Why levelling up shouldn’t mean levelling down on diversity 

12 Apr 2022

How will Arts Council England square the circle of delivering increased funding to regions outside London while also meeting its commitment to increase funding to Black-led* organisations? asks Kevin Osborne.

Stronger together

30 Mar 2022

Can the cultural sector embrace collaboration as an essential tool to dismantle racism? In launching their new campaign, Arts Against Racism, Inc Arts thinks it must.
 

Not British, not welcome

Two actors perform on stage, smiling taking a selfie
11 Jan 2022

While we were distracted by news of politicians partying during lockdown, last month a Bill was passed that changes rights to UK citizenship. Amanda Parker examines how it threatens all our creative lives.

Governance beyond the ‘great and the good’

13 Oct 2021

Our sector is supported by trustees and directors who, through their passion and skills, have stepped up to support organisations when the need has been greatest. But, as Jonathan Mayes argues, our boards could do better.

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.

Diverse-led organisations fared worst in cultural recovery support

Performance of the Indonesian cultural dance Pakarena
30 Jun 2022

Arts organisations led by Black, Asian or other ethnically diverse groups were least successful in obtaining financial support from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund, according to ACE’s new diversity data report. 

Nurturing a new generation of visually impaired leaders

Big crowd talking and drinking at 25th anniversary party
27 Jun 2022

Extant theatre company hopes sharing best practice across the industry will lead to increased sector opportunities for visually impaired talent.

Equity survey shows inflation is a 'workforce crisis'

21 Jun 2022

The members' survey analysis also reveals Black people and the young are disproportionately leaving the sector after the pandemic.

Opera UK to discuss sustainability, diversity and advocacy

21 Jun 2022

Opera UK has announced a series of online events to be held in the first week of July that will facilitate discussion around the future of opera in the country.

The sessions will be focused on three pressing issues: environmental sustainability, greater diversification in leadership and advocacy for opera, and will feature at least 14 expert speakers.

Contributors who have so far signed up include directors of leading companies, performers and those working on the ground in positions including technical production and stage direction.

Annilese Miskimmon, Artistic Director at English National Opera, Elizabeth Llwellyn, soprano and a trustee of Into Opera and Mark Pemberton, Chief Executive at the Association of British Orchestras, are all scheduled to participate. 

All events will be participatory, allowing attendees to join the discussions and ask questions. 

“Innovation and change is vital to ensure that our sector remains relevant, effectively engages with communities, and benefits our audiences,” said Genevieve Raghu, Artistic Director of Into Opera and one of Opera UK’s Founding Directors. 

“We hope these events will help to connect individuals and companies across the opera sector and instigate even more conversations, positive changes and, through increased collaboration of our members, we hope to see a strengthening of the resilience of the opera sector.”

The discussions will also serve as a platform to launch a new mapping exercise designed to help establish a detailed picture of the national opera industry. 

Welsh Government sets culture and heritage anti-racism targets

Outside of the National Museum Wales
14 Jun 2022

Publicly funded organisations in Wales will be required to report diversity figures, lift barriers to cultural participation and mandate anti-racism training over the next two years.

Tackling taboos in the British South Asian community

Dishoom by Rifco
08 Jun 2022

Do we still need a British South Asian theatre company? That is a question Pravesh Kumar is often asked. His answer is always yes. 

Backlash over massive funding cuts for emerging musicians

07 Jun 2022

Leading music industry figures call for royalties body to reverse 60% funding cut for new talent, despite increase in revenues.

Partnership to tackle racism in music industry

07 Jun 2022

The Musicians' Union (MU) and Black Lives in Music (BLiM) are embarking on a three-year partnership to challenge racism in the music industry.

BLiM CEO Charisse Beaumont said the goal of the collaboration is to empower Black music creators and combat racism.

They aim to do this by ensuring quality music education is available at the grassroots level and by removing systemic barriers to create career opportunities for Black musicians which result in a level playing field across the music ecosystem. 

The partnership follows a BLiM report into racism in the music industry, based on a survey that found 63% of Black musicians and 73% of Black music industry professionals had experienced direct or indirect racism during their careers.

MU General Secretary Naomi Pohl says the research shone a light the areas where “Black musicians and specifically Black female musicians encounter barriers and experience discrimination”.

“We are really excited to work with BLiM on changing that experience and shaping the future of the industry.”

Arts Council chief among Queen's Birthday Honours recipients

Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England
06 Jun 2022

More than 100 people working in the arts and culture sectors have been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Bradford wins UK City of Culture 2025

Bradford celebrates winning UK City of Culture 2025
01 Jun 2022

The West Yorkshire city becomes the competition's fourth winner, after a successful bid that championed diversity and young people

Survey to shed light on musical theatre diversity 

30 May 2022

A new survey will provide evidence about the underrepresentation of talent from ethnically diverse backgrounds in musical theatre.

The Diversity Matters survey, conducted by Inc Arts, is asking ethnically diverse musical theatre creators working in England to share the challenges they face working as librettists, lyricists, writers, sound designers and composers.
 
The survey, which is open until 11 July, addresses an information gap around the development of England’s ethnically diverse creators. The results will aim to change and progress how the sector's decision-makers embed diversity in their programming and production. 

Inc Arts says that while existing research shows the sector has diverse work in development, it is not reflected in the Intellectual Property Rights/Royalties end of the pipeline.

Interim Executive Director Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp added that understanding the talent pipeline that leads to off-stage roles is a crucial, yet often forgotten piece of diversity work.

“If diversity does not permeate into all the behind the scenes roles, and up the chain to most senior decision-makers, then we are at risk not only of undervaluing huge swathes of creative talent, but also of perpetuating a creative sector that fails to reflect the diversity of the UK.”
 

PRS For Music election results ‘disappointing’, says MMF

26 May 2022

The Music Managers Forum (MMF) has criticised the results of PRS for Music’s latest council election over a lack of diversity.

Seven of the eight appointees are men, and all are white, leading to a joint statement from MMF Chair Paul Craig, Vice Chair Kwame Kwaten and Chief Executive Annabella Coldrick calling the result “disappointing”.

They say the result is down to an “outmoded and outdated system of governance at PRS, which is in clear need of root and branch reform” and are calling for more to be done to “ensure the value of People of Colour to songwriting and publishing is not just acknowledged but properly represented”.

The council members were voted in through a ballot completed by PRS members. Three members – Tom Gray, Crispin Hunt and Philip Pope – were all re-elected, while Hannah Peel, Nigel Gilroy, Daniel Lang, John Minch and Richard Paine join the council for the first time.

The results were announced at PRS for Music’s annual general meeting. CEO Andrea Martin said the council members bring a “breadth of vision, diversity of skill sets and an understanding of the digital eco-system from which the organisation and the members will greatly benefit”.

Commonwealth Games cultural programme 'ignores diverse communities'

Future Birmingham - SUKI 10C, Digbeth.  The painted former public house at the corner of Bordesley Street and Meriden Street has been repainted.
25 May 2022

Report claims organisers have missed opportunities to include Birmingham's diverse communities in planned events, and are not on target to meet requirements measuring race equality, community engagement and accountability.

Only 13% of UK festival headliners are female

24 May 2022

Only around one in 10 headline acts at the leading UK music festivals taking place this summer will be women, a study has found.

A BBC study focusing on 50 of the biggest UK festivals found that out of 200 headline acts only 26 (13%) were an all-female band or solo artist whereas 149 (74.5%) were either an all-male band or solo artist.

Meanwhile 24 acts (12%) had a mixed line-up of male and female performers, and one (0.05%) artist identified as non-binary.

This is despite many events previously promising to achieve a 50/50 gender balance across their line-ups by 2022.

Maggie Rogers, a singer/songwriter who will be performing at Latitude Festival this summer, said: "What I come to music for - as a fan and artist - is community and to feel part of something, and I think community functions at its best when it feels inclusive.

"When that doesn't happen - when the line-ups reiterate imbalances that exist in gender and race and class - it's not surprising, but it's certainly not ideal."

 

 

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