Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI) Commitment & Aims

At Tessitura, our mission is to enable arts and cultural organizations to achieve their goals. 

We recognize that having a diverse team is not only critical to our commitment to adopt equitable behaviors; it will also fuel collaboration, innovation and creativity as we deliver on our mission.

Creating an environment where everyone feels safe and comfortable in bringing their authentic selves to work is both our pledge and our passion. Ultimately, providing an accessible and inclusive workplace will allow the Tessitura community to thrive.

To uphold our DEAI commitment, we are focused on four aims:

  1. Adopt equitable behaviors
  2. Embrace diversity as essential to our success
  3. Create an accessible and inclusive workplace and community
  4. Engage with the Tessitura community on DEAI

Adopt equitable behaviors

We are committed to creating a workplace where everyone is treated fairly, understands what success looks like, and has access to the resources needed to do their jobs well.

Within our company

In 2021, we undertook a company-wide compensation review in consultation with Payscale. This work led to a formalized and equitable compensation structure as well as salary transparency on all job postings. We continue to review our compensation strategy and pay equity annually.

Early in 2022, we introduced a new performance evaluation process to standardize performance evaluations and make them more equitable. Outcomes of this work included the introduction of more formal quarterly check-ins and a better alignment of performance evaluations with overall company goals.

As part of our annual review process, each team member has a specific learning and development plan agreed with their manager. We invested in LinkedIn Learning for each team member and have additional professional development budget to support these development goals.

Within our community

We continue to evaluate, and to make improvements to, the accessibility and inclusivity of our online and in-person events. We now caption all new videos published on our website and social media channels. We have also offered team training with recommendations and best practices when presenting in virtual events. We continue to research recommendations and best practices for accessible meetings and events.

WCAG compliance for Tessitura e-commerce

With Tessitura v16, which went into pre-release in Q2 2022, TN Express Web (TNEW) has been transformed to provide an accessible and equitable experience for all users. Our objective is for the base TNEW e-commerce site and transactional emails to meet the accessibility standards as defined by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) at the 2.1 AA compliance level. Our next steps are an official evaluation and the generation of a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT). We will also define our processes for an accessibility review as part of our iterative release cycles.

Tessitura client accessibility

Our goal for Tessitura v16 is adherence to Microsoft Active Accessibility, a Component Object Model (COM)-based technology that improves the way accessibility aids work with applications running on Microsoft Windows. The Tessitura application does have accessible functionality such as keyboard support, color coding considerations, and form field labels for screen readers. User preferences are available for individual user configurations. And standard Windows tools including adjusting screen resolution, scaling, and using Windows Magnifier can assist users working in the application. As we develop future versions, we are working closely with a consulting firm to enhance our accessibility features.

Increasing readability

In 2022, we set a goal to improve the readability of our content. We achieved our goal of ensuring that 75% of the new content we produced aligns with best practice standards for clarity. We have carried this goal forward into 2023.

Embrace diversity as essential to our success

We recognize that hiring and developing a diverse team is not only the right thing to do, but also necessary for our ongoing success. Delivering industry-leading products and services requires the creativity and innovation that emerges from a team with differing experiences, perspectives, and viewpoints. Our guiding vision for this aim is that the diversity of our team should reflect the diversity of the regions in which we operate.

Within our company

We have made our hiring practices more inclusive to mediate unconscious bias and promote equity and diversity. Our current hiring practices include creating inclusive job descriptions, posting salary ranges for open positions, involving hiring panels in the interview process, and intentionally extending our recruitment efforts to increase the diversity of our candidate pool. We assess and adapt our process annually to incorporate learnings and best practices.

To measure the effectiveness of our efforts to cultivate a diverse team, we began an annual team census in 2021. The census looks at team diversity through five lenses: race and ethnicity; age; gender identity; sexual orientation; and physical, emotional or cognitive differences.

We have also set goals to increase the diversity of our Board, our vendors, and our ecosystem partners.

Within our community

We established five online affinity groups as safe spaces to foster connections and dialogue: LGBTQIA+, Neurodiversity and Mental Wellness, People of Color, People with Disabilities and Women in Tech. All of these have held online gatherings, as well as in-person meetups at our international conferences. In addition, we have created an online forum dedicated to DEAI topics.

We have created a more equitable speaker selection process for events such as webinars and the Tessitura Learning & Community Conference (TLCC). We now hold an open call for proposals so that any interested member of the Tessitura community can submit their ideas.

In 2021, we identified a need to become intentional about increasing the diversity of organizations in the Tessitura community. We have the data infrastructure in place to measure how many organizations run by or serving historically excluded populations are in our community. Our goal is to increase the number of organizations in our community by 20% in 2023.

Create an accessible and inclusive workplace and community

To retain a diverse team and to benefit from their differing perspectives, we need to create a workplace where everyone feels safe and comfortable bringing their authentic selves to work.  

Within our company

In 2020, we engaged BW3 to provide diversity and inclusion training to our management team. In 2021, we engaged them again to provide diversity and inclusion training to our entire team. We intend to create an ongoing training program for managers and team members to ensure that individuals are equipped to work successfully within a diverse team and that managers have the necessary skills to lead inclusive work groups.

The DEAI Committee hosts a series of informal learning opportunities where team members can become familiar with a variety of issues and perspectives related to differences in race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, or disability. These conversations are open to all team members for optional personal development. We also curate regular educational content in observance of significant dates, such as Juneteenth and International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

In 2021, the DEAI Committee introduced the quarterly Safety & Wellbeing survey. The survey comprised of six questions intended to measure a team member's safety levels, work/life balance status and feeling of inclusivity in their department and the company as a whole. The anonymous data was then aggregated and the final report was shared with the staff, along with the DEAI leadership group (see below) in order to identify trends and areas for improvement. In 2023, the survey has been updated to be a monthly Team Pulse Check survey. Consisting of five refined questions taken from the original survey, the goal is to improve the tracking of trends across departments and identify areas in need of attention sooner than before.

In 2020, we engaged BW3 to conduct our first cultural assessment survey. The data in that survey has informed much of our internal DEAI work to date, and we are continuing to monitor and assess company culture and team wellbeing. In 2022, we re-engaged with BW3 to conduct our second cultural assessment. In 2023, we intend to establish specific benchmarks and goals we can work toward so we can use these surveys as a tool for measuring our progress in specific areas.

At the end of 2021, we completed a formal compensation review to ensure our compensation is fair and equitable. We also post salary ranges on all open positions.

In 2022, we began a training program for managers to equip them with the skills they need to lead inclusive work groups successfully. In Q2 of 2022, we launched an Employee Resource Group program. These groups will provide infrastructure and support for team members who share a specific aspect of their identity to build community. Current Employee Resource Groups available to staff include groups for the Neurodivergent, Early Career Professionals, and Menopausal as well as perimenopausal and post-menopausal individuals.

In 2022, we implemented an inclusive language tool in our internal messaging application. The tool checks for pre-programmed non-inclusive words and phrases used in chats and privately suggests better alternatives. We are committed to promoting inclusivity in all our communications and helping our team become better allies in the process.  

In 2023, we introduced a new feedback and suggestion box platform to provide our team with a private and secure tool to submit feedback or concerns regarding safety, wellbeing and company culture. This completely anonymous tool will ensure that we receive real, candid feedback while keeping the safety of our team a priority. 

In June of 2022 we switched our online meeting platform to one that includes built-in captioning.

Within our community

In 2020, we created a process to identify and eliminate the use of harmful terminology. We are working toward inclusive language in three main areas: in materials such as our website and documentation, in our speech and everyday communications, and in our products. The Marketing team and the DEAI Committee collaborate on ongoing review and assessment of our language use.

In 2022, we completed a review of 6 online community platforms to improve accessibility in our forums and online community groups. In Q2 of 2022, we began offering live captioning and transcriptions for all webinars and online events.

In 2023, we intend to examine our support and online community technology to look for opportunities to improve accessibility in these areas.

Within the arts & culture sector 

In 2021 we established an Early Career Development program with a long-term goal of increasing racial and ethnic diversity in the arts & culture workforce. The first pilot group of 23 participants received Tessitura training, small group mentoring, and other resources, all free of charge. So far the program has served 72 professionals in three cohorts. 

Engage with the Tessitura community on DEAI

We understand that our community wants visibility into our DEAI work. We intend to engage with our community to inform our internal DEAI efforts, to foster knowledge-sharing around DEAI initiatives within the community, and to create interactions among the community members that are accessible and welcoming.

In 2021, we developed a Community DEAI Advisory Committee. This committee serves as the primary point of communication for feedback, questions, concerns and collaborative opportunities between Tessitura and our member community.

In 2022, we began offering quarterly community webinars on DEAI-related topics. The Community DEAI Committee co-curates these events with our team. We have also integrated sessions focused on DEAI into the program of the Tessitura Learning & Community Conference (TLCC).


In March 2020 we formed a DEAI committee with representation from across the company. This committee meets regularly and forms workgroups, when needed, dedicated to specific areas of focus.

In recognition of the importance of this work, participation in the DEAI committee is not extracurricular. Members devote a portion of their existing working time to their DEAI work as part of Tessitura’s investment in continual improvement.

The DEAI committee is advised by a group from Tessitura’s leadership team and a community DEAI advisory committee. Steven Lone, Quality Assurance Analyst II; Lauren Kusnierz, Solutions Manager; and Julia Wilson, Project Coordinator—Consulting Services, currently co-chair this committee.

The members of our DEAI staff committee are Jo Boniface, Laura Bowden (ex-officio), Jessie Bower, Christy Carlson, Ara Carrera, Sarah Loveless Compton, Katrin Crosby, Rachael Easton, Beth Gilliland, Matt Ingham, Bobbi Kay, Lauren Kusnierz, Margaret Lehtinen, Steven Lone, Ace Robinson, Lloyd Stringer, JD Short, Rachel Vest and Julia Wilson.

In addition, a DEAI leadership group comprised of Dana Astmann, Senior Director of Marketing & Communications; Laura Bowden, Vice President of People; Melissa Champ, Vice President of Support; Alex Harris, Group Product Manager; Lauren Kusnierz, Solutions Manager; Steven Lone, Quality Assurance Analyst II; David Pearce, Chief Operating Officer; Andrew Recinos, President & CEO; and Julia Wilson, Project Coordinator - Consulting Services meets weekly to move DEAI initiatives forward.

Questions? Comments?

We are committed to ongoing, goal-oriented work and will periodically update this page as that work progresses. If you have a question or comment about our work, please feel free to get in touch.

Community DEAI Advisory Committee

The Community DEAI Advisory Committee serves as the primary point of communication for feedback, questions, concerns and collaborative opportunities between Tessitura and our member community. If you would like to get in touch with this committee, please email CommunityDEAI@tessituranetwork.com.

View the Committee Charter ›


Chloe Burton (she/her) Headshot of Chloe Burton with black hair pulled back, clear glasses on, wearing a floral shirt.

Senior Data Insights Manager
The Old Vic
London, United Kingdom

Chloe is passionate about making workplaces and venues accessible and welcoming to all. She believes that diversity, equity and inclusion are the three pillars of accessibility. She dedicates herself to upholding these values.

Chloe commits herself to improving accessibility in the arts and creating accessible spaces. She ensures email campaigns and web pages are accessible. At Hampstead Theatre, she introduced closed captions, audio introductions and touch tours. She facilitated training programs in disability confidence and trans awareness. This training helped colleagues feel confident in welcoming all visitors to the theatre.

Chloe invests in the development and empowerment of staff members. Her ethos as a manager centers around fostering a culture of mutual respect. This leads to a positive workplace, a motivated workforce and happier customers. She initiates new policies geared towards improving support systems for staff. She creates an inclusive environment where staff can bring their full selves to work.

Samantha Cantu (they/them) Headshot of Clayton Dickson

Patron Services Manager
Opera Colorado
Denver, Colorado

Samantha Cantu is a queer, genderfluid, neurodivergent, Chicano activist who hails from a tiny industrial town in Southeast Texas. They now reside in Denver where they are the Patron Services Manager of Opera Colorado. Driven by their own lived experiences of poverty and hardship, Samantha is always willing to roll up their sleeves and do the hard work needed. Samantha enjoys exploring all the facets of Colorado whilst juggling spending time with their kiddo, tending to their many friendships and giving back to the community. They love singing karaoke, psychoanalyzing fictional characters and playing a good immersive video game.

Clayton Dickson (he/him) Headshot of Clayton Dickson wearing a black shirt and jacket.

Senior Accountant 
Dallas, Texas

Clayton Dickson is a Senior Accountant at KERA – a non-profit media organization in Dallas, Texas. He is an enrolled member of the Nez Perce tribe and grew up on the reservation. From an early age, Clayton knew that education was important, and he is grateful to the teachers who saw his potential and encouraged him to strive for excellence. Clayton’s main passion is music and he credits his parents who fostered and encouraged his pursuits.  Clayton’s career has been in the arts and culture sector and he hopes to see more people of color pursuing careers in arts administration. 

Clayton’s musical journey began at an early age singing and playing piano in church. From elementary school through college, he participated in band, choir and theatre.  As an adult, Clayton sang tenor with the Dallas Symphony Chorus, the San Francisco Symphony Chorus and the Atlanta Opera Chorus. Before his employment at KERA, Clayton was in the Finance Departments of the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta and the Dallas Opera.  

Ten years ago, Clayton discovered he loved running after joining a running club to get into shape. Since then, he has evolved into a long-distance runner and has completed marathons in 8 different states (with a goal to hit all 50). In his spare time, Clayton and his spouse Todd enjoy trying new restaurants and spending time with their two dogs.  

Jane Duong (she/her) Headshot of Clayton Dickson

CRM & Ticketing Manager, Tessitura
National Gallery of Australia
Parkes, Australia

Jane is a queer, Chinese-Vietnamese Australian arts administrator and photographer. She treads with care on Ngunnawal and Ngambri Country (Kamberri/Canberra, Australia).

Jane is currently the CRM and Ticketing Manager at the National Gallery of Australia. She previously held various positions at the National Portrait Gallery for over a decade. Her career has focused on removing barriers to access for audiences. She aims to make the arts accessible for everyone, regardless of ability or disability. Her intention is to create welcoming and inclusive spaces for all.

When she is not working in galleries, she enjoys collaborating on photo projects. These include Hold On: Treasures from Rainbows (2022), Raising the Flag: Matter of Pride (2019) and Queerberra (2017).

Jane joined the PhotoAccess Board in September 2023. PhotoAccess is a non-profit organization based in Kamberri/Canberra. It is dedicated to making, sharing and investigating photographic culture. It does this in the interest of artistic expression, cultural participation and positive social change.

Jordan Edwards (she/they) Headshot of Jane Duong

Marketing & Patron Services Manager
Sunset Cultural Center
Monterey County, California

Jordan is a queer, neurodivergent woman who, quite literally, grew up in music venues. When she was a child, her mom worked as an accountant at a rock and roll venue. As a result, Jordan couldn't imagine working in any other industry.  

Jordan oversees the box office, marketing, membership and IT teams in her role at the Sunset Cultural Center. She also provides organizational leadership around project management and efficiency. She is the product owner for Tessitura and all integrated technologies.

Jordan has worked with a wide variety of organization types and venues across the United States. This includes working as an instructor at the Tessitura Center for Professional Development. She has also worked as a consultant for several Tessitura organizations. She finds joy in training, streamlining processes and providing creative solutions.

Jordan has co-chaired the LGBTQIA+ Tessitura Community since January of 2022. They also serve on the Bay Area Tessitura Community planning team.

Jordan often spends her free time playing cozy video games, reading or napping with her cats. She spends most Wednesday nights playing Dungeons & Dragons (she plays spellcasters). 

Isaac Freeman (they/them) 

Ticketing & Membership Systems Coordinator
Glyndebourne Festival Opera
Sussex, England

Isaac works as a Ticketing and Membership Systems Coordinator in Sussex, England. They have been in their role for just over a year. In this time, they have championed access and diversity both for customers and staff by implementing new web features, writing access guides and even marching in the Brighton Pride Parade. Isaac previously attended EU Ticketing Tessitura Community meetups and is very much looking forward to their first conference at TLCC Gateshead. 

Isaac identifies as non-binary and neurodiverse. They are very passionate about helping workplaces implement adjustments to improve the working lives of disabled and neurodivergent people, as well as working with venues to consider how they can enhance their access offerings. Isaac is also a playwright and poet and has a master’s degree in queer studies. 

Carlos García León (he/they) Headshot of Carlos Garcia Leon wearing a pink shirt and jacket with black glasses.

Individual Giving Manager 
Chicago Shakespeare Theatre
Chicago, Illinois

Carlos is a queer, non-binary, Latine, Mexican-Statesian and fundraiser. They were born in Atlixco, Puebla, Mexico. Recently, they moved to the stolen land of the Council of the Three Fires and many others, also known as Chicago, Illinois, to work with Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Carlos has years of experience as an arts fundraiser and recently as a speaker at national conferences. Their work, both in the arts and through writing, is driven by a fight for cultural equity, anti-capitalism, decolonizing the arts and social justice.

Carlos holds a B.M. in Bassoon Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a M.A. in Arts Administration and an MBA from the University of Cincinnati. Outside of working and writing, Carlos is a poet, writer and fledgling kickboxer. They enjoy their leisure time by hanging with friends, resisting capitalism by taking naps and exploring new Chicago food spots.

Nicki LeGrand (she/her)Headshot of Nicki LeGrand

Database Supervisor
Royal Winnipeg Ballet
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Nicki LeGrand is a Métis woman from Manitoba, Canada. Manitoba is on the lands of the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe), Ininew (Cree), Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene peoples, and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis. Nicki is the Database Supervisor at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and champions the use of Tessitura across the organization. Currently, Nicki co-chairs the Winnipeg Tessitura Community and Women in Tech Tessitura Community. She is a board member for the Manitoba Underground Opera, which gives an artistic voice to those overlooked in traditional opera casting. She is also on the board for the Friends of Lower Fort Garry, which promotes Canada’s cultural heritage through awareness and education.

Nicki is a trained mezzo-soprano. She has a degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Manitoba. In 2023, she obtained a certification in database administration from the University of Calgary. She currently lives in Winnipeg with her husband, Ian. They enjoy trying new recipes on their many barbeques and smokers.

As a member of the Community DEAI Advisory Committee, Nicki will advocate for women in the male-dominated tech industry. She will also make space for Indigenous history and voices to be celebrated and embraced.

Shenette Swann (she/her) Headshot of Shenette Swann with long black hair, a colorful headband, and large white dangling earrings.

Guest Engagement Manager 
Marbles Kids Museum
Raleigh, North Carolina

As a Guest Engagement Manager for Marbles Kids Museum, Shenette Swann has served the downtown Raleigh, North Carolina community for seven years with a tireless love for inclusion. Shenette believes that her living experiences and awareness of intersectionality have equipped her with a natural, yet strategic approach in the necessary bridging of cultural gaps and the need for critical conversations in work environments.  She has been at the intersection of cultural sensitivity and accessibility implementations. Leading the DEAI initiatives for Marbles Kids Museum, Shenette boldly advocates for welcoming spaces. Alongside her CEO, she was responsible for leveraging authentic relationships with the LGBTQIA+ Center of Raleigh to obtain expert resources. Shenette also planned and executed the first ever Black History Month programming for Marbles. She has presented for the National Association for the Education of the Young Child, the NC Science and Engineering Fair, and the Museum of Natural Sciences on the power of play. She is recently a chosen DEAI presenter for the Association of Children’s Museums Conference. 

Shenette stands by her motto: people before projects. An environment of belonging can help any organization grow, thrive, and succeed. When Shenette steps away from the museum, she motivates her community as a dynamic entertainer. She is a performing singer/songwriter and percussionist with available music on all major platforms and sold out shows in her city.

Sheriece Veazey-McNally (she/her) Headshot of Sheriece Veazey-McNally

Manager of Prospect Research
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Kansas City, Missouri

Sheriece is the Manager of Prospect Research at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. She is a member of the development department and the major gifts team. She oversees both prospect research and portfolio management. Sheriece teaches a studio of voice students through UMKC Conservatory’s Academy. She is a singer who has recently worked with MTH, The Black Repertory Theatre of KC and the BMA Community Choir. She also participates in Nonprofit Connect’s BIPOC Nonprofit Professional Roundtable. She graduated from CSU with a master’s in arts leadership and cultural management. She earned an M.M. in voice from UMKC Conservatory and a B.A. in integrative arts from Penn State Altoona. She enjoys traveling, cooking, reading and sewing.