Anti-Racism Strategy Report and Process Evaluation
This report was created in 2023 to account for the anti-racism actions taken by Artsadmin from 2019-2022, and to reflect on a period of evaluation that looked at both its successes and challenges prior to embarking on the next phase of our anti-racism journey. We hope that sharing our process will be of interest and relevance to our team, our board and the artists that we currently and may work or connect with in the future as well as partner organisations and the wider arts sector.
This work has and will frame our ongoing development of the organisation and our commitment to anti-racism and social justice in all aspects of our work. It is about conditions. We learned that the process of developing inclusive cultures and conditions means everyone must always be co-designing, learning together, taking action together, and to sustain this quality, the strategy will always continue.
Artsadmin recognises that tackling systemic oppressions is a long-term process which requires active ongoing focus across the organisation – from all the team and the board. We continue to work towards ensuring we embed an inclusive working culture internally and in all the work that Artsadmin does in the world. Through creating a strong, resilient and diverse team within an organisation which has equitable, fair and transparent practices we hope to build a more supportive context for artists who may feel marginalised and under-represented. We want artists to feel supported, inspired and proud to be connected with us and to be able to create their work in the best possible conditions.
From 2019-22, all staff members were involved with a programme of organisational training which included unconscious bias, non-violent communication and anti-racism. Out of this, three Race Resolution working groups were set up to focus on particular aspects of the organisation’s activity and involved different combinations of staff from across the entire organisation:
- Leadership and Governance
- Programming and Marketing
- Recruitment, Retention & Training
Each group surveyed activity and practices through the lens of our Anti-Racist Strategy that was drawn up in 2020 and set priorities and incremental milestones for January 2021 – June 22.
These milestones reached their culmination in June 2022. Since then, we have been evaluating the successes and challenges as a whole staff team. The resulting report articulates this in detail, setting out where we are up to at the end of this first phase and identifying some of the setbacks we faced in their achievement.
July 2022 Update
We are currently evaluating the first year of our Anti-Racism Policy and Action Plan. As there has been some staff turnover at Artsadmin since we first delivered anti-racism training from 2019-2020, we are planning further training for all staff for later this year. Following this, we will create a further set of milestones and share an evaluation of achievements to date and work to be done and action plan in early 2023.
Briefly, we can report that during this period, we have made significant achievements in increasing the representation of Black people and people of the global majority in our staff team and our Board, and across our artistic programme: 56% of our events in 2021/22 were led by or had majority participation of Black people and people of the global majority, an increase from 42% in 2020/21 and 33% in 2019/20.
However, we recognise that the work continues and we are committed to setting new milestone targets for our anti-racism strategy, which we will publish in early 2023.
Anti-racism policy and action plan – 2021-22
Artsadmin is currently a majority white organisation, which is not representative of the population of London, where we’re based. Since 2019, Artsadmin as an organisation has come to understand ‘race’ as a social construct and how racism manifests in our workplace and in the wider arts sector. We are not a majority white organisation by accident. We are aware of the part that white supremacy has played in our organisation over 40 years, but we are now committed to:
- transforming our workforce, leadership and board so that it is more representative
- creating a safe working environment for people of colour to work in
- producing work by, and supporting artists from, diverse cultural and heritage backgrounds with an understanding and acknowledgement of the difficulties and discrimination and the greater financial precarity they are more likely to have faced.
We have a lot of work to do, but we have made a start with this strategy and action plan, co-created by the whole team, staff and board, in a process involving artists and guided by external facilitators.