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#AllOfUs Redundancy Care Campaign Launches Today

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#AllOfUs Redundancy Care Campaign Launches Today

Today, Black Womxn in Theatre and Eclipse Theatre, in partnership with the Bush Theatre launched the ground-breaking and unprecedented #AllOfUs Redundancy Care Campaign. This new initiative will provide practical and immediate help and programmes for Black, Asian, ethnically diverse people and migrant workers facing redundancy in the arts sector.

#AllOfUs Redundancy Care Campaign is taking action to ensure the sector does not lose skilled and experienced people within the arts people within the arts. The campaign will fundraise to help those in financial crisis, suffering from anxiety and needing practical skills to go back to work. #AllOfUs will present a series of programmes starting with #HereToStay. This will be a 4-week package of practical support to help upskill and empower workers who face employment uncertainty to regain their confidence in the workplace. Recipients will get financial assistance, coaching, mentoring, masterclasses, plus CV and application guidance, delivered by a team of senior arts professionals with a wealth of experience. The programme is open to people working across all art forms: including theatre, music, dance, comedy, museums and galleries.

The global pandemic has brought the arts sector into exceptional hardship and uncertainty. During this time many venues and organisations are continuing to support communities in their civic role. The impact on the arts is immeasurable as people navigate through uncertainty and the reality of a precarious future.

The Government's £1.57bn rescue package announced to support the arts sector was released amidst venues across the country making redundancies to their workforce. Theatres in the regions such as Southampton's Nuffield Theatre announced closures and others like Royal Exchange, Norwich Theatre Royal, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Birmingham Rep, and Tobacco Factory have lost up to 30% of their staff. Plus staff losses in London at National Theatre, Southbank Centre and Royal Opera House. Many of the redundancies are weighted towards staff in public-facing and junior roles. This is further compounded by the concerning statistics that Black, Asian, ethnically diverse and migrant arts workers are most likely to be junior roles; as well as working as freelancers rather than salaried staff.

The gains in ethnic diversity over the last two decades are in danger of being lost to a brain drain during the sectors vital recovery period. The emergency injection of funding from government may not directly support those operating at every scale including non-building based organisations; those with a track record of diverse workforce development; community engagement and those that are ethnically diverse led. #AllOfUs Redundancy Care Campaign aims to address the imbalance.

It is well known that Black and Asian communities are faced with increased health risks due to Covid-19 and are now facing the stark reality that jobs within the arts and cultural sector are under fire. Despite the invaluable contributions that cultural diversity brings to the sector and without campaigns such as #AllOfUs Redundancy Care Campaign the arts will lose the wealth of talent, skills and contributions that make the British cultural sector world-class.

#AllOfUs Redundancy Care Campaign is spearheaded by key senior practitioners in the arts comprising Stella Kanu (Executive Director, London International Festival of Theatre LIFT), Shawab Iqbal (Executive Producer, Eclipse Theatre and Senior Artistic Associate, Bush Theatre), Monique Baptiste-Brown (Researcher and Head of Communication & Audience Development, Brixton House Theatre), Titilola Dawudu (Writer, Producer and Programme Manager for Young People and Youthfulness, Coventry City of Culture) and Annika Brown (Operations Director, Woolwich Works). The campaign is developed by Black Womxn in Theatre (BWiT celebrates its first year anniversary), Eclipse Theatre (under new leadership in 2020) in partnership with Bush Theatre (a venue presenting new playwrights and regularly transfers production to the West End).

The campaign has already raised £3,000 through personal donations and pledges but aims to raise £10,000 towards an initial crisis fund, with a second donation round towards the #HereToStay programme.

#AllOfUs Redundancy Care Campaign is asking people:

a-? Make a donation: Ask that all senior cultural leaders to lead by example and make a donation of £100 in the first round of fundraising. This fund will go towards providing immediate financial support to those in crisis. Any donations will be welcome.

a-? Complete the survey including the number of staff and their ethnicity made redundant in organisations; or fill in the survey and writing about yourself, your skills-set and your top three support needs.

a-? Share the #AllOfUs video on platforms to raise awareness about the challenges faced in the sector. .

· Go Fund Me page https://www.gofundme.com/f/allofus-emergency-response-fund


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