Our Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan

Apollo Music Projects is committed to ensuring diversity & inclusion are at the heart of everything we do. We bring music into the classroom, introducing it to children from all backgrounds and perspectives; inclusivity and accessibility are central to our work. As an organisation we have always tried to foster a culture where everyone is welcome, and everyone feels safe to be themselves without fear of discrimination.

Like many organisations in the music education sector, in 2020-21 we have taken time to reflect on the way we work and make a more solid commitment to D&I. We know that fostering a culture of inclusivity and accessibility is not enough; we need to be more proactive. We know diversity encompasses a vast range of characteristics, and inclusion has to be intersectional. We want to play our part in helping the music industry, the education sector, and the charity sector become more diverse, fully inclusive and actively anti-racist.

This is a complicated issue with a wide range of solutions; some will be easier to address than others, and some changes can be made quickly whereas others will be long-term. We are dedicated to long-term change and development, and we believe this has to start with research, and by asking ourselves difficult questions. We hope the first phase of our D&I action plan will provide us with the knowledge and resources we need to establish our goals and how we are going to achieve them, and to hold ourselves accountable.

Over the last few months, we have drafted a Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan. This document serves not only as AMP’s commitment to diversity & inclusion in writing, but also as a working document to help us monitor our progress in this area, across various parameters.

These parameters are:
1) Board – our governing board of trustees
2) Staff – employees of AMP
3) Musicians – the freelance musicians who deliver our regular classroom workshops and play in our orchestral concerts
4) Patrons and Associate Artists
5) Beneficiaries – the children we work with directly, and more widely the schools and communities we serve in
6) Programme & Repertoire – the music itself, the content that is taught and/or played as part of our programme

In late 2020, we took part in Music Masters’ pilot of I’M IN, a diversity and inclusion strategy tool created by the music sector to change the music sector. Our CEO and our General Administrator completed AMP’s Assessment and then had a consultation with Rob Adediran, after which we were sent a report on our D&I strengths and weaknesses, with recommendations going forwards. The consultation and report were incredibly helpful, guiding us in reflecting on our work and shaping our thinking. Many of Rob’s recommendations are included in our action plan.
In March 2021 our CEO, General Administrator and Orchestra Fixer attended Inclusive Practice In Action: Diversifying the Music Education Sector (#IPIA21), a 2-day sit-in organised by Sound Connections. The information, provocations and discussions shared over these two days were incredibly powerful, and as individuals we are building on our learnings from the sit-in. As an organisation we want to be involved in the growing network of music education leaders who are dedicated to D&I, and look forward to developing our connections with other organisations.
AMP would like to acknowledge these initiatives and their influence in shaping our action plan.

Putting our plan into action
The next stage of our plan is for our Diversity & Inclusion working group to meet in early summer. The group will look at the document in detail, updating it where necessary. We will discuss progress, focusing on the goals laid out in the Plan, setting more specific goals with specific deadlines if needed. D&I working group meetings will be held a minimum of twice a year, with reports to the Board of Trustees on progress.