In the fall of 2018, Walter Bitner invited organizations and individuals interested in forming a network dedicated to the advancement of youth classical musicians of color to convene and discuss strategies for leveling the playing field in classical music. At the time, Mr. Bitner was the Director of Education for the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and was instrumental in launching the orchestra’s Accelerando program with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Building on Mr. Bitner’s idea of creating a network, Stanford Thompson proposed the establishment of a national association of organizations and individuals that would align resources and collaborate on strategies to empower musicians of color as they traverse the path from their formative musical years through advanced training and to a career in classical music.
The National Instrumentalist Mentoring and Advancement Network (NIMAN) is the culmination of years of planning, meeting, and a multi-day convening to form the association that strengthens the trajectory of classical instrumentalists of color throughout the United States. It is our goal to achieve racial equity in the field of classical music.
“For much of its long history, Peabody was part of an ecosystem that has been unwelcoming, exclusionary, and resistant to change. The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University stands in support of the work of the National Instrumentalist Mentoring and Advancement Network as an extension of our commitment to change in the field.”
ABRA BUSH, SENIOR ASSOCIATE DEAN OF INSTITUTE STUDIES, THE PEABODY INSTITUTE OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY