Black Lives Matter – a Blog by the Arts Council

“Talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not” comments Arts Council CEO Darren Henley.



Written by Arts Council CEO Darren Henley, this Blog was originally published by the Arts Council on 05/06/2020.

Allow me to start this blog by being unequivocal: Black Lives Matter. Until this is shown to be true through actions as well as words, we cannot claim to be a society that values all human life equally.


That’s why I’ve written this blog post. It follows a great deal of thought, and I hope you feel that it demonstrates a commitment to listening and to learning. And to making change happen.

Arts Council Image - Seven Saints of St Pauls (Iconic Black Bristolians Project) Artist Michele Curtis

The situation in the cultural sector

I have often said that talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. Although nearly all cultural spaces are formally open to everyone, in practice they may only be accessible to a select group who have the financial, social or cultural capital to feel at home in them. Even leaving aside the economic or social arguments for greater diversity, which are compelling, this situation is unjust.

Perhaps those of us in positions of influence are guilty of not listening enough, not learning quickly enough, and not prioritising actions that could make our organisations and our sector a more inclusive place. So what do we need to do differently? There are some factors that are beyond the scope of the Arts Council’s work. Some of the structural issues facing Black and minority ethnic people cannot be addressed effectively only on a sector-by-sector basis. But where we do have agency, we are working to deliver change. I have never believed that my role at the Arts Council is about chasing short-term headlines. Instead, we act for the long-term good, making strategic decisions that deliver impact over time. Our actions need to be meaningful, measurable, purposeful – and, most importantly, they need to bring about the difference we want to see.

Read the whole article via the Arts Council Website 


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