- Date: 25 April 2013
- Area: North
Earlier this year, three North East-based National portfolio organisations, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, GemArts and ZENDEH introduced the eclectic programme; holding three events across the region in response to the Arts Council’s Creative Case for Diversity. The Creative Case is a re-positioning of the Arts Council's approach to diversity and equality, forming an integral part of our 10-year vision of Achieving great art for everyone.
Launched in 2011, the Creative Case is a re-imagining of the Arts Council’s approach to diversity and equality, setting out how these areas can and should enrich the arts for artists, audiences and our wider society. Rather than telling the arts sector how the Creative Case should be made, a more collaborative approach has been taken with the arts and cultural sector across the country. eclectic is the North East’s answer to this call.
At the recent events, participants examined current thinking on diversity and equality in the North East, and looked at what opportunities and challenges the arts and cultural sector faces in ensuring diversity and equality becomes and remains a central part of the work we all do.
Each event featured poet Kate Fox, who wrote and performed a new poem based on the conversations at each meeting (see video below), along with guest speakers and provocations from across the arts and cultural sector.
Video: Kate Fox poem in response to eclectic and the Creative Case
To see more videos and transcripts of Kate Fox's eclectic inspired poems, along with footage of guest speakers and provocations at the events, click here.
The eclectic events found there is a need for more ideas to be shared on the topic of diversity, that there is an appetite for a change in the way arts organisations approach diversity and also a need to celebrate and share good news and best practice.
Alison Clark-Jenkins, Regional Director, Arts Council England said: ‘The Creative Case has been one of the most important pieces of work the Arts Council has embarked on. Diversity and equality are vital for the arts to thrive in so many ways, whether we are talking about the production or the consumption of cultural experiences, and they are something we must continue to develop.
'The eclectic events have been a great way of exploring what the Creative Case means in our region – and the poems Kate Fox created alongside the events are illuminating. I look forward to see how these thoughts develop into actions across the region.’
Emma Thomas, part of the eclectic steering group and Head of Learning and Engagement at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art said: ‘From the outset, our intention for eclectic was to promote dialogue and share good practice within a supportive and open environment. The events, featuring artist provocations and Kate Fox’s poetry did a great job of sparking the discussions we needed.
'As a result of eclectic, organisations and individuals can immediately put into practise what they have experienced and learnt. Across the group, conversations are continuing, new partnerships are emerging and progress is being made; for example at BALTIC eclectic has already informed our new Business and Equality plans.’
For more information about the Creative Case, click here.