A letter to artists, audiences and partners…
Artsadmin is deeply saddened to announce the cancellation of our Bursary showcase programme in June due to the withdrawal of participating artists from the events.
The artists have concerns about support for individual staff needs and difference, and the way that we handled a transphobic incident event in February.
These events demand real and honest reflection within our organisation. We care deeply about the welfare of artists, staff and audiences we work with. Since February, we have been in regular discussion about the actions we need to take to improve levels of organisational support for people from marginalised communities, and the staff training we need to improve our understanding of difference. We are working to make Toynbee Studios a safer space for artists and audiences to engage with culture without interruption or fear of recrimination and particularly will not tolerate transphobic abuse of any kind.
We know that there is a lot to do, but we are committed to learning, challenging and educating ourselves and having difficult conversations with artists, audiences and partners about unconscious biases that may exist within our organisation, and what we need to put in place to ensure that our organisation is not just aware, but proactively working to ensure a working environment that is welcoming, inclusive and safe. We work with the artists we do, particularly the Bursary artists, because their practice pushes at social, political and artistic boundaries; we’ve always supported artists to do that, and we will continue to do so as we seek to address the problems that have caused this serious situation.
We welcome your feedback too. Please contact us via email, phone or post:
Phone: 020 7247 5102
Artsadmin, Toynbee Studios
28 Commercial Street
London, E1 6AB
Update in April 2020: Since this event, staff have co-written and created a Transitioning at Work Policy, Safer Spaces Policy and Welcome Statement, alongside undertaking training and implementing procedures that aim to create and uphold a safe place for trans and non-binary people and to support staff through transition.