The Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra (CCO) is committed to creating an inclusive environment that reflects the diversity of the community we serve. We will be a welcoming place for people of all races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, ages, abilities, backgrounds, and countries of origin. When we use the term “diverse” or “diversity” in this plan, it is our intention to be inclusive of a broad definition of the differences among individuals. This commitment will be reflected in our programming, audience, outreach and all connected with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra—staff, musicians, trustees and volunteers.



The CCO is committed to providing programming that is relevant and meaningful to the broad community we seek to serve. We will work to present programming by and about diverse people, experiences and cultures. We will be deliberate in considering diversity when selecting guest artists and collaborators.

CCO will seek to increase access to performances and experiences through the continued identification and usage of non-traditional venues in racially diverse and underserved communities. (See examples under the ACCESS section of this plan.)


  • 20% of annual Orchestra presented artistic programming will be composed by, arranged by or about diverse people, experiences and cultures.
  • 20% of annual Orchestra presented artistic programming will feature guest artists and collaborators from diverse backgrounds.


When we recruit for open or new staff roles, we will track the diversity of our candidate pools and we will explore and work to implement best practices that increase the diversity of those candidate pools. The CCO will work to broaden the racial and age diversity of volunteers who support our mission.


  • The CCO has established a Gender Inclusion requirement for any future Executive Director searches, ensuring that at least one female is part of the in-person interview pool.
  • The Orchestra will work to include at least one BIPOC candidate in all future position searches, aiming to reach these candidates through multiple communication channels and methods.


If we are to succeed in achieving the goals of this plan – to be more inclusive and welcoming of all people and all differences – our board must be the change we strive for.  Our work will not be easy.  Centuries of oppression and systemic racism and bias have resulted in the American orchestra field being dominated by white musicians, composers, and conductors, with similarly dismal demographics in boardrooms and administrative offices. The inequity becomes self-perpetuating as we turn to our own limited social and business networks as we identify candidates to join our board.  

  • We will work to increase the representation of African Americans on our Board to a level at least commensurate with the African American presence in the Greater Cincinnati community.
  • We will work to maintain the overall BIPOC representation on the Board to a level of at least 25%.
  • We will seek out other voices in our community that will help us use the power and beauty of classical music to enhance the quality of life in our community, particularly those for whom classical music may feel intimidating, inaccessible or unwelcoming.
  • We will form a working group of board members, led by a member of our Executive Committee, to develop and implement strategies to achieve these goals.


CCO is committed to unbiased auditioning and conducts all auditions in a “neutral” way, such that musicians are only heard and not seen when auditioning.

The CCO is a member of the National Alliance for Audition Support (NAAS) which is an organization that provides support for diverse musicians to audition and perform as substitutes with member organizations. CCO will post all open orchestral positions on the NAAS website.

CCO will continue to explore best practices of similar arts and cultural organizations with regard to increasing the diversity of Orchestra membership.


  • Beginning in 2022, the CCO will engage at least one musician to perform with the orchestra at an orchestral concert through their partnership with the Sphinx National Alliance for Audition Support.


The CCO will continue to strengthen and develop community partnerships in underserved communities. Recent and current partnership include: CAIN Ministries (Northside), MYCincinnati (Price Hill), City Gospel Mission (West End), St. Paul’s Village (part of Episcopal Retirement Services), Sensory Saturday concerts with the Cincinnati Art Museum (CAM), Mindful Music Moments with Cincinnati Public Schools, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, The Ronald McDonald House, Summerfair, Catholic Charities World Refugee Day and Clifton Cultural Arts Center (summer concerts in Burnet Woods).

CCO will continue to offer free and subsidized performances and experiences for schools throughout the region.

When selecting venues for performances, the CCO will review accessibility to the venue for persons with special mobility needs. We will continue to be proactive in our program communications describing the accessibility of our performance venues. 


  • At least 30% of the annual organizations the CCO engages with for community engagement and outreach activities will be in underserved communities.
  • The Chamber Orchestra has a goal of 100% venue accessibility for those patrons with mobility challenges.


The CCO will seek out and implement cultural competency and awareness training for members of the staff, the orchestra members and the Board of Trustees. CCO will draw upon the internal training support and expertise from members of our Board of Trustees. 


  • The CCO will conduct IDEA training and development sessions for our Board and staff members during at least 33% of our Board meetings during 2022.
  • The CCO will also conduct a more comprehensive program at our annual Board retreat.