Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Eclipse Theatre Announces Findings From its Programme 'Slate: Black. Arts. World'

Article Pixel

The ‘Slate: Black. Arts. World’ movement supported over 5,000 Black, Asian and ethnically diverse artists. 

Eclipse Theatre have today published a report revealing the impact of an ambitious three-year programme supporting Black artists, and fellow artists marginalised for their race, in the North of England.

Eclipse's report 'How to plant magic beans AND build rockets to the moon...' shares and celebrates the achievements and the work of all of those involved in the company's 'Slate: Black. Arts. World' movement that supported over 5,000 Black, Asian and ethnically diverse artists.

In early consultation stages, Slate identified six key challenges facing Black, Asian and ethnically diverse artists in the North - the digital publication sets out how these challenges were faced and tackled head on.

Published in collaboration with audience data specialist Indigo Ltd., the report follows on from the company's widely referenced 2018 report 'The R Word: Risk or Racism'. Sharing findings from the sold-out national tour of 'Black Men Walking', The R Word kicked aside barriers and assumptions faced by Black artists and theatre companies when attempting to tour their work, demonstrating clearly that risk is all too often closely associated with race.

'Slate: Black. Arts. World.', the programme behind the new report, supported Black artists to work regionally, nationally and internationally, building sustainable models for careers in the independent sector. For many years Black artists, and fellow artists maginalised for their race, have been forced to operate almost entirely outside of the established cultural sector. Through Slate, Eclipse created the conditions for artists to be seen, heard and take action. Because of this programme of work, there is now a tangible legacy in the North of Black-led collaborations, productions, and future cultural leaders.

Some of the numbers made public today include the information that the programme benefitted over 5,000 Black, Asian and ethnically diverse artists and commissioned or supported the creation of over 200 new works which reached audiences of 46,000. The full report can be downloaded by visiting eclipsetheatre.org.uk.

At the time of writing the publication, the British theatre industry's future course was and is still changing daily. Under the umbrella of COVID-19, we have witnessed the murder of George Floyd in the USA. This has led to a deeper and continual exposing of systematic racism in the UK and our world. As the arts sector re-emerges and makes its tentative first steps to a "new normal", Eclipse shares this report to be used by Black, Asian and ethnically diverse-led companies and artists to make the case for funding and support for change as well as acting as a reminder to the wider sector of the work already done, the lessons learnt and a call to action now and for our all our futures.

Amanda Huxtable Artistic Director and CEO of Eclipse Theatre comments:

"One of our first tasks within the executive team was to bring this digital report home to share the learning from this ambitious three-year programme. This report is, as the title suggests, an uplifting manual for the industry written with all the hope and confidence we will all need for our collective futures.

As Eclipse moves forward, our focus remains to challenge our industry to do better in order to be better for to the many communities we belong to and serve. The dismantling of the power structures and dynamics within our industry that overtly and discreetly discriminate must be our core focus now as we look to rebuild together."

Over the last six months the Eclipse team, under the new leadership of Artistic Director/CEO Amanda Huxtable, have been working to celebrate Black artists, and fellow artists marginalised for their race, and offer support virtually via online workshops, masterclasses and by creating safe spaces for experiences, worries and aspirations to be shared.

Most recently, together in Partnership with Black Womxn in Theatre and alongside the Bush Theatre Eclipse's Chair Stella Kanu and Executive Producer Shawab Iqbal launched the #AllofUs redundancy campaign as an immediate response to support Black, Asian, ethnically diverse and migrant arts workers facing redundancy. Eclipse is committed to creating a sector that reflects our nation - and today's report seeks to equip others to do the same.

Stella Kanu, Chair of Eclipse's Board shared:

"The aftermath of Covid-19 has shown us that the role of the artist, freelance or otherwise, is the backbone of the arts and cultural sector with 86% of freelancer engaged by National Portfolio Orgs identifying As Black, Asian or ethnically diverse. The ambitions of Slate to identify and nurture independent artists in the North of England is working and will go from strength to strength with the new dynamic leadership team!"

To read the report in full, visit Eclipse's website at www.eclipsetheatre.org.uk.


Related Articles View More UK Regional Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You