Equality and Diversity Policy

2013 - 14 Equalities and Diversity Action Plan 
Updated June 2013


Equality and Diversity recognises that all individuals are different and should be treated fairly and equally in accordance with their needs.  Equality and Diversity looks particularly at race, ethnicity, gender, sex, sexual orientation, disability, religion, faith, poverty and age and aims to ensure that no person is discriminated against or disadvantaged for their circumstances, identity and beliefs.

Camden Arts Centre is committed to a policy of diversity and equality of opportunity in its programme, employment practices and in the provision of its services.

This policy aims to:
• support equalities issues as part of the overall business plan of the organisation.
• make equalities issues visible within the organisation


A. Policy Development, Governance and Decision Making

The objectives of the charity are:
- provide an accessible venue for contemporary visual art and education in which artists, their ideas and their work are the focus of activities
- broaden the audience for contemporary visual art and engage people in the ideas, practices and issues effecting artists and their work
- promote diversity and equality of opportunity in contemporary visual art
- engage people in the creative process of making art and support people who wish to pursue a career in art
- contribute to current artistic debate and facilitate the making of work that extends contemporary art practice.

Current Provision
- Our Business Plan has specific deliverables relating to Equality and Diversity
- Each year we produce an action plan as part of this policy
- We nurture an ongoing relationship/ partnership with Shape
- Diversity issues are considered as part of the recruitment policy for Trustees
- Our arts Council diversity and equality monitoring is reviewed by staff and Board

- We would like to look at a more robust recruitment process for Board representation
- We will seek ongoing funding for an access fund for bursary places on our courses and projects

B. Programming

All our activities focus upon the core ideas of the exhibiting artists:
Exhibitions: featuring emerging artists, international artists showing for the first time in London, significant historic figures and artist-focussed group shows relevant to current debate.
Residencies: developing artists’ practice with practical support, resulting in new work and public participation
Artists Projects: involving offsite commissions and performance
Education: including talks, family activities, schools, courses and widening participation projects led by artists.

When programming we consider the importance of developing a culturally diverse audience and also work to develop a programme of supporting events with each exhibition which will work to welcome all individuals who have previously felt excluded from the venue i.e. people with disabilities, people with learning difficulties, people from low income households.

Current provision
- Continuing Get the Message, a project working with learning disabled pupils offering workshops, an exhibition, and engagement with teachers and families.
- Facilitating studio sessions and exhibition opportunities for established artists with learning disabilities.
- Offering a range of professional development opportunities for teachers, artists, and gallery and museum programmers centred on inclusive planning for learning disabled audiences.
- Continuing provision for 12 – 17 year olds working with artists to develop an interest in contemporary art and offering financial and practical support for disabled young people to access sessions.
- Developing partnerships with schools attended by families with lower incomes and higher learning and language needs.
- Creating bespoke workshops for seniors residing in our local community.
- Continuing informative Artists’ Practice Days for any artist to attend regardless of their educational and professional background.
- Continue our Insights project with Central Saint Martins that widens access to the arts and higher education for less advantaged young people.
- Keeping our concession rates on courses at half price.

- To identify a specific physical impairment that our programme can cater for more successfully and to action an enhanced access provision.
- To build a programme around the forthcoming exhibition by Kara Walker that addresses the black history content of her work and parallels the challenging nature of her work in sensitive and positive ways.
- To review access provision at all public events in accordance with the 2013 Access Audit.

C. Audience Development and Communications

The Centre’s exhibitions, education and events programmes attract local, regional and international audiences. Our marketing and PR strategies incorporate percentage targets for audiences, reflecting the make up of the borough.

The demographic of audiences for exhibitions varies from project to project while regular participants in the education and community programmes consistently reflect the diverse cultural mix of our catchment area.

These groups and individuals are targeted through community organisations, articles placed in specialist publications, mailing lists and databases and are invited to attend free taster sessions at the Centre which introduce them to the range of activities available. They are also able to meet artists and socialise with staff and other participants in the Centre’s café and garden as part of a structured programme of activity.

Our website, launched in May 2012, widens audience reach and provides easier navigation, opportunities are less hidden, and audio and video files and live streaming of events are made available.

Current provision
- Focusing on local engagement and building key relationships with individuals and groups in our locality to keep our local audiences broad.
- Undertaking outreach with local schools, community groups and individuals that feeds into other areas of our open access programmes.
- A website that is compatible with screen reader software and is visually clear and easy to navigate for people with visual impairments.
- Subtitles are added to all introductory films which are available to view on the website and in the reception.
- Selected events are streamed live in collaboration with This Is Tomorrow for audiences who cannot attend events in person.
- Collect and analyse information on audiences using Audiences London benchmarking tool. 

- To review how we communicate access to and within the Centre, on all of our online and printed publicity.
- To review our large print formats of printed publicity.
- To review visual contrast in our printed materials at the Centre.
- To improve communications around what access provisions are being made at our public events.

D. Building

Camden Arts Centre’s building is fully accessible. Building access requirements were addressed during the refurbishment of the building in 2004. In addition we conduct regular risk assessments for activity which include considerations of equality.

Current provision
- Step free access building in all areas except the upper part of the garden.
- Accessible toilet facility.
- Large lift to the upper levels.
- Hearing Loop facility in the café.

- A wider hearing loop facility in the reception and Artists Studio.
- Improvements to the visibility of information around the Centre including displays and labels.
- Improvements to furniture around the Centre for elderly and disabled visitors and others in need of mobility supports.
- Attending to the steps and surfaces at the front and rear of the Centre to improve level surfaces and visibility.
- Research and fundraise for accessible routes to the upper garden area.
- To review visual contrast of signage and spatial changes at the Centre.
- To research and fundraise for a tracker hoist and adjustable changing bed in the accessible toilet facility.
- To provide maps and signage to improve orientation opportunities for those with poor memory and spatial awareness difficulties.

E. Recruitment, Retention and Training

The Centre operates and monitors an equal opportunities recruitment policy. If looked at across the whole range of employees and freelance workers the staff team is a representative mix in terms of ethnicity and gender, however the current core staff team is not. We will continue to monitor this when we come to recruit new post holders.

All our conditions of employment seek to ensure that our policies do not discriminate in any way. We have an active volunteer programme of around 50 people, in addition to our employees and freelancers. We also offer work experience and training to students and job seekers and actively encourage young people from local schools and community groups to consider a career in the arts, through projects such as Insights and partnerships with institutions such as Central St Martin’s.

Current Provision
- We have a clear recruitment policy and process (point 6 of the staff handbook)
- We monitor and evaluate recruitment of volunteers, staff, artists and other freelancers through the ACE statistics

- Disability awareness training for staff
- Diversify recruitment adverts as part of the ambition to reach out to a particular audience
- Benchmark the diversity of our staff against a recognised standard