Chamber Music America Condemns Anti-Asian Racism and Violence in Support of our AAPI Community

Chamber Music America Condemns Anti-Asian Racism and Violence
in Support of our AAPI Community

The Board of Directors and staff of Chamber Music America express solidarity with our Asian American and Pacific Islander members, artist communities, friends, colleagues, and loved ones, who have been directly and indirectly impacted by the events that have occurred during this untenable period of anti-Asian harassment and violence, and who continue to fear for their safety and their lives. We share their pain and show our support by recommitting to our own racial equity work.

CMA denounces race-based hatred and violence in all its forms. The Atlanta spa murders were not an isolated event. Anti-Asian violence, harassment, xenophobia, and racial scapegoating have spread exponentially since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, exacerbated by the hateful rhetoric of public and political figures. Racism, targeted at the AAPI community, especially during times of crisis, has a long history in the United States. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the U.S.’s first federal legislation preventing all members of a specific ethnic or national group from entering this country, and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II are just two historic examples. It continues today, from impeding the career trajectories of Asian Americans in teaching and administrative leadership positions to disrespectful and negative characterizations of the Asian community in opera, theater, film, and other arts genres.

CMA is committed to the principle of inclusion in celebrating the myriad cultures and peoples that contribute to the rich history of our field. We believe in equity and justice, and to stand silent during this time of turbulence would be to deny the values we espouse as individuals and collectively as an organization. All of us must look within ourselves and our organizations to identify biases and practices that contribute to racial stereotyping or permit negative portrayals to persist.

We will continue to strive for equity in the arts and honor the countless contributions from Asian musicians, composers, managers, arts administrators, and funders in the field. We support our Asian American Pacific Islander members as they make space for themselves in this current climate. And we ask all members of the CMA community to make space for their AAPI colleagues, and to proactively work to dismantle the systems that contribute to anti-Asian harassment, oppression, and violence. Investigate ways to support AAPI-owned businesses and culturally-specific organizations in your community. Get involved, support, and learn more.