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A Look at Cultural Equity 

LYO leadership worked to develop and document the values our organization has been committed to for many years, including a Cultural Equity Plan that encompasses these beliefs. You will find much of this information below, as well as a link to the complete plan.

Statement of VALUES 

The LYO, in building a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access, is committed to creating a strong musical community for our students through a wide variety of ensembles, diverse programming, thoughtful recruiting, and increasing access through scholarships. We prioritize transformative change and work to cultivate a wide student and audience base through a focus on cultural equity.

Additionally, we believe the LYO is made stronger through teamwork and ensemble participation. Therefore, the contributions and experiences of all LYO students, staff, and board members are important. We work to create safe spaces where all voices can engage actively and equally. Our professional and highly talented LYO staff are equipped to serve all students with varying needs and unique perspectives.

LYO Values
We use music to create community and unite students.
We make an impact widely in our community.
We nurture an inclusive, proactive, and culturally responsive environment.
We program and perform music that elevates and amplifies the voices of diverse composers.
We remove barriers to participation and engagement.
We make LYO accessible by providing generous scholarships for membership, lessons, and tickets.
We create connection. The LYO is a place where belonging is important for all students.
We recruit students widely, offer multiple audition sites, and aim to reach many zip codes and counties.
We collect and analyze our data to be more informed about the communities we reach.

We develop and leverage the skills and expertise of our highly qualified staff to engage students.
We expand audience engagement through diverse concert locations each season.
We continually seek an equitable balance of genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds among our staff and board members and foster an environment that encourages honesty and inclusion of all voices.


Taking a Closer Look 

The LYO board and staff reflected on several important terms and what they mean to our organization:



We view diversity as a strength when LYO students, staff, board and audience mirror the richness and differences of the wider community surrounding us. This includes race, ethnicity, nationality, cultural background and faith tradition, as well as gender identity, socioeconomic status, ability, neurodiversity, age, and sexual orientation. We also celebrate diversity through music that represents a broad spectrum of instrumental genres, time periods, cultures and composers. 


We are committed to equity by removing barriers to accessing our programs and performances and supporting those who don’t start with the same resources or who have been historically underrepresented.


We cultivate inclusion by creating a space where each student, staff, board and audience member is valued and respected, and feels a sense of belonging. We want to continually ensure that our students are empowered, supported and safe in their LYO experience.


Increasing access means that the LYO will be deliberate about creating successful pathways to participation by expanding our engagement, especially to communities that may not have considered instrumental music is an option for them.

Looking Forward 

Together with a dedicated Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the LYO has identified important goals to help continue to move our organization forward. If you would like to learn more about these goals or read the plan in its entirety, we invite you to see the LYO Cultural Equity Plan. These equity-driven goals and strategies of the LYO will be addressed and evaluated over 2 seasons. The LYO recognizes that a successful Cultural Equity Plan will be a dynamic document that can change and grow over time to be responsive to the changing needs of our communities.

We invite you to share your feedback on the LYO's efforts, focus areas, and goals. An online survey is forthcoming that will proide a convenient means of expressing your thoughts. You may also share your thoughts by calling LYO staff at 502-896-1851 or emailing We hope to hear from you!   

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