EQUAL RIGHTS organisations in the UK have announced a landmark research commission into racial inequality in the art and music sector in the UK.
The Runnymede Trust, a race equality thinktank, and the Freelands Foundation have formed a partnership to deliver the first major commission into how black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students are excluded from art and education.
The group Black Lives in Music are also part of tackling racial inequality in the music industry.
These leading equal rights groups aim for the study to incite structural change in the sector where black and minority ethnic representation stands at only 2.7%.
In 2017, the Department for Education found that UK schoolchildren – 31% of whom where categorised as coming from an ethnic minority background – had their first introduction into the arts sector by teachers who were 94% white.
This research programme is expected to run across two years to decipher whether young BAME people see themselves reflected in the art and music industry, and how this impacts their engagement.
It will further analyse art education in secondary schools and racial inequality among students, teachers and the curriculum.
The review is set to be published in the autumn next year and will detail the progression of black and minority ethnic artists, curators and leaders.
Speaking to The Guardian about the research project, Dr Halima Begum, the director of the Runnymede Trust, said: “Our school students are a blank canvas. It is imperative they are able to see and appreciate diversity in art. With representation comes inspiration, and I have no doubt that this project, led by Freelands Foundation and Runnymede Trust, will lend important data and evidence to the thus far sparse study of equity and inclusion in the UK art sector.”