An Update on Diversity and Equality

Sydenham Arts is committed to promoting community cohesion and improving access to, and equality and diversity throughout, the arts and cultural sector. As an organisation based in an area of such rich and diverse cultural and ethnic heritage and experience, we have been, and always will be, determined to be pro-active in ensuring the ways we work are anti-discriminatory and help promote equality and diversity in the wider community and for people of all protected characteristics*.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the response of the arts to the urgency of Black Lives Matter have prompted us to consider how we engage with and support our community, and what we can do better. We know that actions speak louder than words – this is why we are committing the time, energy and resources to work towards further strategic and physical change within our organisation, so that we are in a strong position to tackle these challenges now and in the future.

What we are already doing:
– Seeking to recruit new members to our Board of Trustees, to ensure the Board reflects more closely our community and beneficiaries of our work.
– Keeping our policies, procedures, and practices under review to ensure all aspects of our work, including recruitment, our work with collaborators, artists, practitioners and our audiences are equitable and do not favour people from any background or characteristic over another.
– Giving special emphasis to running projects and programmes which respond to equality and diversity injustices and provide opportunities for disadvantaged or under-represented groups.
– Improving accessibility across programmes.

Our Ambition now is to:
– Increase the diversity of our non-executive leadership to reflect our community, with the ambition that by 2023 at least 40% of Board members will be BAME
– Increase the number of applicants for new roles/vacancies from people who are BAME, Disabled, LGBTQ+ and with other protected characteristics.
– Promote and maintain greater participation from diverse audiences which are better reflective of our local community.
– Encourage community engagement in the planning and development of some aspects of our artistic programming (e.g. through collaborative projects with young people, disabled audiences etc)
– Implement further measures to monitor and maintain balance in our workforce, volunteer and artist representation.

*Protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 are age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity