What next for the Creative Case for Diversity?

By Amanda Rigali on

Sarah Bird Profile 2

Sarah Bird was Arts Fundraising Fellow for New Writing North.  Sarah helped to raise funds from Trusts & Foundations and individual donors, carrying out in-depth research into new funding prospects.

2016 marks the fifth birthday of Arts Council England’s Creative Case for Diversity. It was first launched in September 2011, born from the 2010 Equality Act that made the moral case for diversity. ACE was then making the creative case for diversity and how it is the pinnacle of their mission, “Great art and culture for everyone”.

In 2011 the creative case was focusing on representation, recognition, and the framework of it’s future. During 2015-16 the focus is on the aspirations for the creative case and what our learning from the past five years has taught us. In 2016-17 the focus will be on the accountability of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) with their achievements of Creative Case work cialis vente suisse. Looking at how the NPOs represents diversity and the make up of society is always key, but is particularly prevalent with the recent Elevate fund which looks towards the scope of potential future NPOs in how they are addressing the creative case.

Elevate is a great new strategic fund (and one of the four new ACE strands to support the creative case) to shape the future cultural landscape in England through exclusively supporting non-NPOs with a focus on equality for BAME and disabled people. The first stage of applications has come and gone, and ACE is inviting those who are successful to submit a full proposal on Monday 8th February with the deadline for those applications Thursday 7th April 5pm. In terms of arts fundraising and philanthropy there is a focus “to encourage a culture of collaborative working and partnership development that strengthens resilience through developing new sources of contributed and earned income” within Elevate.

Fundamentally, current funds and future investment aside, Creative Case makes the sector such a richer and better place to work in and to support. Official partnerships may arise, but the broader way of working together in the current climate is still particularly effective. The internet has assisted in developing these relationships through exchanging ideas over twitter via #CreativeCase, and mobilizing many What Next? groups meeting around the country. At a recent What Next? Newcastle Gateshead meeting, Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh, Artistic Director of Zendeh, said, “the Creative Case should be like letters through a stick of rock, touching everything we do.” It’s through touching everything you do that then makes it truly achieve “great art and culture for everyone.” These adjustments need to touch your front of and back of house, from whom you are programming to who does the programming.


Nazli, Artistic Director of Zendeh: “the Creative Case for Diversity should be like letters through a stick of rock, touching everything we do.”

When thinking about fundraising and the Creative Case, arts organisations absolutely have to work in partnership. On a funding level, it is such a competitive climate right now, with so many organisations competing for the same funding; it plays in your favour to work with what may have been the ‘opposition’ previously. Working in the creative sector, it is also important to keep ideas fresh, innovative and current through sharing resources. In regards to resilience, partnerships allow organisations to broaden their network, audiences and datasets, unfolding potential relationships with future donors.

Even though we are all making great strides forward, there are many challenges that still remain – some smaller (how do we develop dynamic and sensitive new ways to record and track data to report on the impact of Creative Case?) and some much larger (what is the overall vision for the future of Creative Case, and how can it avoid becoming too vague or laissez-fare?). The conversation and developments still steam forward through twitter and many What Next? groups across the country.

We’d love to hear examples of Creative Case in practice. Where do you think the best practice is?

Posted by Amanda Rigali

Amanda is Director of Strategic Development at Cause4, and Head of the Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy Programme. As well as running the Programme, Amanda runs fundraising training sessions for cultural professionals across England and offers intensive strategy support to a range of charities.

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