Inclusion

We believe it is in the nature of the arts to hold up a critical mirror to society, and to break down barriers between its different groups. But is our sector fully reflective of the communities we live in?  

This debate is about the urgency to open up the arts to all of society - to all the classes, ethnicities, physical abilities, and backgrounds that constitute it.

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The plaza in front of the one of the festival theatres. Nitra, Slovakia.
While I grew up during the fall of the Soviet Union, it’s important to acknowledge that Western anti-communist propaganda and the lingering effects of the Cold War kept me distanced from any realistic notion of life and culture in Eastern Europe.
© Vincent Chartier
“If we take diversity seriously, especially as a basis for creativity, it means that there’s no single rule or approach – particularly an approach inherited from the past – that works best for all leaders and organisations. Our best solution is to create a flexible platform that honours diversity by attracting and growing different mixes of talent as we face new and different challenges.”
Poster of When Swallows Cry, play by Mike Van Graan
"To be a writer does not require race essentialism and/or racial solidarity; it requires human empathy."
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in the United States, in partnership with the National Arts and Disability Center (NADC) and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), held an online conversation with three hundred and ninety registrants representing artists, arts administrators, arts organizations, arts educators, arts employers, and disability organizations about how to increase the career preparation and employment of people with disabilities in the arts. This report summarises the main findings.
Chantal DeGroat and Maureen Porter in Tanya Barfield's Bright Half Life. Photo by David Kinder. From HowlRound
Some practical notes on what Profile Theatre company (Portland, Oregon) learned since spring of 2015, when it launched a three-year Diversity and Inclusion Initiative to produce work exclusively by women and writers of color starting the following season.
Unlimited Artist Day 2016. Photo Credit Rachel Cherry. From Unlimited website
Unlimited’s Senior Producer Jo Verrent speaks at Evolve, a symposium looking at the use of identity and labels within the arts. Here, she gives her personal and professional take on language, disability and labels, exploring if ‘disability’ is seen as a dirty word…
Diversity is the in-vogue theme for the cultural industry, becoming an exercise in ill-thought-out, quick responses to stage diversity rather than as an opportunity to re-imagine the entire sector. It has become painfully obvious that the sector’s increasing self-awareness and subsequent panic, has caused a scramble towards superficial diversity, rather than an opportunity to dismantle the frameworks that created the systemic exclusion to begin with.
The aim of this research is to provide a general overview of innovative policy measures and case studies in the field of arts and disability in the 2 regions. The focus generally lies on stated aims and activities of existing legislation, policies and programmes, with information about their actual results and effectiveness presented only where this was easily accessible.
No one would argue that gay men and women continue to face the kind of discrimination they did back in 1968, when Mart Crowley’s “The Boys in the Band” cracked open the closet door onstage, shining a stark light on what was then a topic rarely explored in popular culture
The objective of this session at IETM Valencia was to discuss the role of diversity, equity and inclusion in the performing arts today. Rather than providing final answers, the session aimed at exploring the key questions and identifying central themes.

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