London theaters vulnerable to Arts Council funding being misplaced to “disappointing” range targets London Night Normal



Many London theaters run the risk of losing Arts Council funding if they fail to meet the new diversity goals.

Arts Council England’s annual diversity report was released this week and shows that Almeida, Hampstead Theater and Donmar Warehouse are among the arts institutions that have been told they need to improve – or they need to lose money. The money they receive each year depends on meeting the diversity requirements.

The report focuses on the representation of four protected traits in the workplace: race, disability, gender and sexual orientation. Companies receive the rating “not fulfilled”, “fulfilled”, “strong” or “excellent”. These assessments are based on programming and who is involved in developing and running these programs, supporting future talent, and participating in initiatives to promote equality and diversity.

ACE Chairman Nicholas Serota described the results as “disappointing” and said that “this report has confirmed that the Arts Council and the organizations we invest in are still not representative of the country as a whole”.

“In the new strategy, organizations that are regularly invested by the Arts Council must set themselves goals for representation in governance, leadership, workforce, participants and audiences. Failure to meet these targets will have an impact on future funding. “

For the first time, the report shows diversity ratings for individual organizations. In London, none of the arts organizations fell into the “not met” category, but according to ACE, “met” will no longer be enough in the future.

The average BME staff employed in London’s art institutions is 15%, well below the 40% or more that make up the entire London workforce.

The results may not be surprising. Here’s where and how to make improvements.

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Why relaxed performances open the theater to everyone

The following theaters met the basics but risk losing money if they don’t improve. Individual statistics have been published for companies with more than 50 permanent employees.

The Almeida has a 67% female workforce, but a ratio of 83% white (including 4% white others) to 16% BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) employees. The information on the sexual orientation of the theater staff is not known, but only 1% are disabled (compared to the national average of 21%). The Almeida told the Standard it “welcomed the strategic imperative set by Arts Council England” adding that it had “made progress that we will continue to build on in the years to come”.

The Donmar Warehouse employs 61% women, only 13% BME and 7% disabled employees. The theater sent us this statement: “Since 2018/2019, when Arts Council England last measured this data, the Donmar’s mission has reflected our commitment to diversity on projects in 2019/2020 such as Appropriate, Teenage Dick. [BLANK] and the upcoming In the Blood, which challenges whoever can direct a production here on Donmar both on and offstage. We remain confident that with the upcoming programming, growing collaboration with schools and starting a local business, we can get stronger representation so we can get a “strong” rating by 2021. “

Soho Theater is the third of the larger companies to fall into the “fulfilled” category, with 54 percent female employees and 11 percent BME (although the race is considered unknown by 30% of the workforce) when it didn’t cannot comment on the standard.

There isn’t enough data for the Hampstead Theater, also listed in this category, as well as other art institutions like the Royal Opera House, the English National Ballet, the English National Opera, and the Serpentine Galleries.

Well done with room for improvement

Philip Vile

The Barbican and National Theaters are equal, but the number of disabled employees is both below 4%. BME employees also make up 11% of both of them.

A spokesman for the Barbican told us that “equality and inclusion are of tremendous importance to us and we are committed to making the Barbican a welcoming and inclusive place for artists, audiences, attendees and staff,” while the national with the “strong.” “Assessment But” acknowledge that there is further progress to be made, adding that “our continued focus is on ensuring that diverse talents are represented at all levels of seniority within our organization”.

There are some organizations that have BME employees that make up more than 20% of their workforce: Battersea Arts Center employs 29%, Lyric Hammersmith Theater employs 24%, and Southbank Center employs 21% of BME staff.

In all of this, it should be noted that the percentage of disabled workers is disproportionately low – a common issue in almost all institutions in the country. The Barbican spokesman said in his statement that the building had been named “London’s Best Accessible Venue” by Euan’s Guide, a charity for the disabled, and our cinemas had received the Autism Friendly Award from the National Autistic Society that the Barbican is accessible to everyone ”.

The Arcola Theater, Kiln Theater and Yard Theater also fall under the “strong” category, but do not have enough permanent staff to justify the total collapse.


There are no London theaters with an “excellent” rating. Rich Mix in Shoreditch – a mixed performance venue – is the only London performance center in this category with 39% BME employees.

The London theater looks forward to 2020