London: What happened to Social Mobility in the Arts?

Screenshot 2016-01-06 13.49.02

At the end of last year, I was part of a panel discussion arranged by CREATE London on the issue of London and the future of London as a creative place. The full video of the debate has just been put online and is available here. The panel had quite divergent opinions which kept things interesting.

The panel was chaired by Zoe Williams and consisted of Dawn FosterAdham FaramawyNiru Ratnam and Mark Brearley.

This event was part of a larger programme ‘Panic! What happened to social mobility in the arts?‘  based on a new survey on the experiences and backgrounds of those working in the arts. Not all of the findings are out yet, but some of the headline findings are:

• If you earn over £50,000 p/a you are most likely to believe that you got there through hard work, talent and ambition. If you earn under £5,000 p/a you are most likely to believe that it’s not about what you know but who you know.

• White people in the arts don’t acknowledge the barriers facing BAME people trying to find a foothold in the sector. While 44% of those from BAME backgrounds felt ethnicity was either “essential” or “very important” to getting ahead in the arts, only 12% of white participants saw it as an issue.

• Women are more likely than men to have worked in the arts sector for free and once paid are generally paid less than their male counterparts.

• Almost 90% of the 2,539 respondents had been required to work for free at some point in their career

More on the survey here12065939_1023635617659443_6074349323203692021_n