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Musicians United for Social Equity Launches With Online Event Featuring Alex Lacamoire, Kenny Seymour, and More

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MUSE is a multi-racial collective of Music Directors, Arrangers, Orchestrators, and Composers.

Musicians United for Social Equity Launches With Online Event Featuring Alex Lacamoire, Kenny Seymour, and More

Many of them are Tony©, Grammy© and Emmy© Award winners, musical trailblazers and some of Broadway's most celebrated composers and music directors. The impact of their collective contributions to the history and landscape of musical theatre and the music industry is truly undeniable. They are MUSE: Musicians United for Social Equity (MUSE), and they have come together to share their expertise.

MUSE is a multi-racial collective of Music Directors, Arrangers, Orchestrators, and Composers who are diligently working to develop pipelines for musicians of color who aspire to work in theatre but are seldom granted access. Through its groundbreaking collective, MUSE will host an online directory, provide music assistant fellowships, and create opportunities for mentorship, education, and outreach connections. Today marks the official online launch through its website, MUSEonline.org. Current and aspiring BIPOC musicians in the theatre will now gain immediate access to the musical community that powers the Broadway industry.

Some of MUSE Founding Members and Broadway Conductors
Joseph Joubert ,Daryl Waters, Zane Mark and Shelton Becton

MUSE's founding members include Darryl Archibald, Ilana Atkins, Shelton Becton, Mary-Mitchell Campbell, Alvin Hough, Jr., Joseph Joubert, Alex Lacamoire, Zane Mark, Michael McElroy, Stephen Oremus, Kenny Seymour, Georgia Stitt, Daryl Waters, Jason Michael Webb, Michael O. Mitchell, Tom Kitt, Bryan Perri, Brian Usifer, and Sheilah Walker. Kenny Seymour and Stephen Oremus serve as Co-Chairs.

"The desire to take part in the creation of MUSE arose from seeing first-hand the underrepresentation of Black and Brown musical artists and resources on the creative and departmental side of musical theatre projects," said MUSE Co-Chair Kenny Seymour.

MUSE's mission centers on its call to action to build an online community, inspire a more equitable industry and facilitate inclusive spaces for musicians from marginalized communities. MUSE is committed to creating diversity within theatre industry music departments by providing its easily accessible directory as a hiring resource, where highly skilled BIPOC musicians can be seen for their work and expertise. MUSE will actively cultivate more racial equity in high-level positions such as music direction, arranging, orchestrating, and various other jobs related to the success of theatrical productions. By developing pipelines and partnerships with other like-minded organizations, MUSE will challenge systemic acts of exclusion and support musicians as the industry transitions to a more diverse and inclusive environment for all.

"As founding members we are passionate about offering BIPOC artists the resources and access to develop their talents, while building professional relationships that will help them succeed in our field," said MUSE co-chair Stephen Oremus.

MUSE's directory will be a free online database modeled after the Maestra directory, and it will be available to anyone seeking support in diversifying and expanding creative partnerships with musicians of color, particularly Black and Brown artists. In addition to offering the directory, MUSE also unveils their Music Assistant Fellowship Program, which provides highly-skilled artists with financial assistance and the opportunity to work closely with a first-class music team on Broadway. The MUSE mentorship component will create hands-on, personal apprenticeship opportunities for directory members. MUSE will offer a schedule of master classes, panel discussions, and interviews to introduce young BIPOC musicians to new career possibilities. More information on the directory and the other components and initiatives can be found in detail on MUSE's website, MUSEonline.org.

As part of its launch, MUSE will have an online kick-off event, entitled "We Are MUSE" this Saturday, October 24th at 2 PM. Kenny Seymour, Zane Mark, Stephen Oremus, Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Ilana Atkins will serve as panelists and Alex Lacamoire will moderate. This panel will discuss the core values of MUSE and upcoming events. For more details and to register for this event, visit the website at MUSEonline.org.

Partner organizations include: ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty), conceived by Broadway Musical Director Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Julliard students to transform the lives of youth through the powerful tool of their art; BerkleeNYC, a startup campus and creative, inclusive community, where history-making music is captured and reimagined through theatre and live events; Maestra Music, Inc., founded by composer/lyricist and music director Georgia Stitt to give support, visibility, and community to the women who make music in the musical theatre industry.

MUSE's historic launch will lay the foundation for more BIPOC musicians to cultivate professional careers within the landscape of musical theatre. With the guidance and support of Broadway's leading musicians, MUSE will commit itself to championing equal access for talented musicians of color who are not given equal opportunity.

"When people look back at the impact of MUSE, we want them to say that we made a difference," added Seymour." When we witness a young, talented artist of color starting their first day of rehearsal as music director, starting to work on a new project as orchestrator, or even arriving at their Broadway theater for half hour on opening night, MUSE's mission will be alive and well and playing a part in making those dreams come true."


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