PACT RESOURCES

ANTI-RACISM AND THE ARTS: a PACT PIONEER EXERCISE BOOK 

 

This exercise book is aimed at those in a ‘leadership’ role – both paid and unpaid within the Arts. You might be a leader in an organisation, or you might be an individual artist who wants to think about your engagement with others on projects that you lead or with communities that you collaborate with. We have included a range of exercises in the book that respond to these different types of leadership role in the sector.


In this exercise book we share some of the key concepts and practices that the PACT Pioneer learning cohort explored through the programme. The book invites you to reflect on these ideas in the context of your own practice too. The programme recognised that if leaders are to use power well in their organisations, in their work as individual artists, they need to first reflect on their own personal relationship to ‘power’. The programme focused specifically on progressing anti-racist goals of participants, whilst recognising that the sector faces many other inequality challenges too.

 

Download the Anti-racism and the Arts Exercise Book here.

 

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Power

There is an increasing expectation that leaders will help to create places where diversity can flourish and is valued and not environments where people are marginalised and feel psychologically unsafe. Younger generations especially are demanding more from workplaces in this regard. If the arts sector is to continue to be a place where our diverse society wants to work and develop, then we will need to ensure that we are adapting to these new expectations.

The guide will give you an opportunity to: 

  • describe different types of power

  • recognise your own power and privilege

  • explore the impact of power on yourself and others

  • understand different approaches to using your power effectively to promote equity and social justice

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accountability 

Initiatives like ‘More than a Moment’ in the West Midlands have sought to ensure that there is greater public accountability for progress on racial equity and that those working in the Arts are ‘walking the walk’ as well as ‘talking the talk’. Yet how, in practical terms, can leaders improve their accountability to the communities that they work with and for?

The guide will give you an opportunity to:

  • understand how power shapes who you are accountable to and how you are held to account

  • explore which aspects of your practice you feel most comfortable getting feedback on and learning about

  • imagine different approaches to accountability based on your mission and purpose

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connection 

The Arts play a critical role in bridging the divide between different communities. But, at times, the same divides that the Arts seek to address in wider society (along lines of class, race, geography, disability, age and so on) show up in the relationships between colleagues, artists and wider communities.

The guide will give you an opportunity to:

  • understand how ‘race’ is socially constructed and the role of anti-racism in addressing it

  • explore your own racial positioning and how this affects your connections with others

  • understand how to engage effectively with diversity and conflict in order to promote inclusion

 

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TRUST

Artistic communities succeed when people trust each other to create and improve their lives and the life of those around them. During the pandemic, those working in the arts have had to think creatively about how to build and sustain that trust with communities. We cannot take trust for granted. Some parts of the arts sector are seen as distant from their partners or their local communities. Though they may aim to collaborate, they struggle to share power and resources with artists and communities who face discrimination. Building trust requires leaders to act on what they say they will do.

The guide will give you an opportunity to:

  • identify areas of personal development and growth that would help you to build trust and achieve your anti-racist goals in your work

  • explore strategies for identifying and disrupting beliefs and behaviours that perpetuate racism in your work

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