Creatively minded and ethnically diverse
In this report experts and practitioners with personal and professional experience of this field explore the challenges and barriers to access to the arts for people with mental health problems from ethnically diverse backgrounds. Published by The Baring Foundation.
As a human rights funder, The Baring Foundation’s focus on Arts and Mental Health has emerged from our belief that everyone has a right to a creative life. Our goal is to strengthen the creative opportunities available for people with mental health problems in the UK.
Though this last year has seemed to be a time like no other, the events we have seen have simply highlighted the long-term structural problems in our society and how far we are from a world where access to resources and opportunities is not influenced by race and ethnicity.
Though people from all parts of the population can be affected by mental health problems, the differential impact on the diagnosis and access to treatment for racialised communities is stark. Our original research, Creatively Minded, was intended as an initial mapping study of participatory arts and mental health activity in the UK. It highlighted how few diverse-led organisations were specifically devoted to arts and health work and that ethnically diverse people were not well represented, either as service users or within the workforce of the arts and health organisations.
In this report we have attempted to deepen our enquiry, commissioning a series of thought pieces from artists and practitioners, with professional and/or personal experience of the field, who share reflections on the challenges and barriers faced by service users, workers and arts organisations in the sector. We would like to thank all of them for their contributions.
The report is not an exhaustive research of all the work that is supporting and engaging racialised communities. Instead it provides a valuable collection of thinking and insights to the broader sector, that also reaffirms our commitment to listen, learn and then take meaningful action to tackle racial justice and inequality in the work we support.
Vicki is a trustee and Chair of the Baring Foundation’s Arts Committee, and Founder and Director of circus arts charity Upswing.