Update on Location of the 2018 AMS/SMT Annual Meeting

The conference site of San Antonio, Texas, where the 2018 joint Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society and the Society for Music Theory is scheduled to be held, is located in a state that has passed a bill allowing discrimination against LGBTQ community members in adoption cases (Texas House Bill 3859, "The Protection of Rights of Conscience for Child Welfare Services Providers"). In response to this circumstance and to the misgivings of various members of both societies, the boards of SMT and AMS have recently held separate but coordinated special meetings of their respective boards via webconference to discuss our options.

In view of several factors, each society's board decided unanimously against moving the meeting. In addition to the extraordinary expense of moving the meeting (up to a quarter of a million dollars) and the challenge of finding an alternative at this late date, both boards felt that more impact could be made by expressing solidarity with the LGBTQ community of San Antonio through donations, community action, and special programming. An ad hoc committee will be formed to explore such actions. For those opting not to attend the conference, we hope to have more live streaming, online handouts, and videoed sessions, within financial and legal limits.

Please note that while the state of California prohibits funding of travel by state employees to Texas and other states that have passed discriminatory laws against LGBTQ persons, at least one AMS member has had such travel authorized, based on an exception granted to cases where contracts have been signed before January 1, 2017 (as is the case with the AMS/SMT hotel contract). See https://oag.ca.gov/ab1887 under "Exceptions."

More information will be included in our respective society newsletters this February.

Martha Feldman
President, American Musicological Society

Robert Hatten
President, Society for Music Theory

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