“Keep in touch across borders. These days there is no excuse to not see each other. Take part in what other people are doing. Because one thing you can be sure of is that someone else in the world has thought about exactly what you are thinking about. So find them.” 

Ulricha Johnson, ScenSverige

Our second panel explored solutions to supporting underrepresented voices and reducing inequality, through discussing best practices by cultural organisations leading on the diverse and inclusive representation of artists.

This talk highlighted the importance of diversity and inclusivity in the arts, with action points and insights from cultural leaders who actively programme and support artists of all backgrounds.

ACTION POINTS

  • Buy tickets to diverse work, support those initiatives, organisations and artists 

  • Request more diverse offerings from the established institutions. Make it known either behind the scenes or publicly on social media that you would like to see more of this kind of work

  • Advocate and champion new work and artists. Even if it's just a supportive tweet where you tag the company and say, “I really love this, everyone should check it out”. For small companies at the start of their careers, that is gold dust for funding applications

  • If they are programming work of the kind you would like to see more of, congratulate them, say thank you, show there is an audience and appetite for this

  • Take risks

  • Use each other. With a solid foundation and community, we can get more credibility and gravitas when we approach stakeholders, funders and art councils

  • Have the patience to involve large organisations and educate them, work with people and organisations who want to work with this actively. Be patient with them. Make them feel welcome

  • Take part in what other people are doing

  • Keep in touch across borders

  • Being a cultural leader who holds a door open

  • Be informed. In these digital times it’s a choice not to be. Use the platforms that we have to make all the progress we can

  • Don't just produce to your own taste 

  • Look at a map and look at where you aren't reaching and ask yourself how you can get there

  • Don't hold yourself up in a building. Theatre buildings in particular are intimidating to lots of people

  • Go out and meet the audience and go and influence the venue, the theatre, the people working there

  • Don’t be afraid of giving the audience something that they didn't know they wanted to see

  • Make a platform for it to happen, to make the artists get together 

  • Talk to the people in educational institutions, and encourage them to be more inclusive

  • Don't be afraid to collaborate. We're not competing with each other. We're helping each other

“This will be the new future and I think if you don't catch this wave of being inclusive and more involved, you will lose as a venue, as an artist. You have to look for the diversity.” 

Lars Werner Thomsen, Glad Teater
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PANELLISTS

Fin Kennedy is the artistic director of Tamasha theatre company. He is also an award-winning playwright whose plays have been produced in the UK and abroad, as well as an activist within the arts.

Tamasha is Britain’s foremost touring theatre company producing new plays inspired by the diversity of a globalised world. Their work places the voices of emerging and established artists from culturally diverse backgrounds centre-stage. They also have some really interesting resources and articles over on their website.

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Ulricha Johnson is the Managing Director/CEO of the national members’ organisation Swedish Performing Arts Coalition (SPAC). SPAC’s festival The Performing Arts Biennale is Sweden’s largest industry meeting, and Swedstage is an export festival to promote Swedish performing arts in the world. They are part of the International Theatre Institute (ITI), working with the European Council, the Action Committee for Artists Rights, as well as the workgroup initiated at the world congress 2017 – Proud Performing Arts LGBTQ+ Network and Workgroup. Johnson is openly gay and has been involved in bringing LGBTQ+ theatre to Stockholm Pride and other Swedish pride festivals for 12 years.  

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Lars Werner Thomsen is a theatre director and the Artistic Director of Glad Teater. Together with Jesper Michelsen, he founded Glad Teater with the aim of creating a professional base for Danish Inclusive Performing Arts with actors with disabilities. As a director, Lars has created and directed Glad Teater's performances, e.g. Your Eyes My Sight and VIVALDIS, and most recently, he has directed Pride Monologues during Copenhagen Pride 2020.

Glad Teater wishes to broaden the knowledge of Danish Inclusive Arts by performing, co-producing and touring worldwide. Their performances range from the experimental performance universe to retelling classic stories in new ways and have a special strength in the physical and visual expression.

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It can’t be a Cut the Cord event without a little glitter check. At the end of each of our panels, we had a short set from a Nordic musician/band to round off our event.

AySay is one of the sounds of the New North anno 2020. A trio who embraces the diversity of the world, travels through it and stands with it. Led by Danish/Kurdish Luna Ersahin, who expresses her curious spirit in lyrics, song and saz, the trio has created an open universe for bridge-building music. A shared platform for Middle Eastern journeys in Nordic landscapes.

Listen to Kervane here on Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/album/7GQOvIM5MnGjOjj7yF3I2r?si=K5WXnpFJSVKYt2W-60bBvQ

RESOURCES

Potato Potato (SE)

A swedish theatre company with a strong queer perspective who works towards giving underrepresentated voices space:

Website: https://www.potatopotato.se/om-oss/eng-om-oss-36583822

FB: https://www.facebook.com/PotatoPotatoScenkonst

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PotatoPotatoSWE

Insta: https://www.instagram.com/potatopotatoperformingarts/

 

Teater Manu (NO)

Teater Manu is one of the biggest sign language theatres in the Nordic countries, based in Norway:

Website: https://teatermanu.no/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/Teatermanu

Twitter: https://twitter.com/teatermanu

 

Article: Clore Leadership / Jerwood Arts

5 Tips for Socio-Economic Diversity in Workforces in the Arts:

https://www.cloreleadership.org/resources/5-tips-socio-economic-diversity-workforces-arts

 

Black Lives Matter

Lots of  important resources and toolkits:

Website: https://blacklivesmatter.com/resources/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/BlackLivesMatter/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/blklivesmatter

Insta: https://www.instagram.com/blklivesmatter/

 

Graeae

Graeae is a force for change in world-class theatre, boldly placing D/deaf and disabled actors centre stage and challenging preconceptions.

 

Graeae BEYOND: https://graeae.org/our-work/beyond/

BEYOND is designed to transform the careers of Deaf and Disabled artists, supporting new connections to artistic development opportunities, advice, training, mentoring and creative spaces within a national network of theatres.

 

BCA Heritage - Black Cultural Archives

Check out their website with events, exhibitions, news, donations etc:

 

https://linktr.ee/bcaheritage

Insta: https://www.instagram.com/bcaheritage/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bcaheritage