A Letter To Our Recording Academy Members And To Our Colleagues In The Music Industry
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees is attuned to the calls to action that have resonated ever since the 60th GRAMMY Awards. We recognize the impact of the unfortunate choice of words from our President/CEO, Neil Portnow, in a post-GRAMMY interview. In the many letters and statements that we and our Board have received from some of our most respected artists, as well as prominent female and male music business executives, the message is clear: Our Academy and our industry must do a better job honoring and demonstrating our commitment to cultural, gender and genre diversity, in all aspects of our work.
The Recording Academy is a membership organization, first and foremost. Like all Academy members, our Trustees live and breathe music, and are embedded in the fabric of our industry. Our Board members - many of whom are women - include independent artists, songwriters, touring musicians, producers and engineers, visual and audio entrepreneurs, A&R executives, and music publishers. Our Vice Chair and former Chair/Chair Emeritus are women, and our National Awards and Nominations, Membership, Advocacy, and Producers & Engineers Wing Steering committees are all chaired or co-chaired by women. We honor the Academy, and we expect nothing less in return than strict adherence to musical excellence, an inclusive and diverse philosophy, meaningful outreach and communication, a purity of purpose, and an eagerness to embrace change as our musical culture and society evolve
The Academy’s commitment to our community resonates far beyond the nominations, winners and performers on the GRAMMY Awards. MusiCares, the GRAMMY Museum Foundation, and our Advocacy presence in Washington, D.C., speak to how much we care about all the people in our music family, whether they are Academy members or not. Our 12 Chapters nurture new generations of professionals in recording and business, and mentor Governors on our local boards to ally themselves with the issues they are most passionate about. At the heart of what we do, there is mutual respect and the belief that each of us has something unique and valuable to offer. The more diverse we are as an Academy, the better equipped we are to champion our members and our community.
The GRAMMY Awards have always been a positive and negative flashpoint and will likely continue to be because of the ever-changing nature of our world. We are constantly striving to reflect genre, gender, and ethnic diversity in our categories and fields. We welcome proposals from our members to make changes, and we debate all worthy ideas at an annual meeting dedicated solely to this purpose. Likewise, we have worked hard to ensure that our eligibility requirements reflect changing distribution methods. The advent of online voting and the ability to offer audio streams of nominated titles has been designed to make the voting experience convenient, while not compromising security.
The Academy is a thriving, fluid environment. It has a powerful agenda to do good work intended to improve the lives of those who create music, and to ensure that we respectfully participate in a culture where creativity can flourish. We look to our industry partners to provide opportunities for music creators to maintain their professional careers. We embrace the idea that with the help and support of dedicated artists and professionals, we will undertake a fresh, honest appraisal of the role of women in all aspects of our Academy and the industry at large, with the hope of inspiring positive change.
Our Board of Trustees is committed to creating a comprehensive task force that will take a deep look at these issues and make material recommendations on how we can all do better. We are pleased that our task force announcement has been well received, with many people offering to participate in work that will yield tangible results. As we continue to take the appropriate time needed to ensure that this action is well-conceived and properly developed, we ask you to remember what this is about: improving our community and creating opportunity for all. If we achieve this goal, we will all look back at this moment as one that has helped reshape the fabric of our industry.
Please be assured that the Executive Committee and our Board of Trustees holds all the Academy’s leadership to the highest standards. We respect and deeply appreciate the opinions of the artists and industry leaders who have spoken up since the GRAMMY Awards. We cherish the trust that you have in the Recording Academy, and pledge to honor this transformational moment of gender equality as we continue to recognize musical excellence, advocate for the well-being of music makers, and ensure that music remains an indelible part of our culture.
The Executive Committee on behalf of the Board of Trustees
The Recording Academy