Artswork hosts diversity & inclusion workshop for South East CEPs

Date Created: 8th Jun 2021

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Artswork recently hosted a diversity and inclusivity workshop for South East Cultural Education Partnerships (CEPs). The online session saw almost 50 delegates in attendance, with members of CEPs stretching from Southampton, to East Kent, to Milton Keynes.

This event was the third in a series of online workshops developed by Artswork for CEPs, covering a range of topics relevant to their work.

The guest speakers for this workshop were Euton Daley MBE, and Elizabeth Howard from Arts & Heritage Alliance MK (AHA-MK), the lead organisation for Milton Keynes’ CEP (MAKE).

Euton Daley MBE has the lived experience of a black playwright, author and artist working in Britain and he has been a long-time advocate and supporter of CEPs and supporting young people’s engagement with arts and culture.

He has spent 40 years working in the arts – as a performer, writer, director, producer and venue manager. He was CEO of Pegasus Theatre for 23 years and has been a community arts youth worker and arts assessor for Arts Council England. More recently he was Arts Development Officer for Oxford City Council and Oxford City CEP’s lead. His primary focus over those 40 years has been in community development using the arts and in supporting young and emerging artists.

Elizabeth Howard is the programme manager for AHA-MK and for MAKE. Previously she has worked in theatres as a creative producer, performance maker and director. AHA-MK have been engaged in a piece of research for Milton Keynes Council looking at how well diverse communities in Milton Keynes engage with arts and culture.

Euton’s presentation, looking at inclusion from a race perspective, included clips from an interview with boxing legend and activist, Muhammad Ali, detailing how ‘everything is white’, and writer George Monbiot detailing how everything we are taught about the British Empire is a lie, and Bob Marley’s song, War, which takes words from Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie’s 1963 address to the United Nations. These three videos go a long way in showing how the world is still very much institutionally racist.

Euton’s talk also included statistics from recent reports and studies around discrimination and inequality in the UK, with quotes from Ben Okri, Angela Davis and Rosa Parks.

Elizabeth spoke of the ongoing work at AHA-MK around the state of inclusivity in arts and cultural organisations in the Milton Keynes area. Their findings indicate that the sector doesn’t adequately communicate with diverse communities, which makes them feel like they have a lack of belonging in the sector and are not represented.

MAKE have updated their strategy to have an emphasis on inclusion, and have created a story of change, which Elizabeth included in the presentation. One of their targets is to create a young cultural ambassadors’ group, so they can understand the issues and things that are important to diverse young people in their area.

Talking about the event, Artswork’s Ruth Taylor (Strategic Manager for Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes) said

“As part of Artswork’s support for CEPs in the South East, we consulted CEPs on their needs and one of the areas coming out of the consultation was around diversity and inclusion.

We had over 40 CEP members join the Zoom diversity and inclusion workshop with good engagement from participants.

My hope, from this workshop, is that CEPs will have a better understanding of issues around race and how they can work with all communities in their localities to be inclusive and to enable all children and young people to take part in arts and culture.”

View the PowerPoint presentations from the workshop, and further resources here.

The next workshop for South East CEPs is on Thursday 8th July and focuses on school engagement and Artsmark. View more details here.

Tags:

Cultural Education Partnerships Diversity Inclusivity

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