Speakers Cornered. ©Poshfruit. 2018.
Over the past months of my fellowship, I have been exposed to many experiences, people and places, but as I navigated the pathways of the cultural sector a frustration was growing in me. No matter where I went, who I spoke to or what I heard, most of the voices were the same. They shared similar visions, beliefs, passions, fears. I wondered where the naysayers were? Where were the people who were pro-Brexit (let us not forget that 52% of votes were for it)? Where were those who didn’t care about broadening audiences, or thought that arts education in the UK was sufficient? Those who didn’t agree with #MeToo or thought the gender pay gap was fine?
One of the main focuses of the arts sector (indeed most sectors) is diversity. It is rammed down our throats at meetings and conferences, in policy documents and in funding guidelines, but I question the true meaning of the diversity being preached. I expect we can all reel off facts, anecdotes and statistics about how we need to represent the population in everything we do, and how more diverse workforces perform better financially, but how much do we actually think about what this means? How much do we in the arts sector care?