Handel and Haydn Society Received Catalyst Grant from League of American Orchestras

Money Will Be Used to Advance Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

[Boston, MA] The Handel and Haydn Society has been awarded an $18,760 grant from the League of American Orchestras to strengthen their understanding of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) and to help transform organizational culture. Given to just twenty-eight orchestras nationwide, the one-year grants comprise the second round of The Catalyst Fund, the League’s three-year, $2.1 million grant-making program, made possible by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with additional support from the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation.

“The Handel and Haydn Society has been committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion in all aspects of our organizations,” said David Snead, President and CEO of the Handel and Haydn Society. “The Catalyst Fund grant will help us develop a clear path forward as we lay out our inclusion initiatives for years to come.”

“Recent events have underscored the deep racial disparities existing in our country, already amplified by the pandemic’s unequal impact on communities of color,” said Jesse Rosen, President and CEO of the League of American Orchestras. “The work orchestras are undertaking with support from the League’s Catalyst Fund highlights the urgency of addressing EDI as orchestras attempt to confront decades of inequity within our field. We must understand and address our personal and organizational roles in systems of inequity.”

The Handel and Haydn Society will use the funds to operationalize an EDI implementation plan developed in conjunction with consultants, The Impact Seat. In the coming year, H+H will begin to take concrete steps to execute the previously identified strategic plan initiatives including cultural competency trainings, artist diversification efforts, and programs that promote organization-wide inclusivity. Continued work toward these EDI project goals will allow for progressive organizational growth and community reach while enabling H+H to better achieve its mission and serve and inspire increasingly more diverse audiences.

Catalyst Fund grants support orchestras’ use of EDI practitioners who help implement a range of organizational development activities involving musicians, staff, board, and, in

some cases, volunteers and community leaders. These include anti-bias trainings, institutional audits, the creation of formal EDI plans, and work to build consensus and integrate EDI into mission statements and culture. Community building is a key component of the program; The Catalyst Fund Learning Cohort, made possible by the generous support of the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, enables past and present grantees to interact with colleagues through remote and (post-pandemic) in-person convenings as well a dedicated online forum.

Handel and Haydn’s 2020–21 Season Performances include:

Brahms A German Requiem – September 25 + 27, 2020 at Symphony Hall

Bach + Vivaldi Gloria – October 23 + 25, 2020 at Symphony Hall

Handel Messiah – November 27 + 28 + 29, 2020 at Symphony Hall

Bach Christmas – December 17 + 20, 2020 at Jordan Hall

Haydn + Mozart – January 22 + 24, 2021 at Symphony Hall

Mozart Great Mass – February 5 + 7, 2021 at Jordan Hall

Beethoven Symphony No. 7 – March 5 + 7, 2021 at Symphony Hall

Handel Israel in Egypt – March 19 + 21, 2021 at Jordan Hall & Sanders Theatre

Haydn The Creation – April 30 + May 2, 2021 at Symphony Hall

About the Handel and Haydn Society

Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society is dedicated to performing Baroque and Classical music with a freshness, a vitality, and a creativity that inspires all ages. H+H has been captivating audiences for 205 consecutive seasons (the most of any performing arts organization in the United States). Today, H+H’s Orchestra and Chorus delight more than 50,000 listeners annually with a nine-week subscription series at Boston Symphony Hall and other leading venues. Through the Karen S. and George D. Levy Education Program, H+H supports seven youth choirs of singers in grades 2-12 and provides thousands of complimentary tickets to students and communities throughout Boston, ensuring the joy of music is accessible to all. H+H’s numerous free community concerts include an annual commemoration of the original 1863 Emancipation Proclamation concert on December 31. The artistic director of the Handel and Haydn Society is Harry Christophers. Under Christophers’s leadership, H+H has released 12 CDs on the Coro label and has toured nationally and internationally. In all these ways, H+H fulfills its mission to inspire the intellect, touch the heart, elevate the soul, and connect us with our shared humanity through transformative experiences with Baroque and Classical music.