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.

The first goal of our mission, Great art and culture for everyone, is to ensure that excellence is thriving and celebrated in the arts, museums and libraries – we believe that only a truly diverse sector can help us achieve this. In December 2014 we announced changes to how we’ll be working with our funded organisations, and how we’ll be investing in the sector to realise the ambitions of the Creative Case.  

This work includes:

New funding

We have announced new Strategic funding programmes for 2015-18, which will work with our existing investment programmes to ensure we champion the Creative Case in the arts and culture sector. We’ll be continuing our support of Unlimited with new satellite platforms outside of London, and we’ll be looking to invest in and support new work through a new Creative Case commissioning fund. 

Examining our definitions

As a consequence of the way we defined diverse-led organisations in the past, we haven’t been able to fully nurture diversity in all our work, across all our funded organisations and their audiences.  We are now considering launching a consultation with the arts and culture sector around our definition of ‘diverse-led’, and how we can enhance our approach to also capture the contribution of diverse leaders and the work produced across organisations not defined as ‘diverse-led’

Holding our funded organisations to account 

From April 2015 Organisations will be asked to shape their artistic programme to better reflect the communities they serve.  It will also be a way of holding them to account.  Their progress on delivering the Creative Case for Diversity will be monitored and will influence their future funding settlements from Arts Council England.

As well as responding to the Creative case for diversity, funded organisations will continue to be required to produce an equality action plan addressing areas such as recruitment and retention.  We will be publishing more details on this soon.

Sharing data  

We are going to improve and widen the data we collect around diversity, and we will report in greater detail on progress with ensuring we have a truly diverse arts and culture workforce. We will do this by redeveloping how we work with our funded National portfolio organisations, how we capture data from them – and what data we ask for. From 2015/16 we will also publish workforce diversity data for individual National portfolio organisations.

Creative Case in action: case studies

A selection of case studies is also available to read. These case studies illustrate real examples of adaptive resilience, provide examples of good practice and explore some of the dilemmas and tensions inherent in embracing the Creative Case for Diversity.

The case studies include:

Read these case studies and more here

Useful Resources

Find out more about the Creative Case for Diversity 

For more information on the Equality Act 2010