The world’s leading classical music management company, HarrisonParrott, today announced their latest industry-changing initiative – the HarrisonParrott Foundation which will focus on the company’s mission to support and champion diversity and inclusivity within the arts.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2019/20, HarrisonParrott has long been recognised for its innovation and continual questioning of the role of an artist management company. By forming the Foundation, the Company hopes that others will be encouraged to follow suit so that the industry as a whole collectively tackles the serious issues of diversity and access to training in the music industry.

The HarrisonParrott Foundation is initially partnering with Tri-Borough Music Hub and Creative Access to develop a series of programmes to help tackle issues of diversity and inclusion. Figures from the last British census (published 2011/12), showed that the UK was 14% non-white and London’s population was over 40% BME. Yet BME representation across the creative industries had fallen to just 5.4%.

HarrisonParrott staff in its London, Paris and Munich offices will get involved in these programmes and will be joined by the Company’s roster of artists and other strategic partners to grow the work of the Foundation.

Leading artists Jess Gillam and Ollie Howell are amongst those that have agreed to act as independent trustees of the Foundation and to actively participate in its various programmes.

Jasper Parrott, Executive Chairman, commented: “We want to challenge the idea that ethnicity, gender, disability and social background are impediments to full inclusivity — we believe everyone deserves access to the arts. We want to challenge preconceived assumptions of what the arts are and who they are for. By forming our new Foundation, HarrisonParrott aims to create and support programmes that will have a real impact on these issues and act as an example to others in our industry to do something effective in tackling these issues.”

Jess Gillam, commented: “I am absolutely delighted to be involved with the HarrisonParrott Foundation. As we know, music is a tool that can bring hope, joy, empathy, cooperation and wonder into the world and we live in a time where we need that more than ever! Every child has the right to learn an instrument, experience music and benefit from the skills that come with that - dedication, resilience, empathy - and the HP Foundation will help to make that possible for many more children.”

By partnering with organisations who work day-in, day-out, combatting these issues the HarrisonParrott Foundation is determined to ensure real change happens. The first two partnerships announced are with Tri-Borough Music Hub and Creative Access.

Tri-borough Music Hub is a leading organisation managing the delivery of subsidised music education in three West London boroughs, working with school pupils and the community in general. Through the Artists for Inclusivity initiative, the Company hopes to encourage as many as possible of HarrisonParrott’s roster of great international musicians to take time to visit a Tri-borough Music Hub programme during their London engagements. Each session will be unique — adapted to the size and age-range of the group, which may include performances, masterclasses, talks or educational workshops with the objective being to give the participants access to world-class music and musicians in a non-concert setting, something many of them will never have experienced.

Stuart Whatmore, Head of Tri-Borough Music Hub commented: “The Tri-borough Music Hub is thrilled to be working in partnership with HarrisonParrott. They have access to outstanding musicians who can offer so much to support grass-roots music education in our state-maintained schools. The relationship we are developing is focused on the core themes that run through all of our provision from the early years through to lifelong learning – Inclusive, Exceptional, Inspiring, Progressive and Sustainable.”

Creative Access supports young people from black and other non-white minority ethnic backgrounds, as well as those with a lower socioeconomic status, to secure professional opportunities in the creative sector. The HarrisonParrott Foundation will work with Creative Access to support young people from under-represented communities throughout the UK by offering a series of apprenticeships at their London headquarters to provide an unparalleled mentoring scheme and leadership training, developing the necessary skills and knowledge required to work within the creative industries.

The scheme will ensure active participation across all HarrisonParrott departments: Artist Management, Touring, Creative Partnerships and Development, Consultancies and Collaborations, and Marketing and PR.

Josie Dobrin, Chief Executive and co-founder said: "We are absolutely delighted to be partnering with Harrison Parrot to help bring more diversity to their workforce and to the classical music world. We are committed to bringing talent from under-represented BAME and lower socio economic communities to the creative sector and crucially, to supporting them as they progress their careers. The team at Harrison Parrot are providing excellent opportunities for us to do so and we look forward to continuing to work with them."


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