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Working for and with festivals and events, supporting live arts




AFO Conference February 2021
Diversity In All Areas - Breaking Down Barriers Of Class, Race, Sex And Disability At Festivals
5:10pm: Kate Danielson

Kate Danielson has been at the forefront of promoting and developing socio-economic diversity and inclusion in the arts and cultural sector since launching Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries with Jerwood Arts in 2010.  She continues to run the programme and the fourth edition of the programme launched publicly in October 2020, with nearly £4million raised to date to create change in the workforce of the sector.  Kate co-wrote the Toolkit for Employers: Socio-Economic Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts published in July 2019, to share with the wider sector the experiences of the programme’s hosts in recruiting for a socially diverse workforce.

Over the past nine years, 125 Fellows, all at the early stages in their careers and from low socio-economic backgrounds, have joined 110 arts organisations, covering all art forms, sizes and geographical locations.  This creates a strong network of like-minded people across the country who are committed to supporting the progression of arts leaders of the future who better represent society, and alumni are moving into leadership roles including the Artistic Director of Fierce Festival in Birmingham and the new Chair of Contact, Manchester.  50 new organisations and 50 new Fellows will join the programme by April 2021.  It remains the only programme in the arts focussing exclusively on socio-economic diversity, which, although it intersects with the protected characteristics (ethnic, gender, disability etc), is often overlooked as it hard to see, hard to measure and hard to talk about.  Her recent blog gives more context about why the programme is needed now more than ever.

She speaks at conferences and to organisations interested in developing their own practice: Creative & Cultural Skills Annual Conference (2018 & 2019), UK Theatre (2019), Association of British Arts Festivals (2019), ACE’s #CreativeCase Digging into Socio-Economic Diversity webinar (2019) and RIO’s Awkward Conversation webinar (2021).

Kate is also founder and director of Kate Danielson Associates and has worked with a wide range of organisations to develop and run ambitious projects, mainly those promoting the social impact of the arts. Previously Director of the Cheltenham Jazz Festival, since 2015 she has been working in neighbouring Gloucester to support an emerging cultural infrastructure, one of the founding members of the Interim Culture Trust, setting up and running the Gloucester Roundhouse Project (with £450k from Paul Hamlyn Foundation) and now running a small charity, GUST, to bring investment into the city.   She is a trustee of Orchestras for All and the Francis W Reckitt Arts Trust.  She consults for a range of grant giving organisations, project managing Garfield Weston Foundation’s 60th Anniversary with a range of publications and events throughout 2018.

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