By Professor Samantha Broadhead
“I think it is really important that those who believe in equitable access to the arts should work together. However, people from different sectors, institutions and organisations are working in art-silos. We need to lift our heads out of our own silo and talk to others who are trying to do the same thing.
I totally agree that differences in language, experience and context are elements that can impede conversations carrying on. I worry that we are sometimes talking to ourselves and not taking enough time to listen to and ask questions of others.
I would be interested in having a conversation with someone teaching art in a school and finding out what we have in common and how we could act together. This would need to be a reciprocal relationship. Maybe we need some one-to-one or small group meetings to build this understanding. I have to say that I feel personally excluded from a lot of larger discussions because they tend to focus on school curricula, when we could also be asking: how does this work in adult and community education? Or how does this work in further education or HE? How does community arts contribute to the debate?
Maybe a way forward is to start facilitating cross-sector sessions which are about finding commonalities, asking questions and looking outwards? Then we may understand each other’s values, priorities, hopes and fears. I can imagine how all the interested arts groups could work together to the benefit of everyone, but I think it needs graft and attention and persistence and leadership.”