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The argument for increasing diversity

This process has been useful for us. It has helped us to realise that diversity is pretty much central of what we do. Lucy Frazer, Hampshire Dance

The argument for increasing diversity

Diversity should be central to all aspects of all arts organisations – check out the basics section to find out why – but this is even more important when it comes to the programming and creative elements of the arts.

Diversity in relation to programming isn’t simply about programming work by disabled or black artist or companies, or making work ‘about’ diversity; its about opening up the creative aspects of what you do to a range of influences and perspectives. Its about using the diversity that is inherent within everyone and valuing differences between people.

If you make your own work, this may be about looking to vary the people you work with; if you programme a venue, about stretching the expectations of your audiences. Often people in the arts work with who they know, programme what they know and promote work they know. This is fine if those involved in these decisions ‘know’ a diverse range of people, artforms, artists and work. Too often, those making decisions know other people like them and this can lead to limited opportunities for those outside of the loop, and a lack of exposure for work that deserves to be seen by a wider audience.

The argument here is about increasing the stretch. No one is advocating that people programme work they haven’t seen or don’t like, or work with people they don’t know or anything like that. Its about increasing the possibilities, finding new, exciting, different approaches that you may not have considered before.