Skip to main content
Black Header

Black Lives Matter

by FACT

Share:  FacebookTwitter

The ongoing fight against racial injustice requires everyone’s support. In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, FACT will use its gallery and online platforms to amplify Black voices, use its resources to address inequity and confront racism in the sector, and strive towards a more just future.

Culture, and the galleries, museums, theatres, concert halls, cinemas and libraries that present it, is a continuous reflection of who we are as a society. It gives us the possibility to imagine who we want to become in the future. While many cultural institutions and funding bodies insist on measures of diversity, too many people in our society do not see themselves reflected, adequately or accurately, in the culture that our institutions present.

The events of the last few weeks, triggered by the brutal killing of George Floyd, have shown us that it is not enough to say that we are anti-racist. We have to do more. In our programmes, in our staffing and governance, and with our audiences and collaborators.

At FACT, we had started to take steps both in our programme and by working towards a new Equality and Diversity Policy and Action Plan. This action plan will be more than just a ‘box-ticking’ exercise but will be embedded within the culture of our organisation at every level. Since January this year, we have committed to developing this policy with our staff and Board of Trustees, running training sessions with staff on unconscious bias and how to address racism where we see it. We will share this document on our website in November 2020.

This inclusive process will allow us to continue to educate ourselves, learning from activists, stakeholders, communities and audiences, as we work together to set transparent, measurable goals. It also requires each of us in the institution to be accountable in how we challenge inequality. We are committed to fairly paying for and valuing the expertise, time and emotional labour of all those who collaborate with us in this work.

Over the coming months we will critically examine:

  • How we recruit and appoint both permanent and freelance, temporary and voluntary staff.
  • How to appoint more people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds as Trustees to increase the representation on FACT’s Board of Trustees.
  • How we can make long-lasting, sustainable commitments of time, space, institutional reputation and money to commission more Black, Asian and minority ethnic artists, curators, academics and researchers within our physical and online programmes.
  • How we support existing platforms and networks led by people of colour, to amplify their work and extend its context and reach.
  • How to ensure that we are inclusive of artists from under-represented backgrounds in our main exhibitions as well as our events and learning programmes.
  • How we can develop new opportunities for young people from marginalised groups to overcome the systemic lack of training that underpins the inequalities in the arts sector.
  • How we can use our platform and networks to effect real change in our city and the sector.
  • How we can centre ethics and equity in our choice of those suppliers who provide us with services and products.
  • How FACT can raise and discuss equality and diversity issues with Picturehouse at FACT (bought by Cineworld PLC in 2014), which operates the cinema and bar at FACT.

Only by addressing these questions will we be able to take meaningful actions that challenge existing structures and biases, and enable us to become a more representative organisation. We know that we can do more. This is the first step in a continuous process of reviewing and improving the work we do and the way that we do it. We are committed to this process and to addressing inequity within FACT and we are open to the fact that this may lead to fundamental and radical shifts in the nature of our programmes.

Nicola Triscott

CEO/Director