The pandemic has been such a seismic and catastrophic event and the slowly evolving news of its impact on the health and lives of Black Asian and ethnically diverse people has been shocking.
This has only been compounded by the murder of George Floyd. The subsequent and overwhelming outpourings of anger and despair has been profound.
It has stimulated a great deal of discussion and debate about our own actions in tackling racism and the need to acknowledge our complicity in this situation. We need to take a greater stand in challenging the craft sector as a whole to take an actively anti-racist stance and tackle sector-wide problems around racial inequality and a lack of diversity.
Craft is a force for good and we need to use it as a force for good in challenging racism and all forms of inequality. We haven’t done that in the past – at least certainly not adequately and that needs to change.
We held a Zoom session on tackling racism in the craft sector on 25 June which was attended by over 100 people and will be sharing the recording of this session shortly. We have committed to further action and will report on our progress later in the year.
We are open to conversation, so please get in touch if there is anything you would like to see or share with us as we grow as an organisation.
Finally, we are encouraging our staff members and audiences to read, educate, listen, petition and donate. Below we have compiled a list of anti-racism resources.
Diversity in the arts resources and organisations
- Design Can - Design Can is a campaign, tool and active resource platform calling for an inclusive and representative design industry.
- Inc Arts UK: diversity and inclusion in the arts - a not for profit limited company whose mission is to diversify the workforce of the creative and cultural sector.
- Deep Black - Deep Black design and deliver Creative Workshops, Creative Training & Creative Projects that explore conflict and how people learn and change. “We use non-violent communication, mediation, coaching techniques, drama and role play, visual arts and leadership skills.”
- 5 actions to make today to support BLM by Pagan-Lily Phillips
- Shades of Noir - provokes,challenges and encourages dialogue through its programme of activities on the subject of race within Art, Design and Higher Education.
- Arts Emergency - an award-winning charity that helps marginalised young people overcome barriers to participation and success in higher education and the creative and cultural industries.
- BIPOC in Fiber - a website highlighting the work of Black Indigenous and People of Colour working throughout the fiber industry. Launched in May 2020 with a database of makers, designers, writers, crafters, associated businesses and organisations working in, or with, fibre and a broad range of disciplines including crochet, weaving, hand knitting, machine knitting, textile artists and more.
- Black Cultural Archives - the national heritage centre dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain.
- Sour Lemons - Addressing diverse leadership in the creative, cultural and social sectors.
- Supporting diversity and expertise development in the contemporary craft economy - an AHRC funded UKRI/RCUK Innovation Fellowship led by Dr Karen Patel of Birmingham City University, in collaboration with Crafts Council.
Articles around Diversity in the Arts
Power and Privilege in the 20th Century Museum: Tactics for change from the Museums Association Transformers programme by Museum Association
Open letter to Culture Secretary from Black, Asian and ethnically diverse cultural leaders
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture web portal - Talking About Race
Stephen Burks on lack of diversity in design
Design Milk We stand together against racism
Support Black artists and makers
Other antiracism resources