BU Tanglewood Institute: Community & Inclusion at BUTI

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

We here at BUTI have an unwavering belief that musical excellence is everywhere, all around us, should we only take the time to nurture it. And, we recognize the significant barriers that some students face because of their race, gender, economic status, sexual orientation, religion, disability, and other seen and unseen marginalized identities. Through partnerships, mentorship, scholarship, and relationships, BU Tanglewood Institute empowers young musicians and their educators to dream big and realize those dreams. We are but one small stage on the continuum of learning, but seek to make this step of a student’s journey a safe and achievable one.

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What are we doing?

We recognize that Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging work spans the life of an organization and transcends administrations. As we build these values into BUTI at the structural and foundational level, we know that we’ll get it wrong sometimes, that the targets will change, and that growth begets growth. We aim to find a balance between having the patience to make change at a pace that is sustainable and lasts into the future and having the impatience to continually be moving the needle forward. Here are some of the things that are on our minds right now through this process:

Philosophy, Procedure, Policy

  • Explore how an application can capture the full and unique spectrum of each applicant’s growth potential and reinforce a curriculum that centers the practice of excellence. How do we empower students of today to continuously learn from one another as they become the leaders of tomorrow?
  • Create a communications, training, and support plan specifically for faculty and program directors that expresses the BUTI values and mission. Invite all members of the team uphold these core beliefs.
  • Clarify, define, and refine polices that refer to discriminatory, othering, or hateful speech and behaviors. Create methods of reporting experienced or witnessed hateful aggressions. Provide opportunities for students to learn and grow in their understanding and inclusivity while building flexibility in disciplinary action that centers a victim’s needs.


  • Program repertoire that is more representative of our world at large, and integrate these diverse offerings throughout the program.
  • Diversify the audition repertoire requirements, giving students and their teachers the opportunity to study works and composers in an authentic way, regardless of whether they attend BUTI.
  • Center place making and allyship as part of Student Life; offering the opportunity to learn about folks from different backgrounds with shared values.

Staff and Faculty

  • When hiring for open faculty positions, look at the process through the lens of an opportunity to build diversity into our leadership.
  • When hiring for open staff positions, look at the process through the lens of an opportunity to build diversity into our leadership.
  • Invite a more representative contingent of musicians to join BUTI as masterclass guests.
  • Bring on a mental health counselor or social worker. Create a dedicated Community & Inclusion staff position. This person would:
    • Partner with Manager of Education and Programming and Manager of Enrollment and Student Engagement in onboarding process for students and families from partner organizations.
    • Be involved in pre-season managerial training.
    • Lead dedicated DEI training module(s) for all summer staff.
    • Oversee and manage the coordination and leadership of safe space and/or allyship groups.
    • Be a resource for students and staff who may have questions/concerns about othering behaviors. Be an on-the-ground thought partner for implementation of DEI initiatives.

We welcome feedback and ideas about how we can grow, improve, and sustain our work long into the future. Thank you for your support and your care.

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