More than 30 West Midlands organisations sign pledge to support Black creative talent and employees

Around 30 arts organisations in the West Midlands have signed the 'More Than a Moment' pledge, vowing to make "radical and permanent change" for and with Black creatives and employees.

The More Than a Moment pledge, published on 29 October 2020 and crafted by a working group of young Black artists and creatives, features a set of calls to action intended to "designed to dismantle the systems that keep Black artists and creatives from achieving their potential in the arts and cultural industries".

It covers areas including governance and leadership, recruitment, pay, organisational culture and programming.

The support towards the pledge includes 160 leaders from arts and cultural organisations having attended the pledge sector sessions, 6 full sign-ups to the pledge (Birmingham Young Film Network, Creative Leamington CIC, KD Culture, Mothership Projects, Multistory, Purbanat CIC) and sign-ups in principle from 27 organisations:

  • Alexandra Theatre
  • Birmingham Arena Theatre Wolverhampton
  • Ascension Dance Company
  • Aston Performing Arts Academy
  • B Arts
  • BE Festival
  • Belgrade Theatre Coventry
  • Birmingham Hippodrome
  • Birmingham Opera Company
  • Birmingham Repertory Theatre
  • Black Arts Forum
  • Black Country Touring
  • Black Heritage Walks Network
  • Black Voices UK
  • BOM
  • C & T
  • Capsule
  • CineQ
  • Coventry City of Culture 2021
  • Culture Central
  • Curiosity Productions
  • DASH Arts
  • Eastside Projects
  • Ex Cathedra
  • Flatpack Projects
  • Friction Arts
  • Grand Union
  • Grosvenor Road Studios
  • Handsworth Creative
  • Highly Sprung Performance
  • Midlands Arts Centre
  • Mitchell Arts Centre
  • Motionhouse
  • Number 11 Arts
  • Open Theatre Company
  • Ort Gallery
  • Partners in Creative Learning (PiCL)
  • Pentabus Quench Arts CIC
  • Recognise Black Heritage & Culture
  • Royal Shakespeare Company
  • SHOUT Festival / Birmingham LGBT
  • Spectra
  • Stan's Cafe
  • Strictly Arts Theatre
  • Talking Birds
  • Urban Wilderness CIC
  • Vivid Projects
  • WMCA Cultural Leadership Board
  • Women & Theatre
  • Writing West Midlands
  • Yugen Arts

The declarations within the document include:

  • Implement the Rooney Rule wherever possible during the recruitment process. The rule dictates that one minority ethnic candidate must be interviewed for a position, however it is a requirement for the interview only, with no hiring preference given to the candidate.
  • Set a minimum percentage of employed roles to be filled by black people at each level of the organisation.
  • End unpaid work and consultation.
  • Equip staff and trustees with the resources to develop their understanding of being actively anti-racist and empower non-black staff to advocate for change.
  • Operate a zero-tolerance policy for racism within the organisation.
  • Eradicate the use of BAME, people of colour and other acronyms or terms that "generalise or cause harm".
  • Build a directory of black artists, creatives and producers.
  • Create "long-term meaningful relationships" with black artists.
  • Follow the spirit of the Rooney Rule in other areas of the organisation, such as commissioning and producing.
  • Ensure black artists are not only selected to bring in black audiences or to make ’black work’.
  • Promise to make work with "genuine, continued, credited partnerships" with black artists and organisations and follow the principle: "We will not appropriate, we will collaborate."
  • Produce goals in response to the pledge’s principles and set specific objectives, measuring progress year on year and openly reporting on outcomes.
  • Publish diversity data as well as a transparent diversity action plan.

Organisations can read more and sign up here.

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