Embedding Diversity in Galleries Anita Dinham Diversity Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
What is Maximise? • The aim of Maximise is to enable organisations to develop their ability to present Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) work and to engage wider audiences for such work in the mainstream. • The programme is part of Arts Council England’s Race Equality Scheme (RES), and the West Midlands is one of the four regions where the Maximise programme will be delivered. • In the West Midlands, Audiences Central will be driving the programme in collaboration with eight arts organisations. The initiative will commence from January 2005 and runs until August 2005.
What is Maximise? • The organisations taking part will be identified through an initial selection process which will demonstrate where the Maximise programme could be most beneficial, not only to the participating organisations themselves, but in shaping strategic plans for the West Midland region as a whole.
What are the criteria for taking part in the programme? • Senior management team buy-in and on-going commitment • Willingness to adapt normal programming policy to include specific BME work to be tested within audience development models • Ability to support programming where BME work can make a real difference • A willingness to devote time to the project at all levels
What will the Programme include? • The programme will include three main elements: • Organisational Development and Diversity Action Planning for developing wider audiences • Professional Development and Training • Monitoring Techniques Research • This Diversity Action Plan may form the basis of other future actions plans such as a disability and social inclusion. It will also contain all the elements of the Race Equality action plan that the Arts Council of England requires Regularly Funded Organisations (RFOs) to have.
Organisational Development and Diversity Action Planning • Audiences Central will work with each organisation to provide appropriate support to meet each organisation’s development needs. This may involve looking at issues to do with programming, marketing, customer care and event delivery, human resources, organisational management and structure.
Diversity Action Plan • Audiences Central will work with each organisation to develop a Diversity Action Plan. The plan will explore specific models and plans aimed at developing that organisation’s audiences for BME work. It will cover the work that will take place as part of the Maximise programme, as well as detailing long-term strategic paths
What will the Professional Development and Training consist of? • Race Equality TrainingEach organisation will receive tailored Race Equality Training delivered by specialist trainers as part of the Maximise initiative. • Individual Support Mechanisms Each organisation will be able to identify a ‘Champion’ (or ‘Champions’) for this project. These individuals will co-ordinate the project within the organisation, be responsible for ensuring the development of the Diversity Action Plan and feed diversity issues and learning back into the organisation, using existing and new structures as appropriate.
What will the Professional Development and Training consist of? • Learning CircuitsAudiences Central will establish a network of arts professionals working in cultural diversity programming and audience development. This network will extend to all the regions participating in the Maximise programme. • Mentoring Audiences Central recognise that the champions are likely to require individual support to enable them to approach organisational issues and to implement actions resulting from the Maximise programme. Mentors provided will be from different arts form and experience backgrounds which will enable a broad range of experience to be offered.
Wider programme Monitoring Techniques Research • Currently there is no commonly accepted technique for the monitoring the ethnic diversity of audiences. Audiences Central aims to use Maximise as an opportunity to provide participating organisations with a picture of the audiences who attend BME work, or for potential new audience for that work. • Ongoing Programme Delivery It is the intention of Audiences Central that this programme will become a permanent part of its core business support and consultancy.
Benefits to organisations • Race equality training at Management/Board level and planning for the ongoing delivery of such training across all staff • Support to develop a diversity action plan • Organisational Change consultancy • Access to learning circuits • Access to mentors • Shared learning outcomes for other regional Maximise programmes • Increasedconfidence in your organisation’s ability to successfully present and/or develop BME work
History • The Gravity project began in November 1999 as the Networking Project • The main aim was to introduce a culturally diverse audience to the arts • From African Caribbean and South Asian communities
Aims • To create and sustain relationships between African Caribbean and Asian communities in the Birmingham and Wolverhampton region • To effect fundamental organisational change within arts organisations • To develop and refine network marketing practice in the arts • To advocate for organisations to integrate strategies for the long term inclusion of these communities • To lead on identifying and testing methodologies for measuring the ethnicity of audiences.
How the Ambassador scheme worked • Participating organisations identified the specific target community from which it initially wished to develop attendance. • BAM then recruited part-time workers (known as ambassadors) from those target communities to work on behalf of the arts organisation. • The role of the ambassador was to facilitate understanding between the arts organisations and the target communities, working with the organisations to position their offer in the most effective way • At the outset of the project, each Ambassador worked with the arts organisation to set specific objectives and working patterns. • Each ambassador formed a panel made up of individuals from the community who volunteered their time on a regular basis, this included marketing,programming,organisational change
Methodology • Panels advocate on behalf of organisations in communities. • Project development • Strategy building and implementation • Building links with community organisations • Ethnic press and pr links • Networking to immediate and wider communities
What did we deliver? • We worked with a variety of organisations each with different actions plans. • The main outcome was to provide links to hard to reach communities and support mechanisms to develop these relationships. • Information collated would eventually feed into marketing plans both short term and long term. • Other departments of organisations were also involved – programming-front of house-
The learning curve – Is participation and experience more important than facts? • As with the outcome of similar projects, the triumph has been in the learning processes of all those involved. The results have been ones that have developed key relationships and these have been affirmed and contextualised • This has been a two way process where the organisation and individuals have been able to take part in the ever-changing landscape of arts in the West Midlands. • This experience has also been about what Audiences Central has learnt, rather than a ‘how to’ for other organisations. Audiences Central is still at the beginning of this process and it doesn’t have all the answers yet.
Understanding the scope and context of cultural diversity • Cultural diversity must be received in its entirety • Allowed to celebrate the similarities and the differences without fear • We must be explicit in the use of language • If we mean ethnicity – say so • If we mean disability - say so • If we mean social exclusion - say so • However, There is still scope for strategic bodies and policy makers to support organisations in the endeavour of cultural diversification in the mainstream
Anita Dinham Diversity Manager email@example.com • Audiences Central 0121 685 2619