Music Department spearheads diversity initiative through Full Spectrum

The College of Arts, Media and Design’s Music Department is spearheading an initiative, called Full Spectrum, to spark research, exploration, and conversations surrounding diversity. Full Spectrum is devoted to making the fields of music industry and music technology more diverse and inclusive, with the goal of creating both awareness and solutions to some of the existing biases. In both education and the workplace, music industry and music technology share, along with many STEM fields, cultural and structural barriers that disproportionally affect women and minorities. Full Spectrum supports research and programming that endeavors to explain why this is, and what can be done about it.

As part of Full Spectrum’s launch, the Music Department is hosting the 2018 Full Spectrum Symposium, which will explore questions surrounding streaming and the nuances of the digital age’s online music ecosystem – and how they relate to diversity. For example, how are streaming platforms changing who succeeds in the music industry? How can musicians “make it” on their own terms? What can be done to increase access and lower barriers to entry for young or aspiring musicians? What technological innovations are needed to help diverse musical communities thrive? The symposium will explore these questions with innovative thinkers and practitioners in music industry and music technology. Sponsored in partnership with the Northeastern University Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, the day-long event will feature notable speakers such as David Turner, a culture journalist; DJ Rekha (Rekha Mahlotra), an internationally acclaimed musician and entrepreneur; Evan Greer, a queer activist singer/songwriter and touring musician; Erin Barra, a musician, record producer, and product specialist for Ableton; and Kelly Hiser, CEO and co-founder of Rabble. More about the speakers can be found here.

The Symposium is the beginning of the larger diversity initiative that will continue to grow throughout the year and beyond. The Full Spectrum website will highlight relevant research and work the Music Department faculty and students are conducting, as well as interviews that students conduct with music professionals. The Music Department is excited to use Full Spectrum as a way to put scholarship and practice in dialogue to raise awareness and foster discussions that are crucial for preparing the next generation of music industry leaders and music technology innovators.