Towards an anti-racist arts industry

26 May 2021

What does it mean to be Black in the arts industry today? Marking the one-year anniversary of the death of George Floyd, Gabrielle Brooks shares why she founded BlackStage UK.

Time to challenge the hierarchies

Rampak Genteng
10 Sep 2020

With the creativity of communities finally becoming a policy priority, arts organisations could be handing more control over to their communities. Adam Pushkin explains why – and how – that could work.

Head to head: can a toolkit solve the sector’s class problem?

14 Nov 2019

This year Jerwood Arts published a toolkit for cultural organisations, designed to encourage greater socio-economic diversity in the arts. Julie Lomax, Chief Executive of a-n The Artists Information Company, sees it as a starting point for helping solve the sector’s ‘class crisis’ – but arts consultant Chrissie Tiller isn’t so sure.

When best intentions backfire?

16 Sep 2021

In trying to diversify its company, English Touring Opera shot itself - and 14 freelancers - in the foot.

Need to diversify, but can’t find the staff?

two women shaking hands
14 Sep 2021

As arts organisations struggle to fill critical roles, Amanda Parker shares must-dos - and must don’ts - for those hoping to recruit a talented, experienced and inclusive workforce. 

Giving circles and the arts

a border of hands reaching into the centre
14 Sep 2021

Philanthropy is sometimes described as a ‘privilege’ of the wealthiest. But, as Michelle Wright argues, research suggests that giving circles can provide a meaningful and empowering experience at all levels.

Being at home in Manchester

landscape image of Manchester's HOME venue
14 Sep 2021

A group of artists from Deaf, disabled and neurodiverse communities have been working on a project to transform accessibility. Nickie Miles-Wildin reports on its successes.

Tie funding to compliance with employment law, MPs say

14 Sep 2021

The sector and its funders must adopt measurable diversity targets or risk losing "an entire generation of talent".

Digital didn't change arts engagement, study finds

09 Sep 2021

The digital pivot might have altered online attendance slighty but for most of the UK, "the new normal of pandemic life was very much like the old normal".

White-led Chinese art gallery vows to change

09 Sep 2021

A lack of leadership, engagement and morale has caused an exodus of staff and reputational crisis - but the centre's position is "redeemable".

£50k for Northern Ireland ethnic artists

08 Sep 2021

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has made £50,000 available for a new programme supporting artists from a minority ethnic background.

The mentoring and residency programme will offer grants of up to £5,000 for research, learning, networking and cultural exchange opportunities.

Applications are open until October 4, with artists at every stage of their career encouraged to apply.

Chief Executive Roisin McDonough said the programme seeks to address the "numerous and complex barriers to access, progression and representation in the arts" that minority ethnic artists face. 

The council is in the process of establishing a Minority Ethnic Deliberative Forum to strengthen diversity within the sector and inform future decision making.

Curators of the future

exhibition and showcase
07 Sep 2021

Being disabled in the visual arts sector has presented galleries with serious challenges. But Mike Layward is optimistic about programmes which promote much needed change.

Sensory and inclusive theatre

outdoor theatre production
07 Sep 2021

All cultural organisations are concerned with making their work more accessible. A new report by Maria Varvarigou on sensory and inclusive theatre for disabled children and young people provides a model for doing just that.

Council cancellation of controversial comedian contested

07 Sep 2021

Nearly 29,000 people have signed a petition in support of Roy "Chubby" Brown after a performance in Sheffield was cancelled.

Sheffield City Trust, which runs Sheffield Town Hall, says the comedian's humour does not reflect its values.

It has issued refunds to all 300 ticket holders. The venue's capacity is more than 2,300.

Petitioners are fighting back with a freedom of expression argument: "If you don't like it, don't go watch."

The trust's decision follows a pre-pandemic pattern of regional venues cancelling the comedian's shows.

ArtsProfessional reported in 2019 that the boss of Middlesbrough Town Hall, a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England, resigned after the local council overrode her decision not to book Roy Chubby Brown.



Racial equity: a zero-sum game?

people in scales
01 Sep 2021

The fight for racially equitable funding in the creative industries is what drove Kevin Osborne to set up Create Equity. Here he argues the need for Black and White leaders to work together to make it happen.

Arts Council Ireland apologises for ad campaign

26 Aug 2021

Arts Council Ireland has apologised for an advertisement that likened the racism faced by singer Nina Simone to the struggles of artists during the pandemic.

Published in the Irish Times, the advert was part of a campaign focused on artists who faced challenges in their work and personal lives.

It received backlash on social media, with Twitter users branding it “shockingly ignorant” and “quite muddled and negative”.

The council has since apologised, agreeing the campaign “did not reflect [its] commitment” to equality and diversity.

“We got it wrong on this occasion – sorry.”

Wales' arts funders 'shouldn't force white-led organisations to diversify'

23 Aug 2021

A report commissioned by the Arts Council of Wales says it is entrenched in white supremacy and has ignored calls for change. It appears to be doing the same again.

New guide to ’break down stigma’ for autistic creatives

actor JJ Green performing at The National Theatre
26 Jul 2021

Autistic people face the highest rate of unemployment of all disabled groups in the UK. A new guide aims to change conversations surrounding autism in the performance industry.

Why funders must pledge to fund equitably

13 Jul 2021

Covid, the murder of George Floyd and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement all led to an outpouring of statements committing to action on racial inequality in arts funding. Kevin Osborne’s initial optimism about that has since been tempered. 

Arts and culture needs its Euro 2020 moment

three ballet dancers performing on stage
13 Jul 2021

Ethnically diverse creative leaders are experiencing a rise in racist abuse. Amanda Parker calls for government support to kick it out in the arts and cultural sector.  


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