NEW ART EXCHANGE HIGHLIGHTS WAY FORWARD FOR CULTURAL DIVERSITY
30 September 2015
New Art Exchange (NAE) is proud to be included in a national report produced by the Creative Industries Federation in partnership with MOBO.
The report entitled 'Creative Diversity: The state of diversity in the UK's creative industries, and what we can do about it' explores the broad definition of diversity encompassing ethnicity, gender, disability, sexuality, age and differing socioeconomic backgrounds. It presents new research supporting the argument that the creative industries often fail to reflect the diversity of their local population. As well as promoting the social benefits, the report outlines the economic benefits of engaging diverse audiences, citing a direct correlation between diversity and financial return.
Case studies are presented from "the most forward-thinking businesses and organisations" including New Art Exchange who place their mission statement at the heart of their activity; 'to stimulate new perspectives about the value of diversity in art and society'. Correspondingly, Chief Executive at New Art Exchange, Skinder Hundal, describes the role of cultural diversity within the organisation.
NAE doesn't just recognize and respect cultural diversity, here it is valued, is at the heart of our work, and directly influences our curatorial processes and programming models including, exhibitions, festivals, performances, seminars, residencies and publications.
New Art Exchange is based in one of the most culturally diverse neighbourhoods in England, and accordingly, it is the largest space in the UK dedicated to culturally diverse contemporary visual arts. Within Hundal's feature, he stresses the importance of conducting strong audience research which influences programming through responding to social needs and interests. The organisation's success is also attributed to the culturally diverse staff base, through which varied perspectives combine and leads to a greater understanding of cultural differences.
Finally, Hundal places importance on connecting with other organisations, supporting and learning from one another. He explains:
We work to identify curators, artists and organisations that share our vision and support one another through partnerships and collaborations. In turn, we and they gather greater understanding of audiences, serving to improve programming.
New Art Exchange is proud to be a model of best practice, and is determined to continually uphold these values, responding to ever-changing challenges of representing cultural diversity.
The full article, 'Creative Diversity: The state of diversity in the UK's creative industries, and what we can do about it' is available from the Creative Industries Federation website. Published September 2015.