Three organisations will share £1.27m in grants from Freelands Foundation to respond to the lack of diversity within the UK art sector. Iniva in London, Nottingham-based New Art Exchange and Create London will use the grants to build on their work removing barriers to access to the visual arts through anti-racist education.
The grants have been made as part of the delivery of the Foundation’s multi-year, multi-strand diversity action plan, targeted at addressing long-standing racial inequalities in the visual arts. This includes an immediate commitment of £3m of which the new grants form a part.
Beyond this, 15% of all future grants will go to initiatives with targets to promote racial inclusion. The strategy also includes the commission of a public research project examining Black and ethnic minority access to visual arts.
Sonita Alleyne, currently Master of Jesus College, Cambridge, will join the Foundation’s main Advisory Committee and has been appointed to chair a new Diversity Action Group. This will comprise a committee of high-profile Black and ethnic minority academics, artists, educators and curators who will oversee the whole programme, including the funding, new partnerships and research.
The founder and chair of the Freelands Foundation is Elisabeth Murdoch, a member of Arts Council England’s National Council. She described the programme as attempting to turn “the tide of racial inequality in art” and “achieve a cultural sector that truly reflects the richness and diversity of 21st Century Britain.”