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> > > Heads Up Film Series Launches

3 June 2013

Leading Arts Professionals give their views on the Creative Case for Diversity

Head shots of eight people, six men, two women posed as if speaking to an interviewer sat to the left and behind the camera.

Heads Up, a series of films which have been produced as part of the Creative Case has been published today by Arts Council England through the Creative Case website which is managed by DAO. The 8 films feature a number of arts professionals and arts organisations who discuss their involvement with the Creative Case and what it means to them and are being released in two batches with the first four live now.  

The videos uploaded today were produced by Sarah Pickthall of Cusp Inc and Abbie Norris of Dropframe and reflect some of the interesting ways in which arts organisations have embraced the Creative Case.

Ian Ritchie, Festival Director at the City of London Festival, talks about the new frontier of composing music. The video shows Clarence Adoo, a talented musician who was disabled following an accident, who can now create music using the movement of his head thanks to a new instrument specially created for him.

Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, discusses the gallery’s recent acquisition of the Portrait of Chevalier D’Eon by Thomas Stewart, the gallery’s first portrait of a man dressed as a woman.

Alistair Spalding, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Sadler’s Wells, talks about working on a hip hop festival with Jonzi D with the aim of broadening the appeal of the venue to wider audiences.

Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh, Artistic Director of Zendeh, talks about her work as a dual nationality writer, performer and artistic director, and how she explores ideas around the Creative Case through this work.

It is hoped that these videos will stimulate discussion and debate, and encourage more arts organisations and artists to think about what the Creative Case means for them.

The Creative Care is an artist-led set of explorations and sharing of best practise that seek to release diversity from a negative or deficit thinking. It invites us all to look at diversity and equality within the arts and take a creative approach to addressing barriers to creativity, participation, learning and involvement around race, disability and gender equality, instead of simply viewing it as a legal requirement.

The Creative Case recognises that diversity is an essential part of the artistic process – sustaining, refreshing, replenishing and releasing the true potential of England’s artistic talent, regardless of background.

The Arts Council says that it recognises that there is still work to do. The sector needs to move past increasingly outmoded approaches to increasing diversity, in favour of new ways of telling, seeing and making.

Watch the Heads Up films.


Rachel Gadsden

4 June 2013

I have just had the absolute pleasure of watching the 4 new film created by Sarah Pickthall and Abigail Norris for ACE which so eloquently illustrate and address exactly why "The Creative Case" is a re - imagining of the Arts Council's approach to diversity and equality. If you are not onboard already you certainly will be once you have seen the films, they are individually each so emotionally powerful and many congratulations to everyone involved in creating them, with important messages and visions jumping out of the screen to grab you by the throat, there really is the possibility of creating and bringing a real cultural change to our society! As an artistic practitioner I am constantly questioned about why I shout so passionately about the Creative Case for Diversity when the mainstream is there too, and what I perhaps I like so much about this set of films is that the individual artistic visionaries in each of their films clearly discusses diversity as the main stream. We live in a diverse society, and for any element to be excluded we are not talking about, or engaging with, our society. A bench mark has been set here for every artistic practitioner to follow, if we all follow these rules the greatest creative engagement and artistic aesthetic can emerge, so congratulations again to everyone involved in making these films, a truly dynamic level playing field is emerging at last!

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