Listening, Reflecting and Learning – Our Commitment

We have been taking some time to think about the events that have been happening in the UK and US following the killing of George Floyd in the US, in a way that is meaningful and practical for our team, consortium, participants, artists, partners and supporters.

The sad events that have unfolded over recent weeks have led us to a period of thought and reflection and we felt it was important to be clear about our values.

We will not tolerate any form of racism, harassment or victimisation and stand in solidarity with those who face any kind of discrimination.

As an arts project we are proud to work with a diverse range of participants, audiences and artists, and we aim to create a culture of diversity and inclusion in all of our programmes.

We hope everyone who engages with any element of our programme feels welcome, valued and safe.

On a practical programme level there are things we are doing.

Our project demographic data outlined below is from phase two (2017-2020), we have included three programme elements here – our workshop programme, Go and See’s and large-scale events.

Workshop participants:

Gender, ethnicity and age Percentage
Male 20%
Female 80%
Disability 21%
Ethnic minorities 5%
Under 25 years 7%
25-44 years 10%
45 – 64 years 58%
Aged 65 years + 25%

Go and See participants:

Demographic Percentage
Male 29%
Female 71%
Disability 24%
Ethnic minorities 2%
Under 25 years 25%
25-44 years 18%
45 – 64 years 32%
Aged 65 years + 25%
From Sunderland 27%
From South Tyneside 25%
Outside area 4%
Unknown residential location 44%

 Large Scale event audiences:

Demographic data %
Female 65%
Male 35%
White British 96%
Ethnic minorities 3%
Prefer not to say 1%
Disability 11%
Under 16 years 18%
16-24 years 4%
25-34 years 10%
35-44 years 23%
45 – 54 years 15%
55-64 years 9%
65 years + 21%

 We also know that 11% of Your Art projects were led by diverse groups and organisations.

We need to do more to appeal to Black Asian and Minority Ethnic people, men, children and young people. We also recognise this work is both intercultural and intersectional and is likely to include more than one partner.

We have four consortium partners, the University of Sunderland, Sunderland Music Arts & Culture (MAC) Trust, Sangini and The Customs House. Each consortium member has two places on our steering group. All partners, and Sangini in particular, have been helpful in developing our thinking, challenging us and holding us to account. We are always learning from others.

In our new phase – 2020-2023 we have the following plans in place:

During this phase we want to have more diverse voices across our programme.

This will include:

  • Developing our understanding about how different groups of people want to interact with our programme and what access requirements we should be putting in place to ensure that everyone who wants to engage with us can – no matter what area of our programme
  • Thinking about ways our briefs can be more widely shared to encourage more diverse artists to apply to our opportunities
  • Equality and Diversity as an agenda item on every steering group agenda and focusing on how we are changing and developing projects that engage more people from diverse groups
  • Testing out approaches to engage more people identified as not engaging in our work
  • The recruitment of young people to our steering group, in a meaningful and not tokenistic way, could it be a development opportunity for a young person at the early stages of their career?
  • A commitment to including a range of voices and diversity in our decision making panels
  • Thinking about any Cultural Spring team job vacancies and how we reach out to people from diverse backgrounds and how our recruitment procedures can be strengthened in this area

We are committed to combating discrimination on the basis of the nine protected characteristics covered by The Equality Act 2010;

  1. Race and Ethnicity
  2. Disability
  3. Sex
  4. Gender Reassignment
  5. Age
  6. Sexual Orientation
  7. Religion and Belief
  8. Pregnancy and Maternity
  9. Marriage and Civil Partnership

We are already challenging ourselves by examining our policies, our contracts, the ways in which our meetings are held and our behaviours to see where we can improve.

We know there are real challenges and these problems are often deep-rooted. But to stay silent and do nothing is to be complicit. We will be part of the solution.

For any further information about our work on equality and diversity please contact – Emma Horsman or Emma Scarr