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Unlocking all our creativity

Cultural Cites Enquiry signposts new ways forward for cultural talent

​The Cultural Cities Enquiry (CCE) strongly advocates for diversity in the cultural sector. For culture to release the potential of all people in our cities, the cultural workforce should better reflect the diversity of our communities, and cities could be more strategic about nurturing talent for creative industries.

Greater coordination at city level can drive coordinated development programmes for creative talent. “We have,” as Marcus Davey of the Roundhouse told the Enquiry, “a great opportunity to release a huge reservoir of potential and ideas through being strategic about including all people in our work forces.”

Diversity fuels creativity. However, in England, in comparison with the whole working age population, people from a BAME background and disabled people are under-represented across the arts and culture workforce, with women underrepresented in certain leadership roles.

The Enquiry makes recommendations for improving upon this:

  • Cultural organisations should set self-determined targets for diversity of their leadership teams and boards, within the context of local demographics and their artistic mission. They should publish these ambitions as well as annual progress towards them
  • City Compacts should prioritise diversity within the cultural sector and the relevance of cultural offerings to diverse audiences within their business plans. They should monitor progress, providing support and challenge to cultural organisations
  • Arts councils and other funders can support this by collecting and disseminating relevant data on diversity, sharing best practice. They should also make funding for core funded organisations conditional on commitment and progress towards greater diversity
  • Compacts should prioritise the development of creative talent pathways within business plans. They should support the development of city-wide creative skills strategies, bringing together the cultural sector, education and business partners. Creative talent development agencies could include an Apprenticeship Training Association to run cultural and creative apprenticeship programmes across the city
  • Governments can support this process by enabling more flexible use of Apprenticeship Levies, and structuring apprenticeships for the creative industries.

BOP was a member of the CCE’s working group as well as acting as key research partner.

Full report here.

This is the second of a series of blogs related to findings of the CCE report. Our other blogs looked at the themes of leadership, investment, and place.

- Jonathan Todd, Chief Economist