Black Lives Matter: Our Commitment

28 May 2021

In response to Black Lives Matter, we have started to embed equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging (EDIB) thinking and action across all our work.

Here’s an update of the things that we have done in the past 12 months and will be doing:

Programming

We have strengthened our commitment to programming Black artists.

In June, we will launch our first podcast series, Apples and Snakes: The Podcast, which focuses on Black British Poets. This will be an ongoing series with 2 seasons of 10 episodes per year.

Governance

We have appointed new trustees to ensure greater diversity of representation, lived experience and expertise, as well as appointing a new young people’s representative to the board.

Leadership

We have launched a new leadership scheme by creating a fixed term Consulting Artistic Associate role, at senior level to influence strategy and decision making and have appointed Zena Edwards as our first Consulting Artistic Associate.

We plan to introduce more artists to leadership level roles through this scheme, over the coming years.

Pathways

We are looking at how we can create more pathways into the arts for racially, ethnically and culturally diverse producers through the creation of an Assistant/Trainee Producer Programme which will give opportunities throughout the year.

Communication

We will no longer be using the acronym ‘BAME’.

Rather, we will describe members of our community/audience as ‘racially, ethnically and culturally diverse’.

When communicating with artists, funders, and the public, if we refer to anyone’s colour and ethnicity, we will refer to everyone’s colour and ethnicity. e.g., Black British, white British, white Polish, Black Ugandan.

Staff

The whole Apples and Snakes team has committed to a monthly facilitated EDIB session to ensure we embed this work and implement real action.

 

We know we are only at the beginning of this journey.

We know it’s going to be hard work, and we know we won’t always get it right….

But we’re learning a lot and we’re getting more comfortable with being uncomfortable

And most importantly, we believe that collectively, we can affect real and positive change.

 

8 June 2020

In the fight against systemic racism and inequality we know we need to do more.

From this point we commit to being more ambitious, ensuring that we create greater impact through our work.

We are at the beginning, but our commitment over the coming months will embrace the following: recruitment, programming and commissioning, leadership and governance, as well as how we can influence the wider sector and advocate for change. We will be actively seeking to commission conversation and input to help us shape these plans.

It will take time but we are making this commitment now and publicly.

We will continue to champion, share and celebrate work from the incredible Black spoken word artists and partners that we work with but our aim is to go much further and to do whatever we can to forge real and lasting change.

This is only the beginning…

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