Arts Council England has committed to introducing a Latin American tick box on its diversity monitoring forms, following years of campaigning by Latinx advocacy organisations.
Chief executive Darren Henley confirmed that ACE is working towards including a Latinx category on its forms during a discussion on Zoom organised by arts and culture movement What Next?.
Henley was responding to a question asked by theatremaker and activist Eli Alvarado, who is a member of the collective LatinXcluded, which campaigns for the representation of Latin Americans on application forms.
Work by the collective has already led to a Latinx tick box being introduced on forms for King’s College London and Lambeth Council.
Alvarado said: “Currently, all Latinx tick the ‘other’ box. Some of us write however we identify next to it, if there is room for that.
“This makes our contributions invisible and unaccountable for. We cannot show how many Latinx audience members there were in a show, how many Latinx makers benefit from grants, how many Latinx stories are told or how many young Latinx people use the support from the many brilliant organisations across the UK who are there to change lives from the get-go.”
She added: “Without a unified box [...] we cannot show our impact, our contributions or articulate our needs and asks as a community – a community that is certainly active and has been working really hard for many years now.”
Other individuals and organisations that have been campaigning for the inclusion of a Latinx tick box include Latin Americans in the Performing Arts, head of performance at London’s Roundhouse Malú Ansaldo, Latin American Women’s Rights Service, Latin Elephant and CLAUK – a collective of Latin American organisations.
Movement director Andrea Pelaez, who is co-founder of Latin Americans in the Performing Arts, said: “LAIPA formed two years ago to advocate for the rights of Latin Americans working in performing arts in the UK.
“We are delighted that the Arts Council is recognising our community in this way. It will undoubtedly heighten our visibility, improve representation and build awareness of our contribution to the creative industries.”
A spokesman from Arts Council England confirmed that work is ongoing to introduce a Latinx tick box.
He added: “Currently our diversity monitoring forms reflect the [Office for National Statistics] list, which does not include Latinx, so we’re working out how we can add the new category while maintaining our ability to compare with national averages from the ONS.”
The spokesman said that there was not yet a timescale for the introduction of the box.