Immediate removal of Dona Vaughn from the Manhattan School of Music faculty

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This petition is being made for all of the past, current and future students of Manhattan School of Music. As many of you have seen, there is a video circulating online featuring Dona D. Vaughn. Ms. Vaughn serves as the Artistic director of Opera at MSM. During a zoom Q&A Ms. Vaughn was directed a question regarding her decision to resurrect Lehar’s “Das land des Lachelns” (the land of smiles). The questioner also noted that this opera plays into racial stereotypes and depicts Asians as one dimensional caricatures. Ms Vaughn quickly cued her moderator to cut off the questioner. Ms. Vaughn then states “cut him off” she goes on to say “that’s a political statement about some of our productions here at msm... it’s been ongoing for a while... cut him off, just get rid of him”. 

We are requesting the immediate removal of Dona D. Vaughn from the faculty at MSM. Ms. Vaughn not only produced an extremely racist and insensitive opera but also chose to cast the only black student as the butler in this production. 

Along with the racist behavior shown by Ms. Vaughn, there have also been reports of homophobic aggression and body shaming directed at her students. 

Dona D. Vaughn is a danger to the arts community, she must be fired from her position at Manhattan School of Music immediately. We are calling on the President, Provost and others in leadership positions to do what is right and terminate Ms. Vaughn’s tenure at MSM. Ms. Vaughn is not fit to teach, this is evident. 

Please take action now! 
Sign this petition! Now is the time to make MSM a safe institution for all of our young artists!





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