Delivering on Diversity speech - Sir Peter Bazalgette (Chair, Arts Council England)
On the 8 December 2014 our chair gave a momentous speech during an event at Sadler's Wells signalling a ‘fundamental shift’ in the Arts Council’s approach to diversity, placing responsibility on every funded organisation to make their programme of work more reflective of the communities they serve.
During the speech, which he described as one of the most important he has given as Chair, Sir Peter said that the starting point must be the art itself: ‘Britain’s got many, many talents. And our work should reflect and engage with all our talent and communities. That’s how we will ensure work of true ambition and enduring quality’.
The speech marks the adoption of the Arts Council’s Creative Case for Diversity; an approach that sees the creative potential of diversity and equality as an opportunity to enrich the arts for artists, audiences and our wider society. We must embrace diversity genuinely to achieve our mission of Great art and culture for everyone.
The event also featured a lively debate chaired by BBC Radio 4’s frontrow host Kirsty Lang, featuring a diverse panel from across the arts and culture sector including:
- Dawn Walton, Artistic Director - Eclipse Theatre Company
- Tamara Rojo, artistic director of the English National Ballet
- Skinder Hundal, Chief Executive - New Art Exchange
- Maria Oshodi, Artistic Director and CEO – Extant
- Rufus Norris, Director Designate, National Theatre
About the Creative Case
Diversity and equality are crucial to the arts because they sustain, refresh, replenish and release the true potential of England’s artistic talent, regardless of people’s background. This underpins the Arts Council’s approach to equality and diversity in our sector: the Creative Case for Diversity.
Our investment: 2015-18
We have announced £6 million of new Strategic funding to help us realise our ambitions of the Creative Case for Diversity, and to complement our existing Strategic programmes such as Creative people and places, Grants for the arts and Strategic touring.