“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.”