Lockdown inspires the music industry to be more inclusive

Several British music and cultural organisations have agreed to a set of seven principles to improve inclusivity and access to disabled artists and audiences.

The Musicians’ Union has backed the campaigning organisations – We Shall Not Be Removed, Ramps on the Moon, Attitude is Everything, Paraorchestra and What Next?, who have launched Seven Inclusive Principles for Arts & Cultural Organisations working safely through Covid-19. These principles emphasise the importance of employers and venues complying with the Equality Act 2010 and complement guidance issued by the four UK Governments.

The Musicians’ Union and others are urging venues, agents, employers and promoters to take advantage of the current situation to adjust their spaces and working practices to suit disabled customers and to promote disabled talent.

The focus of the project is to ensure deaf, neurodiverse and disabled people are not discriminated against as creative work begins again and venues re-open. The Seven Principles offer practical guidance to arts and cultural organisations to support disabled artists, audiences, visitors, participants and employees.

The Musicians’ Union Deputy General Secretary Naomi Pohl said, ‘It’s essential that work to reopen the music industry considers access and inclusivity from the very beginning. We have the opportunity to rebuild a sector that works for all musicians and the Seven Inclusive Principles help enable us to facilitate that.’

Other bodies endorsing the initiative include British Council, British Film Institute, Arts Council England, Arts Council of Wales, Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Museums Association, Royal Philharmonic Society, Equity and UK Theatre.

Andrew Miller, UK Government Disability Champion for Arts & Culture and co-founder of #WeShallNotBeRemoved, said, ‘Disabled people’s continued participation in culture at all levels has been severely threatened by this pandemic. The Seven Principles offer an essential new resource to promote an inclusive cultural recovery and to ensure the UK remains a global leader in disability and inclusive arts through and after Covid-19’.

Further details about the Seven Principles can be found here.

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