Arts Council England held its Power Through Diversity event in Manchester this week, inspiring change and celebrating good practice around diversity.

The report, published on the same day as the event, states ACE's intention to 'ensure that the work we invest in is not only more reflective of the world that we live in, but that it can anticipate and shape the world that is evolving.'

We share Arts Council England’s call for more diversity in the arts. It matters because Shakespeare and the arts are for everyone and we should represent the diversity of the UK on our stages, in our workforce and in our collaborations with artists. 

We’re proud to be one of the organisations who have led the way in diverse casting and we are thrilled to see more BAME actors in leading roles on our stages, though we know there’s more to do on many fronts. That’s why we are:

  • Prioritising working with schools in disadvantaged areas
  • Piloting new schemes to open up routes into theatre careers for young people
  • Inviting more women to direct or write plays for us

We use the Arts Council’s Creativity Case for Diversity to underpin our own plans for more equality and diversity in our work.  Those plans are championed by our Board and our team of internal advocates who ask tough questions and hold us all to account.  We learn more every day from our collaborations with partner schools and theatres all over the country and we are actively seeking out more under-represented theatremakers. 

A new checklist helps us consider all elements of diversity when we cast and recruit creative teams, new approaches to recruitment will help us secure a more diverse workforce overall and, once people are here, we are working hard to improve our data collection, so we can monitor progress against the challenging targets we have set. 

We know we do not have all the answers, and we do not get it right all the time, but it matters deeply to us.

Gregory Doran, Catherine Mallyon and Erica Whyman

Download the Arts Council England report: Equality, Diversity and the Creative Case.

The report is available on the Arts Council England website
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