In 2020, our team helped launch the arts industry resource, Creative Equity Toolkit, to hundreds of Australian based Arts Professionals achieving an open rate of 55% in just one week.
‘this is a fantastic result!’
Lena Nahlous, Executive Director of Diversity Arts Australia (DARTS)
The Black Lives Matter movement is potentially the biggest global human rights movement in history. Idle energies lying dormant through the COVID-19 pandemic had a focus.
But once social posts have been shared, marches are marched and placards hoisted, what’s next? How do we put into action what we’ve learnt from this? How do we apply those strong feelings shouted in the street to our everyday lives? Cue the Creative Equity Toolkit, produced by Diversity Arts Australia in collaboration with The British Council.
A lack of diversity in the arts in Australia isn’t a new concept. Studies have consistently shown very little growth in representation despite calls for change. Diversity Arts Australia (DARTS), formed in 2001 as Kultour, have been at the forefront of actively confounding and disrupting these outdated patterns within the local creative arts industries.
The genesis of the Creative Equity Toolkit predated the #BLM movement of 2020 of course. A practical resource for creative arts practitioners is something DARTS have been quietly building in the background for some time. Aiming to provide ‘implementable, practical actions, and hundreds of links to tools and resources developed around the world’, the Creative Equity Toolkit becomes the missing link between good intentions and actions.
Launching a resource like this during a pandemic was never going to be straight forward. The iconic Sydney Opera House stepped in to provide the perfect - albeit empty - setting for the launch event. A socially distanced panel discussion helmed by DARTS founder Lena Nahlous was live-streamed to a global audience in July. On stage with her to discuss anti-racism and allyship in the arts, screen and creative sectors were creative luminaries Benjamin Law, Peter White and Mikala Tai.
“With hundreds of thousands of people around the world, and locally, raising their voices against racism, the need for critical conversations and clear calls to action is more urgent than ever”
Lena Nahlous, Diversity Arts Australia Executive Director
Supporting representation of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) artists has always been at the forefront of the DARTS wheelhouse. The StoryCasters is a Western Sydney focused project that began in 2019. It is a training and capacity building project for young CALD creatives working across filmmaking, writing, music composition and podcasting. Over the past few months, and in and out of lockdown, the participants have been collaborating with each other to put the finishing touches on their Showcase pieces, which will launch online in late 2020.
DARTS podcast series the Colour Cycle is now in its third season. Committed to exploring equity in the creative sectors, the podcast is packed with ideas, strategies and insights from leading thinkers in the arts. Season three continues to stoke the fires of debate with conversations and experiences.
We grew subscribers for the new Creative Equity Toolkit by 644 Arts Professionals with an open rate of 55% in just one week. According to Lena Hanlous, Executive Director of DARTS, ‘this is a fantastic result!’
Right message, right person, right time. Another data-driven campaign with proven results.
By Rabia Lockwood