FRONTLINEdance performing Image © FRONTLINEdance Ltd Eleanor Babb

FRONTLINEdance performing Image © FRONTLINEdance Ltd Eleanor Babb

Arts Council England is investing £5.3 million in 40 organisations across the country to enhance diversity in the art and culture sector.

Organisations will receive funding through the Arts Council’s Elevate fund, designed to strengthen the resilience of organisations already contributing to enhancing diversity within the sector. Initially a £2.1 million fund, the level of funding has been uplifted using Lottery money due to the strength of applications received.

Elevate was developed in response to an equality analysis led by the Arts Council in 2014. It aims to help support BME and disability-led organisations in making strong applications to future Arts Council investment rounds, so that the breadth of organisations funded better reflect England’s diverse communities.

Organisations receiving funding include:

The Hip-hop Shakespeare Foundation has for the past seven years been at the forefront of the movement for a more diverse and integrated arts and culture sector. The organisation has been awarded £120,000 which will go towards developing its existing impact and implementing innovative projects for a wide a range of audiences, with a special focus on groups that are often under-represented in the sector.

Led by award winning, contemporary British dancer Aakash Odedra, Leicester Dance Theatre will use this investment of £150,000 to increase the production of South Asian dance in England. The funding will help make the company more resilient by supporting its plans for fundraising, income generation, and training. It will also help develop the company’s rehearsal studio.

Avant Garde Dance Company © Rachel Cherry

Avant Garde Dance Company © Rachel Cherry

Trans Creative theatre company in Manchester, creatively led by trans artist Kate O’Donnell, has a strong track record of delivering high quality theatre performances with the Transgender Community. The organisation has been awarded £134,528 to help them raise the visibility of marginalised trans community groups and to widen opportunities for these communities to take part in the arts.

Funding of £150,000 will support the long-term sustainability of Disability Arts Online (DAO) by increasing staff capacity, generating new revenue streams and facilitating ongoing projects. DAO will also create a new consultancy service for arts and cultural organisations, drawing on the organisation’s specialist disability and diversity expertise.

Diverse City will use their award of £139,600 to increase cultural participation of those marginalised through socio-economic disadvantage, disabling barriers, gender, age, and ethnicity. At a critical time for diversity this investment will consolidate Diverse City’s impact through setting in motion collaborations that change people and practice.

Abid Hussain, director of diversity at Arts Council England said:

“We want to ensure our investment supports and nurtures creative talent from all communities and backgrounds.  Through Elevate, we’re investing in an exciting pipeline of diverse organisations producing innovative and inclusive work that is vital to our country’s rich and vibrant arts ecology.

“Diversity is a crucial priority for the Arts Council; the increased scale of our investment through Elevate is a testament to our ambition of driving forward meaningful change.”

Further information about Elevate can be found here.