Equality and Human Rights are important to most of us working in the Arts, Screen and Creative Industries in Scotland. For some it’s the reason we chose to work in the sector – for others it’s a part of our lives as citizens. What we share is an overriding passion for our work, and never have enough time and resources to focus on that, so, when yet another layer of reporting and planning comes along we let out a collective groan.
This time funding bodies have no choice – if they carry out public functions they have a legal duty under the Human Rights Act 1998 to act compatibly with human rights law, and a listed public body, such as Creative Scotland, has to meet the public sector equality duties under the Equality Act 2010. They report to the Scottish Government, which has its own legal responsibilities and obligations, which the current administration embraces. So if we choose to take public subsidy we must provide the information public bodies need to evidence compliance.
The legislation goes further – we can no longer report the assumption that what we are already do takes into account human rights and equalities, we are required to evidence that what we are doing, and planning to do, is proactively delivering on our Equality and Human Rights responsibilities at the level of governance, policy and decision making. Which is why an Equality & Diversity Action Plan is the best way forward.
I’m a working Director, Producer and Writer for Film and Theatre, once an actor, stage manager, teacher and drama therapist. I’ve worked in mainstream producing theatres, with small scale touring companies and voluntary community arts organisations. I’ve directed feature films and made documentaries. I’ve programmed venues and festivals, been responsible for audience development and for marketing a high profile theatre company. I also happen to be a trained Insights® consultant, most importantly I have a passion for making Equalities and Diversity a reality.
For the last eighteen years Equality & Diversity has been at the heart of my artistic, as well as, managerial practice. I spent time working out very practical ways to make film and theatre inclusive and accessible. I understand the requirements of the legislation, the responsibilities of the funding bodies and have a thorough working understanding of the nature of our business. Importantly I understand the possibilities and empathise with the difficulties but have practical experience of finding ways to overcome barriers.
Please contact me if you would like to discuss the kind of process that would be most appropriate for your organisation.