diversity. We will include this policy in our board orientation process and offer ongoing education and training to the board in regards to diversity and inclusion.

Programming and Concert Experience

Realizing that systemic inequities create perceived and actual barriers to accessing classical music, ICO strives to make the concert experience more inclusive. Towards this goal, the organization will explore offering marketing materials in Spanish and regularly offer concerts in disadvantaged neighborhoods, collaborating with community agencies and neighborhood associations. Continuing many seasons of innovative programming, the orchestra will offer programs that focus on social issues, reflect the diversity of our society and foster community engagement. ICO will partner with other organizations to expand its offerings to underrepresented members and increase awareness for these groups. ICO partners with the Sphinx organization to promote chair openings and auditions to minority musicians. We also seek minority guest artists and substitute players from their roster with regularity.


Recognizing the significant impact that education has on increased access and diversity, ICO will develop and, partnering with IPS, offer school programs that demonstrate the racially diverse origins of American music. ICO also strives to regularly offer performances for young children and their families.