Knoxville Opera is proud to announce that as part of its commitment to creating an inclusive space for our staff, artists, and community, the company has joined the September 2020 Cohort of the OF/BY/FOR ALL Change Network.

In this program, representatives from the staff and board will work to adopt new approaches to community work, build new skills, and respond with meaningful action and change.

“As an organization, we know the power and effectiveness of great storytelling through music,” said Knoxville Opera’s new Executive Director Jason Hardy. “Opera can positively impact the way we connect and engage with each other. At this pivotal moment, we need to take a community-centered approach to cultural leadership and programming. Trust and relationships will be built on our sincere commitment to this work,” added Hardy.

In joining the Change Network, a global community of civic and cultural organizations, Knoxville Opera has made a year-long commitment to actively operationalize diversity, equity, and inclusion in the organization’s programs and policies.

“To build our civic and cultural value, we must take the time to listen and learn from new voices,“ said Eden Bishop, Chair of the Knoxville Opera Board of Directors. “We will make concrete changes to grow closer to our community, and we invite all of our fellow citizens to get involved in our evolution and hold us accountable to this commitment.”

The Change Network has 75 member organizations in 11 countries, including museums, libraries, theaters, chorale groups, and community centers. In this program, our team will work with forward-thinking peers around the world to adopt new approaches to community work, build new skills, listen to our community, and respond with meaningful action and change.


Knoxville Opera’s mission is to provide the residents of East Tennessee with high quality, locally produced opera and to contribute to the future of the operatic art form by educating the community about opera and its role in our culture. Knoxville Opera, founded in 1978, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose programs are made possible, in part, by major funding from Tennessee Arts Commission, Aslan Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Pilot Flying J, Knox County, Regal Cinemas, Dr. Sharon Lord, The Sood Family, Nancy & Charlie Wagner, Steve & Ann Bailey, City of Knoxville, Cole Foundation, KaTom Restaurant Supply, Home Federal Bank, and East Tennessee Foundation.