A fundamental part of fulfilling such a vision is ensuring that the arts truly reflect all our communities. Everyone in our society is entitled to be able to enjoy the arts, and attaining the highest quality of arts in this country is dependent on ensuring that anyone with talent can develop and exercise it.
So, embedding diversity in all that it supports is of fundamental importance and all festivals should aim to ensure that this priority is properly reflected in their planning and programmes of work. One of the key priorities is to develop opportunities for black and minority ethnic (BME) artists and communities; to ensure that their creativity is allowed to flourish and that the arts in England truly reflect and celebrate their place in our society.
This approach is reflected in all the funding streams that Arts Council England provides, not least in its Grants for the Arts programme. Developing cultural diversity as a theme in a festival’s programme will therefore help to position it more strategically and possibly increase the potential for a festival to derive funding from public sources, grant-making trusts and the private sector.
Further advice on Audience Development initiatives is available from:
In recent years several publications have been produced which contain good practical advice, case studies and other valuable essays based on research into cultural diversity and organisations for which this is central to their work.
Navigating difference: cultural diversity and audience development (Arts Council England, 2006)
Navigating difference is a debate about issues that are at the heart of what it means to be British today. Leading voices from the art world discuss the relevance of cultural diversity and cultural identity to the arts.
The Voluntary Arts Network (VAN) have published three Briefing Sheets that provide useful information
Arts Council England has developed Area Profile Reports, a system of creating demographic profiles of specific areas of the UK. You can define the area you are interested in by distance, drivetime or local authority area. These reports will tell you the number and percentage of people from very broad ethnic groups (‘ White’, ‘Black’, ‘ Mixed:White/Black’, ‘Mixed: White/Asian’, ‘Asian’, ‘Other Mixed’ and ‘Other Ethnic’) within each postal sector in the area you define.
Postal sectors contain on average 2,500 households each, a manageable number at which to target marketing activity. Area Profile Reports are only available to funded clients of Arts Council England, the Scottish Arts Council or Arts Council Wales or to venues that present work produced by funded clients. Get more information and an order form by emailing email@example.com
The following documents are all available to download or order online at http://www.artscouncil.org.uk
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)
The following publications are available to order from the NCVO website
An explanation of key works and their meanings is given in a Word document that is available to download from the Related Documents section of this page.
Sources of Information about Artists and Companies
No artist likes being labelled. As Jorella Andrews points out, artists aren’t abandoning their cultural heritage, but they want to use it as a resource if they choose, rather than it being something that narrowly defines who they are. So although some artists have proposed an online Black arts register, others are reluctant to associate themselves with information resources that centre on ethnicity.
Here is a selection of the available sources of information:
The following document is in Portable Document Format (PDF). You can download software to view PDF documents for free from the Adobe website (opens in a new window)
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