Image Credit: Billy Vitch
Bluecoat has long been a place that welcomes people from all backgrounds, but in the wake of George Floyd's death and the subsequent focus on the Black Lives Matter movement, we asked ourselves whether we were doing enough to tackle racial equality within our organisation. We knew we could do more. The arts have the power to articulate difficult truths and we feel our programming therefore must be inclusive and relevant so this power can be mobilised towards fundamental change. As a publicly funded arts centre we must ensure that our own organisation is diverse and inclusive and
we must raise awareness of racism: by listening carefully, being open and then actively using our voice. As part of our civic role, we have a duty to speak out.
Race Equality Task Force
Our Race Equality Task Force was established in the Summer of 2020, and in the year that followed we developed an action plan, which you can download below, that aims to actively address inequalities within our organisation. These are focused in three priority areas:
1. Internal change
2. Supporting artists
3. Speaking out
Bluecoat has a long history of supporting Black artists and artists of colour. This article by Dr Anjalie Dalal-Clayton in the Double Negative gives a good overview of some of our historical programming: http://www.thedoublenegative.c...
We are committed to continuing this tradition of representative programming. We know that in creating opportunities for more diverse artists to practice and show their work we have a much richer programme, and when people see things relevant and reflective of their culture they are more likely to engage. A broad programming policy is vital in seeing and showing the world from a variety of perspectives. We want to explore how to centre the voice of Black experience to contribute to people’s ongoing education about social justice movements, anti-racism, and solidarity.
Working with Liverpool's cultural sector
Bluecoat has been working with colleagues across Liverpool to address inequalities within the sector. For more information on this initiative visit Arts & culture organisations working towards race equality.