£4.3 million awarded to strengthen resilience of diverse cultural organisations

Gal-dem, Certain Blacks, Pegasus Opera Company, Chineke! Foundation, Bernie Grant Centre Partnership just a few of the 2020 funding beneficiaries

Chineke! were one of the organisations to recieve funding

ARTS COUNCIL England has announced that it is investing £4.3 million of National Lottery funding into 45 diverse-led organisations across the country, aiming to enhance the diversity of the arts and cultural sector.

Organisations are being funded through the Arts Council’s Elevate programme, which was developed to enhance the diversity of the arts and cultural sector by strengthening the resilience of diverse-led organisations. Originally set at £3m, the budget for this round of Elevate was increased due the strength of the applications received and the long-term term strategic significance of the programme.

Successful recipients include: 

  • Artistic Directors of the Future (London), which is dedicated to increasing the number of ethnically diverse artistic leaders in mainstream theatre, has been awarded £100,000 to establish an innovative, creative and sustainable new business model that will provide the foundation for ADF to evolve its infrastructure and develop improved resources.
  • Touretteshero CIC (London), a project aimed at increasing awareness of Tourette’s Syndrome – and the alter-ego of theatre maker and comedian Jess Thom – has been awarded £100,000 to find and equip an accessible office, appoint new staff to increase capacity and develop governance that is diverse and multi-skilled.
  • Street Factory CIC (Plymouth), a hip-hop training organisation working with young and disadvantaged people, has been awarded £96,090 for Hip Hop Rising,which will help Street Factory build working relationships with, and learn from, other diverse-led arts organisations both nationally and internationally, through a series of exchanges and visits to arts and hip-hop organisations in New York, Holland and London.
  • AudioActive (Brighton), which works with young people at the meeting point of music technology and contemporary urban culture, has been awarded £90,000 for business and partnership development activities – including establishing a Centre of Excellence for the talent development of marginalised and/or under-represented artists.
  • Fallen Angels Dance Theatre (Chester), which support those in recovery from addiction to transform their lives and share their recovery journey through dance, has been awarded £76,654 to support a step-change in the company’s structure, building capacity from a project-based organisation to one with resources to support the team to capitalise on current and future opportunities.
  • Selina Thompson Ltd (Birmingham), a Black-led theatre company, has been awarded £100,000 to embark on a period of organisational development which will include increasing the size of its team and finding a dedicated space for the company to put down roots in Birmingham – allowing them to build partnerships to enhance social resilience.

This round of Elevate sought to specifically address the under-representation of people with disabilities and people from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds across the sector, and therefore 41 of the 45 organisations receiving funding are BME and/or Disability-led.

Elevate aims to increase the diversity of future Arts Council England National Portfolios, through building the capacity of diverse-led organisations to deliver their mission, develop new partnerships and increase levels of income.

Half of the 40 organisations supported by the first round of Elevate in 2016, went on to successfully join the 2018-22 Portfolio.

Abid Hussain, Director of Diversity, Arts Council England, said: “Supporting and nurturing diverse talent is a crucial priority for the Arts Council; through Elevate we are investing in an exciting pipeline of diverse organisations that make a vital contribution to the country’s cultural provision, empowering under-represented voices.

“I’m particularly pleased to note the increased scale of our Elevate funding, which demonstrates our continued ambition to create a more inclusive cultural sector which produces work relevant to people from all communities and backgrounds.”

Individual grants were available for between £75,000 and £100,000 – some organisations also received additional funds to manage personal access costs

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