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At Opera Ithaca we produce an art form which allows listeners to open their minds for thought, reflection, and change. Even though we are guided by the ideals of inclusion and equality for all people, regardless of their ethnicity, we know there is more to accomplish in the operatic world.  We stand ready to support Black artists and help to end racism in our industry. We mourn with the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and the countless other victims of senseless violence against people of color.  We share your sadness and anger and make a commitment to help bring about awareness and change in their memory. Black Lives Matter.

Diversity and Inclusion

Opera Ithaca Incorporated

Non-Discrimination Policy and Diversity and Inclusion Policy (ADOPTED 4/20/19)


Non-Discrimination Policy


Opera Ithaca Incorporated (Opera Ithaca) is an equal opportunity, nonprofit corporation committed to serving a diverse population. Opera Ithaca does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, familial status, age, or disability in the administration of its policies, employment, programs, and activities.


Diversity and Inclusion Statement


At Opera Ithaca, a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace is one where all employees and volunteers, whatever their race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, familial status, age, or disability feel valued and respected. We are committed to a nondiscriminatory approach and provide equal opportunity for employment and advancement in all of our departments, programs, and worksites. We respect and value diverse life

experiences and heritages and ensure that all voices are valued and heard.


We are committed to modeling diversity and inclusion for the entire arts industry of the nonprofit sector, and to maintaining an inclusive environment with equitable treatment for all.


Opera Ithaca strives to:


  • See diversity, inclusion, and equity as connected to our mission and critical to ensure the well- being of our staff and the arts communities we serve.

  • Acknowledge and dismantle any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services, and continually update and report organization progress.

  • Explore potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness.

  • Advocate for and support board-level thinking about how systemic inequities impact our organization’s work, and how best to address that in a way that is consistent with our mission.

  • Help to challenge assumptions about what it takes to be a strong leader at our organization, and who is well-positioned to provide leadership.

  • Practice and encourage transparent communication in all interactions.

  • Commit time and resources to expand more diverse leadership within our board, staff, and advisory bodies.

  • Lead with respect and tolerance. We expect all employees and others in the service of the organization to embrace this notion and to express it in workplace interactions and through everyday practices.


Opera Ithaca abides by the following action items to help promote diversity and inclusion in our workplace:

    •    Pursue cultural competency throughout our organization by creating substantive learning opportunities and formal, transparent policies;

  • Improve our cultural leadership pipeline by creating and supporting programs and policies that foster leadership that reflects the diversity of American society;

  • Pool resources and expand offerings for underrepresented constituents by connecting with other arts organizations committed to diversity and inclusion efforts;

  • Develop a system for being more intentional and conscious of bias during the hiring, promoting, or evaluating process. Train our hiring team on equitable practices;

  • Include a salary range with all public job descriptions; and

  • Advocate for public and private-sector policy that promotes diversity, inclusion, and equity. Challenge systems and policies that create inequity, oppression and disparity.

Sexual harassment

Opera Ithaca Incorporated Harassment Prevention Policy (ADOPTED 4/20/19)


Opera Ithaca committed to a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to work in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal opportunities and prohibits discriminatory practices, including harassment. Therefore, Opera Ithaca expects that all relationships among persons in the workplace will be business-like and free of bias, prejudice, discrimination, and harassment.


In order to keep this commitment, Opera Ithaca maintains a strict policy of prohibiting unlawful harassment of any kind, including sexual harassment and harassment based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, sex, age, physical or mental disability or any other characteristic protected by state, federal or local employment discrimination laws. This policy applies to all directors, officers, volunteers, and contracted persons (including but not limited to artistic and production personnel), herein referred to as “OI Personnel”.


Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, making unwanted sexual advances and requests for sexual favors where:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made an explicit or implicit term or condition of employment;

  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis of employment decisions affecting such individual; or

  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.


OI Personnel who violate this policy are subject to discipline up to and including the possibility of immediate discharge.


Examples of unlawful harassment include, but are not limited to:

  1. Verbal conduct such as epithets, derogatory jokes or comments, slurs or unwanted sexual advances, invitations or comments.

  2. Visual conduct such as derogatory and/or sexually oriented posters, photography, cartoons, drawings, e-mail and faxes or gestures.

  3. Physical conduct such as assault, unwanted touching, blocking normal movement or interfering with work directed at a person because of the person’s sex or other protected characteristic.

  4. Threats and demands to submit to sexual requests in order keep one’s job or avoid some other loss, and offers of employment benefits in return for sexual favors.

  5. Retaliation for having reported or threatened to report unlawful harassment.


Any person who believes he or she has been harassed by OI Personnel should promptly report the facts of the incident or incidents and the names of the individual(s) involved to his or her supervisor, or in the alternative, to the President or Vice President of the Opera Ithaca Board of Directors. Upon receipt of a complaint, the company will undertake a prompt, thorough, objective and good faith investigation of the harassment allegations.

If the organization determines that harassment has occurred, effective remedial action will be taken in accordance with the circumstances involved. Any OI Personnel determined by the company to be responsible for harassment will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination.


OI Personnel will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint and/or assisting in a complaint or investigation process. Further, we will not tolerate or permit retaliation by supervisors or co-workers against any complainant or anyone assisting in a harassment investigation.

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