…Orchestras for which such language is not exclusionary enough have turned to the use of “fellowships” — preprofessional apprenticeship or mentorship opportunities earmarked for certain racial or gender groups, particularly women or minorities.
By describing these opportunities as “fellowships,” not jobs, they are able to circumvent antidiscrimination laws.
But orchestras are now extending this strategy to include traditional jobs, as well.
Perhaps the most egregious example yet comes in the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s (BPO) recently announced posting for a “Conductor Diversity Fellow,” a position whose responsibilities — if one reads the job description carefully — are virtually identical to those of an assistant conductor in peer orchestras, but for one key difference: that the posting explicitly solicits applications only from those who “self-identify as members of historically underrepresented groups in American orchestras, including but not limited to African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander descent.”…
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