For Inclusivity and Audiences Day 2019 and its associated events, we are putting a stake in the ground and recording what inclusivity and audiences means to our sector; the arts, heritage and cultural sector.
There is no key to unlocking this information. This Culturehive resource about Inclusivity and Audiences is definitely for you and your teams. The intention is to organically grow this resource; it is not meant to be a stagnant pool of information that goes stale as the years go by. The opportunity to dip and dive into this beautiful resource does require something from you, however: a code. So, let’s provide you with this code.
That’s right. Imagine that there is a code that you already have in your possession that will enable you to access and be open to this resource. Now, take your imagination and apply this to reality. The code you might apply is that of Triple A communication (as used in coaching and deep listening techniques) and in this instance means how you show up: attitude, attention and adjustments. How does the language and structural bias within the system – the arts and cultural ecosystem – encourage you to be open, understand the context, see the minute details and implement changes?
The first conference had the byline ‘Setting the Tone’ and two leaders (Raymond Bobgan and Karena Johnson) from organisations at opposite sides of ‘the pond’ identified different ways that they work to become more inclusive in their approach to audiences who are excluded or discriminated against, as defined by the 9-protected characteristics. We held up a mirror to the attitudes or set of behaviours that are changed when we include young people or displaced migrants (asylum seekers and refugees) as consultants with Jo McLeish’s and Zeddie Lawal’s provocations.
Bo Olawoye’s provocation challenged how leaving your desk, building or space to pay attention and speak with your audiences who perhaps live under resourced postcodes can result in long-lasting relationships being built and collaborative projects that are mutually beneficial. The workshops explored the adjustments that could be made by being aware of where you are now, listening to people (as demonstrated by Deaf theatre practitioner, Rinkoo Barpaga) in the room and then seeking out those who are missing in order to create balance greater inclusion.
IA DAY 2019
This year’s conference day has the byline of ‘Smashing Systems and Building Blocks’. This event will build upon the previous conference, starting with the structures and systems that currently exist.
These systems ( i.e. programming, recruitment and retention processes, policy documents, reference language, etc.) support acts that exclude voices from the table, from where decisions take place, from being seen or accepted at all hierarchies of an organisation, especially people who are discriminated against. These systems are seen as necessary or normal. IA Day 2019 will recall inclusive acts and new models and systems that lead to empathy, questioning how or when to make such changes.
IA Day Speakers will share how they as senior managers and leaders have worked or/and still work within organisations and challenge the infrastructure and systems there with new models, activities and processes that bring in, develop, engage and welcome a broader, more diverse audience. We will open ourselves up to opportunities to make one small step for those thought of as, ”not our normal type of audience” – and how to adjust to this approach with passion and confidence.
We will invite all delegates to contribute a word, thought, picture or book title to a pop-up exhibit of books they have read or heard about that looks at the social, political and historical intersections of these systems and how they effect our lives and how we behave in the arts, heritage and cultural sector. To add to our list, nominate your book on the theme of inclusion here. This list will grow and change each year, reflecting the collective, transformative conversations and work taking place.
Bea Udeh is Programme Producer at the AMA
IG @boppybea| Published:2019