The Arts Foundation champions the contemporary arts, giving individual awards to artists at a breakthrough moment. We believe that giving recognition and hands-off support to artists enables them to move to new levels and has long term benefits for their practice. We believe that creative practice is integral to the wellbeing of society and a human right.
We value the encouragement of communication and interaction between artists themselves and reward artists who are thinking outside the discipline and are innovative in their practice. The Foundation prioritises art forms where we hope we can make a real difference and are responsive and open to new areas of arts practice.
Our aims for the coming years include increasing the amount awarded to those who will make a significant contribution to the arts through and increasing individual supporters of the awards through our fundraising initiatives. We strive to maintain the organisation’s purpose of giving breathing space to artists and to make each and every award life changing for the recipient.
Access and Inclusion Policy
The Arts Foundation is committed to improving inclusion and access to the support we offer to talented artists & designers. We recognise that in our society, power is not held equally and that groups and individuals have been and continue to be discriminated against on many grounds including ethnicity, gender, disability, class, socio-economic group and where they live. The Arts Foundation also recognises that where direct or indirect discrimination occurs within the organisation, it is both morally and legally unacceptable.
As the award scheme is not open access, it is even more important that we action an effective equality and diversity policy. This ensures that we consider all areas of the artistic community within the framework of the scheme setting out actions which can help its processes to be more inclusive and also ensure that it is truly a national organisation serving the interests of artists across the UK.
Policy and Action
We are currently taking the following actions for 2021-2022.
- Annually review all the participants in our awards (advisors, nominators, applicants, trustees) through the AF’s equal access and inclusion questionnaire to capture data for yearly evaluation against our targets for Black, Asian and ethnically diverse inclusion, disability, range of socio-economic groupings and non-London centric representation with the following minimum targets;
- 20% should be Black, Asian or ethnically diverse; 40% should reside outside of London & Greater London; 8% should consider themselves to have a disability.
- Ensure that all internal and public events organised by the Foundation or affiliated organisations are in accessible venues. For online events the Foundation is working towards versions for deaf audiences.
- Ensure that as well as having specific expertise in different artforms, that we will in 2021 work towards a fully representative board of trustees, with regards to age, race, gender and disability. This work will be aided by assessing the trustees audit annually and the AF’s equal access and inclusion questionnaire.
- Ensuring other organisations and individuals know we strongly support diversity and equal opportunity by including such information in our correspondence with all participants.
- Ensure that the application process is transparent, easy to navigate for all and that applicants are made aware that the Arts Foundation is able to provide help for those who may struggle to complete it. The access and inclusion questionnaire also encourages responses about how we can support and improve the application process. This feedback has been used in 2021 to streamline the application process.
- Ensure that funding is available to ensure that all trustees, ambassadors, advisors, shortlisted artists and their nominators can attend the Arts Foundation Futures Awards ceremony if need is identified so that we do not discriminate on the basis of age, disability, geographical location or financial situation.
Process, Review & Change
Much of our data related to diversity and equal opportunity will be derived from questionnaires given to our scheme participants on an annual basis. We recognise that it’s a learning process but we are committed to annually evaluating the data and questionnaire format and changing policy based on our findings.
As a responsible funder we are committed to developing more-sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices across all our work. Our approach has been influenced by the following: Charities and Environmental Responsibility / Charity Commission and Sustaining Great Art and Culture report by ACE and Julie’s Bicycle.
Our charity is committed to the following:
- Reducing, reusing and recycling materials and consumables whenever possible and using suppliers who hold and actively pursue their own environmental policies.
- Ensuring the office is located at a premises where there is a sound sustainable policy.
- Making more use of digital platforms where possible for meetings to reduce travel costs and carbon emissions
- All applications for the 2021 Awards were online, thereby reducing paper usage and waste.
- Informing our design-based nominators to consider our support of sustainable practices.
- Moving to investment funds which are both sustainable and environmentally aware.