What is BSR's new program all about?

Information about AMPLIFY with photos of Shannon Rose McAuliffe and Ashley Victoria Jones

Shannon Rose McAuliffe & Ashley Victoria Jones

Talking about music is scary. Explaining why it matters (and why WE matter) means having to convince non-believers that there's merit to this thing that we love so deeply. My first real attempt at doing this arose when I was a teenager. I was a high school student and the Superintendent, or the School Board, or some other bureaucratic force of evil was proposing staggering cuts to the arts budget at my school. One of my own parents even supported the cuts-- they needed to "trim the fat" from the budget, and arts were non-essential. I was mad. I felt helpless. So a bunch of choir dorks showed up at the meeting and started singing. It ended up being persuasive. It worked. 

Ever since, I've been mustering the courage to keep saying the hard stuff. I've gotten fired from ongoing work because I insisted on getting paid after a check never arrived. I've had erroneous threats of legal action because I made noise about flagrant pay inequality in another job. My musicological research about misogyny in opera is ruffling feathers. There was some pretty gross stuff going on circa #MeToo, and I didn't escape unscathed-- more legal threats! It's been difficult, but it's galvanized me to a certain degree. I began teaching in a graduate-level course about Arts Policy and Advocacy.  I've helped to facilitate conversations about wage increases in local houses of worship, and it appears that our collective efforts are bearing fruit. 

The latter is the most encouraging thing-- we can all do this. So now, we're starting Amplify, which will serve as a place for us to congregate and discuss issues in the singing community. For our first session, we've got the brilliant Ashley Victoria Jones co-facilitating the conversation.

Here's a low-down on what we're going for: 

1. We can vent and share frustrations, but we're not just here for bloodletting. We can have some catharsis, and then we can use it to catalyze productive solutions. 
2. It's a mutually supportive space where people can feel safe to share information to whatever extent is comfortable to them. 

Collective advocacy means that nobody is alone. It's no single person's job to take this on. Organizations are often placing us in reactive positions, so we're working together to find ways of being proactive together to make our work safer, more equitable, more transparent about money...the list goes on.  

So: What do you want to talk about? Let us know, we're ready. 

-Shannon Rose McAuliffe



“If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything” - Malcolm X 

Learning to say how I feel in a way that is true to who I am is very important. I have had situations with companies, institutions, and even my own private studio, where financially I was not compensated on time, contractually things went astray, and being the emotional artist that I am, I always tended to bring my emotions with me. However, realizing that I’m a business and it’s not personal. This gave me the opportunity to take a step back, apologize for the way I mishandled certain matters and say, “you know what I may not have gone about it the right way.” In the end the goal is to make a wave to bring in the idea of change not just noise. I chose to stand for myself and with artists and companies alike that are open to having difficult conversations. That’s how we spark change. 


-Ashley Victoria Jones

Join us for our first Amplify conversation this coming Wednesday evening from 7:00-8:30pm, in the CALA Community Room right next to Somerville Music Spaces.

CALA Community Room

1060 Broadway
Somerville, MA 02144

This discussion is completely free and open to the community! However, seats are limited, so please register early if you are interested in participating.

Email us at info@bostonsingersresource.org with any questions and we'll see you there!