Our Momentum: Progress to Date

As a central focus of Boston Conservatory’s Strategic Direction for 2020 to 2025, the Conservatory has developed an interlocking and proactive set of strategies and initiatives to address its diversity and racial justice goals. Since launching its Strategic Direction in fall 2019, Boston Conservatory has aligned enrollment, academic, financial, and advancement strategies in support of this vision, and is allocating resources—both personnel and financial—toward achieving these goals.

Areas of focus include:

  • student, faculty, and staff recruitment and retention;
  • community training, education, and dialogue;
  • academic innovation, including curricular reinvention, refreshed performance programming, diverse guest artist engagement, and global partnerships;
  • fundraising to support student scholarship and diversity initiatives; and
  • support resources for students.

2020–2021 Academic Year Summary

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and shift to remote learning, Boston Conservatory made notable progress on its diversity and inclusion goals in the 2020–2021 academic year, delivering on all ten commitments outlined in our 2020–2021 Action Plan. Key highlights from this past academic year include:

  • In 2020–2021, Boston Conservatory dedicated more than $2.5M to support its diversity and inclusion initiatives, thanks to generous contributions to the Executive Director’s Momentum Fund and additional philanthropic support throughout the year. This funding helped to: 
    • increase available Thrive Scholarship dollars to a total of $256,000 (81 percent of the Conservatory students who received this scholarship in 2020–2021 identify as BIPOC);
    • establish additional scholarship funding to support a more diverse and representative incoming class; and
    • fund the new Faculty Strategic Innovation Grants.

Student Enrollment:

  • This year, we saw a notable increase in Black student enrollment; between fall 2019 and fall 2021 there was a 40 percent increase at the undergraduate level, and a 10 percent increase at the graduate level.

Faculty Hires:

  • Of the total faculty that Boston Conservatory hired in 2020–2021, 72 percent identify as BIPOC.

Academic Innovation:

  • Each division is continuing its methodical work in decolonizing our curriculum and redefining artistic values and standards of excellence to extend beyond traditional European art forms. To support this work, Boston Conservatory introduced Faculty Strategic Innovation Grants, a funding opportunity for faculty members with innovative ideas. For its inaugural year, $30,000 has been dedicated to this program and several grants have been awarded. 

Click the expandable boxes below for a comprehensive overview of all progress made to date.