Lyric's commitment to IDEA values

Lyric Opera of Chicago has established four core areas that represent and describe our work in IDEA. These core areas or pillars are: Leadership, Artistic, Culture, and Communication & Engagement.

As you visit the statement below that outlines Lyric Opera of Chicago’s commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access, we offer our second update on recent actions, which encompasses the work done during the second quarter of 2021.

The purpose of this quarterly summary is to show progress and change, over time, in our commitment to IDEA. Updates will be published in the month following the most recently completed quarter.


Lyric is working with the National Training Institute on Race and Equity (NTIRE) and Sr4 Partners, a leadership development firm with an emphasis on inclusive leadership development. These two firms join Lyric as training and development resources, in addition to the ongoing work with Enrich Chicago to help fulfill Lyric’s commitment to have 100% of Lyric’s full time administrative staff and designated part time staff complete anti-racism training by the end of 2021

To further deepen Lyric’s existing relationship with Enrich Chicago, two additional staff members will now join the General Director for quarterly cohort meetings.

NTIRE is developing a training plan for Lyric’s Board members. That plan will be reviewed by Lyric’s IDEA Steering Committee in the third quarter of 2021 with the goal of onboarding and training all new board members, including those already elected in 2021.

We are currently creating a leadership development curriculum with Sr4 Partners in which IDEA principles are embedded. This work began in May.

A part-time contract Recruiter has been selected to develop a sourcing strategy and identify diverse talent for current and future openings. All currently open positions at Lyric are posted and 67% of the company’s recently posted positions have been successfully filled by diverse candidates.

The full Board demographic review has been completed, with a 50% response rate. The results provide current baseline information and will be used to shape further board recruitment efforts.

As part of our ongoing efforts to measure and understand employee engagement and satisfaction, we administered a “Pulse Survey” to the full administrative staff in May, to be fully reviewed at a company meeting this summer. Overall sentiment is trending in a positive direction as we review these annual surveys, year over year.

Lyric officially designated Juneteenth as an annual all company holiday, ahead of state and national holiday designations.

Broadcast monthly from October through June, the nine programs of the 2020/21 Ryan Opera Center recital series on 98.7WFMT/ each featured works by two or more BIPOC composers.

Lyric Unlimited’s ongoing partnership with the Chicago Urban League marked the completion of its third year with the final, virtual performance from students participating in the artistic exploration and creation program, Empower Youth!

The first of the new paid positions in the Ryan Opera Center Ensemble that were announced in March--a conductor/pianist--was successfully filled with a diverse candidate who began in May with the start of the 2021/22 Ensemble year.

Previous updates