Recent diversity initiatives and funding for the culture sector

One of the top culture sector issues currently being addressed in various ways is the lack of diversity across the board. There are measures being taken in different areas. A complex problem requires a multi-faceted solution, and these approaches from different organisations will go some way to helping bridge the diversity gap.

ArtsProfessionals June/July Pulse survey found that 40% of UK-based arts workers are in favour of diversity quotas in their sector and a follow-up survey in September/October found that 57% believed it was a top priority to increase artistic diversity in their sector and 28% believing it to be important. Survey analysis was published in the first week of October here. A recently-published museum sector report, Character Matters, also brings up the priority of increasing diversity. Read the report here.

  • On 13 October, Arts Council England announced £4.6 million investment in Sustained Theatre and Change Makers programmes, bringing the total amount invested in their Diversity programmes this year to £11.8 million. £2.1 million will support the creation and touring of new plays by black and minority ethnic theatre makers, led by Birmingham Repertory Theatre in partnership with Talawa Theatre Company, Bush Theatre, Eclipse Theatre, Tamasha Theatre and Tiata Fahodzi. £2.57 million to Change Makers aims to increase diversity of senior leaders within England's arts and cultural organisations, supporting 20 disabled and black and minority ethnic leders with bursaries to undertake training placements at National Portfolio Prganisations or Major Partner Museums. You can read more on the successful applicants here.
  • A Creative Europe call for organisations to produce projects integrating refugees includes three from the UK. These include ArtsReach's Refugee Journeys International; Bristol-based acta community theatre's REACT project and European Alternatives' 'Re-Build Refugee Europe' project. 
  • Radio 3 hosted a conference on 19 October entitled Diversity and Inclusion In Composition in partnership with BASCA, the BBC Philharmonic and the Royal Northern College of Music and in association with BBC Black and Asian Forum. The event is part of efforts to "facilitate greater inclusion in classical music composition of composers from the UK's black, Asian and minority ethnic communities". Read more about the event here, as well as details of this weekend's BBC programming meant to reflect the themes of the conference.
  • Creative Skillset and National Film and Television School has announced a six-month BAME Leadership programme looking for "six talented emerging film business executives from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background with a proven track record and the potential to lead in their industry". It will take place between February and August 2017.

The Culture Diary is always keen to hear stories of how cultural organisations are tackling the lack of diversity in arts and culture, and success stories from these. If you have stories to share, just add a story using the navigation above. 

Image by Jonathan Keenan. King Lear by Talawa Theatre Company and Royal Exchange Theatre in association with Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

Image from Arts Council website at

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