A great example of how initiatives for special needs benefit many more people:
One of New Zealand’s supermarket chains has introduced a low-sensory “quiet hour” nationwide. It is “easy on the eyes and ears by reducing noise, lighting and other distractions in-store” and has been developed with support of Autism New Zealand.
“The lovely thing about quiet hour is that we have had very positive feedback from so many customers. Our older customers seem to really enjoy quiet hours too, as well as many other Kiwis who actually just find shopping a bit stressful and can now visit at a more peaceful time.”
Becoming a truly inclusive organisation starts at the top
Becoming a truly inclusive organisation starts at the top, says Cath Hume, CEO of the Arts Marketing Association (UK) as she writes about the AMA’s process to get to a more diverse board. She also admits that “There have been difficult conversations along the way. Talking about inclusivity and access can be challenging, emotional, personal and delicate.”
A new report published by the UK Museum Association
A new report published by the UK Museum Association highlights the challenges of inclusion in museums and gives practical insights and tools for change across a range of themes in short articles by practitioners: Power and Privilege in the 21st Century Museum
Cultural organisations as “places for people like me”
Younger audiences are more likely to think that cultural organisations are not ‘for people like for them’, says Colleen Dilenschneider in this KYOB post.
“There’s a lot to the ‘negative attitude affinities’ conversation. It’s wrapped up in diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as age, physical ability, interest, income, being a parent or not, and self-identity. And because people are many things, there is no single magic bullet,” she argues.
The solution (and challenge) – an organisational culture that is consistently welcoming and to people of various different backgrounds and needs.
A diverse audience is a much proclaimed goal for many cultural organisations, and rightly so. Public arts organisations need to be relevant to a broad population in order to be sustainable and funded long term. This means striving for an audience that is representative of the population.
The upcoming NZ census will tell us more about the ever-increasing diversity of the NZ population and with the update of the Audience Atlas by MHM and Creative NZ due in a few months, we will be able to compare cultural audiences with the population and understand the opportunities and challenges.