We believe that craft skills and knowledge enrich and uplift us as individuals, and, in doing so, will change our world for the better. Diversity of all kinds enriches creative practice and we recognise the moral, economic, and social reasons to make diversity, inclusion and equality central to our work.
Our ambition is to achieve greater equality across our work with a focus on race, disability, and socio-economic background through testing new ways of working, building partnerships with new groups and individuals, and improved recruitment and training of our staff.
In June 2020 we held a meeting to discuss how we tackle racism and inequality in the craft sector where we share the below commitments. We will regularly provide updates on these Crafts Council commitments to diversity and inclusion. Read our June 2021 update here.
Since then we have held two further meetings with those who expressed interest in continuing to be involved in this work and specifically the proposal to create a branch of the Crafts Council for people of colour. These meetings have been facilitated by Inc Arts. We now have a Global Majority Branch - a network of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse makers, craft businesses and professionals.
Crafts Council commitments to diversity and inclusion
Embed intersectional anti-racism across all Crafts Council activity and make it a key driver for informing and shaping the programmes
We acknowledge that our history, and the craft we have promoted, has reinforced white dominance in all our activities. We recognise that we exercise power and are the gatekeepers of craft. We will give space to others to take control. We will use our assets and position to enable this to happen – money, assets, programme, influence, audiences.
- Ringfence regular slots in the gallery programme, for Black, Asian and ethnically diverse groups to create content. Form long-term partnerships with organisations led by Black, Asian and ethnically diverse curators and leaders.
- Develop a rolling programmer of monthly social media takeovers by Black, Asian and ethnically diverse, curators, craft organisations and makers.
- Prioritise work by Black, Asian and ethnically diverse makers’ acquisitions to the Crafts Council Collection in the next two years to rebalance the current overrepresentation of White makers.
- Create professional development opportunities for emerging curators with an emphasis on diversity of voices.
- Use the evidence from our Market for Craft research report to inform our strategic approach to increasing the diversity of the buying audiences for all craft businesses, including those at Collect.
- Evaluate our approach to participation work, developing a framework that prioritises anti-racism and is based on the principles of co-creation and sharing agency with communities. This will inform the relationships we develop as we open the Crafts Council Gallery.
We will improve how everyone can participate and engage with craft addressing the barriers facing Black, Asian and ethnically diverse groups
We recognise that we must take proactive steps to ensure all feel confident and able to engage with the Crafts Council. We will increase representation of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse people in our work.
- Work with our 2020 Clore Fellow to increase the diversity of makers represented on the Crafts Council Directory.
- Seek more Black, Asian and ethnically diverse contributors to the magazine in 2020.
- Continue to increase the proportion of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse makers taking part in our Talent Development programmes.
- Support and facilitate conversations around racism in the arts and higher education sector and decolonising the craft curriculum across educational phases.
- Work with a young person to develop a youth-led response to the Black Lives Matter agenda that will shape a long-term anti-racist strategy within our Young Craft Citizens.
We will resource, monitor and evaluate our actions to ensure we are making a difference
We commit to continuing to educate ourselves, and ring-fence time and resources for every team member to educate themselves on social justice and racism; and ensure that we have the internal resources and systems to support this work.
- Recruit at least two additional diverse Trustees to the Board.
- Review the pool of freelancers we regularly work with to make this more representative and continue to review our recruitment processes.
- Strengthen our Whistleblowing and Complaints procedures to manage the anonymous reporting of prejudicial behaviour.
- Review where we can create work opportunities; job shadowing; internships and work experience specifically for individuals from under-represented groups.
- Publish an annual report outlining our achievements and actions for the coming year with a six-month update.
- Ensure our staff complete mandatory unconscious bias training when they join and continue regular updates for all staff.
We will provide leadership to the sector sharing best practice and continued learning around issues of anti-racism and inequality in craft
We recognise our responsibility to take a greater stand in challenging ourselves and the craft sector to promote anti-racism through our organisations and programmes.
- Provide an ongoing forum and platform for conversations about anti-racism in craft via our channels. This will include a commitment to promoting, sharing and amplifying the work of others.
- Use our seat at tables external networks we attend, to challenge current practice and promote an anti-racist agenda within the sector.
- Work with Craft UK our network of craft organisations across the country to commit to a diversity and inclusion charter in 2020.
- Continue to work with Dr Karen Patel (Birmingham City University) and Nicola Dillon (Kingston University) on their research and identify actions CC can take.
Read our June 2021 update on the above commitments here
Read our December 2020 update on the above commitments here