ACE puts £4.6 million in diversity schemes

Projects will support touring and leadership.

Arts Council England has announced £4.6 million worth of investment through two programmes to promote diversity.

Through the Sustained Theatre progarmme £2.1 million is going to support the creation and touring of new plays by black and minority ethnic theatre makers.  Five projects will receive funding: Birmingham Repertory Theatre in partnership with Talawa Theatre, Bush Theatre, Eclipse Theatre, Tamasha Theatre and Tiata Fahodzi.

The Change Makers programme will see £2.57 million investment to target diversity among senior leaders within England’s arts and cultural organisations. The money will support 20 disabled and black and minority ethnic leaders with bursaries to undertake training placements at national portfolio organisations or major partner museums.

Those on the scheme will gain the relevant experience, knowledge skills and confidence needed to compete for artistic director, chief executive or other senior leadership posts, says ACE.  The bursaries will be awarded to:

 - Battersea Arts Centre and Jess Thom
 - Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and James Rose
 - University of Cambridge Museums and Malavika Anderson
 - Manchester City Galleries and Fareda Khan
 - Royal & Derngate and The Core at Corby Cube (Northamptonshire Arts Management Trust) and Andrew Miller

Abid Hussain, ACE director for diversity said: “It’s vital that we see diversity reflected both on and offstage, ensuring that diverse talent is given every opportunity to flourish.

Actor and writer Meera Syal said: “This is such exciting news for audiences and actors, a chance to celebrate and showcase our best talent in some of our best theatres. As actress Viola Davies said when she picked up her EMMY, ‘The only thing that separates us from other people is opportunity.’ And finally, here it is.” 

This latest investment brings the total amount ACE is investing this year through its diversity programmes to £11.8 million, compared to £8.5 million in 2015.  

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