Quality of Difference – Manifesto

Why it’s important? Diversity is important to release the true potential of our nation’s artistic talent, embracing difference and representing more diverse stories (a wider range of influences).

What do we want to achieve? TYA UK’s primary aim is to support and promote. We know we are not supporting and promoting diversity enough, therefore we need to do it better. Let’s do ‘diversity’ better than has been done up until now. The Manifesto is a declaration of intentions and a call to action for the TYA network.

Who is the Manifesto for? The TYA UK membership and future members.

Underpinning Values

Investing sufficiently in hearing from all voices and seeing all faces, representing all bodies and considering all minds (getting all voices heard and faces seen, different bodies and minds represented and considered)

Sharing power more effectively; thereby cultivating new leaders and leadership models

Facing up to complexity and challenge from ourselves, between ourselves and from those unlike ourselves

Leading by example

This Manifesto

is reviewed yearly

remains a living document, open to alteration and development

will be transparently documented and archived, leaving a trail for others to follow


1. Portrayal

  • Look to accurately reflect contemporary UK society on stage and in all visual & digital imagery
  • Strive for authenticity as defined by members of the 9 protected categories and acknowledging intersectionality / diversity within diversity.
  • Seek to be models of alternative power structures – to promote society not only as it is but also how we want it to be

2. Talent Identification & Training

  • Actively widen the talent pool – identifying new and alternative creative voices
  • Advertise opportunities for new talent as widely and as creatively as possible, interacting with networks we may not have interacted with previously
  • (Be knowledgeable about and) Eliminate barriers that might exclude diverse talent Commit to co-mentoring relationships based on shared artistic values – gatekeepers and artists, big and small organisations.

3. Creative Teams

  • Aim for balance across creative teams – set proportionate goals that address under-representation and embrace the benefits of doing so
  • Develop artist’s self agency and leadership skills
  • Work collaboratively across art forms making optimal use of our networks
  • Embrace an approach in which awareness, bias, and power relationships are considered, spoken about, and addressed
  • Commit to remunerating fairly in line with industry standards
  • Commit to paying consultation fees to artists from the protected categories who support projects with advice, as well as access to their networks

4. Gate-Keepers (a person who controls access to something)

  • Actively cultivate long-term relationships with diverse artists to develop shared values and understanding
  • Actively promote and demonstrate changed behaviours towards inclusivity
  • Seek to better understand ‘high quality’ through conversations with informed members of the protected categories. Be aware that quality means different things to different people
  • Use your leadership to acknowledge, understand amplify and celebrate diversity past, present and future
  • Organise opportunities in accessible locations, at different times that are convenient to all, include the use of technology so that everyone has an opportunity to engage

5. Audiences

  • Think about who audiences are and how we invite them to our spaces and events
  • Embrace and respect the needs of parents and carer’s as key gatekeepers in the lives of children & young people
  • Understand and meet the needs of diverse audiences in printed material, websites, cultural ambassadors, communication habits (how people prefer to give and receive information)
  • Make your communication inclusive and use alternate and contemporary formats – BSL/AD/Digital
  • Develop creative and inclusive data gathering and evaluation – use this to inform practice
  • Develop strategies to create a sense of ‘welcome’ for all audiences

6. Knowledge

  • Cultivate a knowledge base – artforms, artists, academia, beyond the arts
  • Share best practice within the sector and the world beyond
  • Embrace, respect, and create channels for the knowledge and experiences of young people.
  • Define key indicators as to our artistic and diversity success criteria
  • Continue to challenge our assumptions and actions

Louise Katerega & Adel Al-Salloum 2018


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