317 Main formed a DEI Task Force in May 2020 to:

  • Develop a shared understanding of what diversity, equity, and inclusion mean to 317 Main.
  • Develop a set of recommendations for continually doing the work to integrate these values into daily life at 317 Main.


Racism and other forms of oppression are ingrained in the fabric of our country, and they show up in every space, including music classes, performances, and nonprofits. As educators and community leaders, we have a responsibility to:

  • Ensure that 317 Main is a safe and inclusive community, where racism and other forms of oppression are actively rooted out;
  • Ensure that our community is represented in our board, staff, and teaching artists;
  • Foster a sense of responsibility around the songs we’re playing and teaching; and
  • Hold ourselves accountable.


The Task Force has taken several initial steps:

  • Developed a Black Lives Matter statement and shared it with our community;
  • Conducted a survey of teaching artists, staff, and board members, and had conversations with many other community members;
  • Shared resources for individual learning and group reflection;
  • Developed working definitions of diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • Created recommendations for next steps to advance our commitment to DEI.


317 Main strives to be an organization that fosters:

  • Diversity: A variety of social and cultural characteristics exist and are celebrated, e.g. race, gender identity, class, age, ability, sexual orientation, religion, life experiences.
  • Equity: Everyone has access to what they need to thrive, understanding that everyone will have different needs and that power and resources need to be directed appropriately.
  • Inclusion: Everyone feels a sense of belonging – they feel welcome, represented, respected, and empowered.


We are committed to doing the work to make these values part of every decision made across the organization, and to supporting our staff, board, and teaching artists in actively working against racism and other forms of oppression within the organization.



  • Engage the 317 Main community in continuous learning (e.g. workshops on racial equity in nonprofits, history of music in the US, anti-racism in education, implicit bias). Document areas of improvement that emerge, and create plans for addressing them.
  • Make adjustments to our hiring process (e.g. positions posted widely with salary ranges included). Assess the impact of the changes and continue to make improvements.
  • Engage in a community planning process for 317 Main’s Partnership Program that centers students, families, teaching artists, and partners. Ensure that the community we serve is represented in our organizational leadership; track demographic information of students, teaching artists, staff, and board.
  • Create visual displays of representation and inclusion (e.g. signage, wall art, music, and books by artists and authors of color).
  • Develop a DEI position statement and parameters for upholding it. Share our progress with the 317 Main community and invite continuous feedback.


We are always open to feedback and we are committed to accountability. If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please let us know by filling out our Community Feedback form (on this page or by clicking the button below.)

The DEI Task Force is continuing to meet to put our plans into action, and you are welcome to reach out to anyone of us. If you have an interest in being involved with the task force, please contact Molly Gallagher Burk at [email protected]


Lead: Molly Gallagher Burk, Director of Foundation Relations

Gail Cinelli, Board Member

Melia Coletta, Marketing and Communications Manager

Fred Frawley, Board Member

Chris Moore, Director of Music Education

Alicia Phelps, Director of Community Partnerships and Special Programs

Sally Struever, Director of Development

John Williams, Executive Director

DEI Media/Book Club:

317 Main is launching a DEI Media/Book Club – a free monthly meet-up to discuss and reflect on work by artists and authors of color and creators from other marginalized communities, hosted by our own Melia Coletta.

First group discussion:

Book – Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be An Anti-Racist

When – Thursday, October 22, 6pm-7:30pm

Where – Via Zoom

Our goal is to continue learning and reflecting on the far-reaching ways that racism and other forms of oppression seep into lived experiences and stories, and to hold each other accountable. Participants can be anyone with an open mind, ready and willing to discuss and support artists of all media forms – including authors, artists, filmmakers, reporters, dancers, and musicians. To sign up, please email Melia at [email protected]