The National Theatre, One Dance UK and the Society of London Theatre are among organisations coming together to develop a manifesto aimed at tackling the lack of diversity among the arts workforce.
The organisations involved span theatre, opera, dance and visual arts, marking what is thought to be the first time different cultural art forms have collaborated on a programme to drive change for the entire sector and that focuses specifically on staff rather than artistic creation.
Alongside the National Opera Studio and the Contemporary Visual Arts Network, SOLT and UK Theatre, the NT and One Dance UK are all members of Inc Arts, which is spearheading the plan to create the Manifesto for Inclusion in the Arts.
Inc Arts’ director Amanda Parker stressed that lasting change on stage or screen could not be achieved “without changing the picture of who’s working behind the scenes”.
Inc Arts is urging diverse staff from across the sector, working in areas such as administration, marketing, outreach and learning, to share their ideas and experiences in the development phase of the project, ahead of a workshop at London’s Somerset House later this month.
The event, on February 20, will build the manifesto and set out the change required to tackle the lack of diversity in arts and culture.
Julian Bird, chief executive of SOLT and UK Theatre, said: “The whole sector needs to change the way it addresses diversity, and change can be most effective when it’s informed by those with lived experience, not when it’s directed from ‘on high’.
“So we’re supporting this approach and would urge the sector to send staff members who have lived experience of intersectionality to join us to shape a manifesto that works for all.”