The past few months have been a reminder of the immense inequality and racism we can still find in Dundee. As a platform cheerleading some of the most creative and inspiring things in the city, it’s not hard to develop a blindspot about everything that needs fixing. But more than ever we must take an unflinching look at Dundee, ourselves and the structures we operate within, holding a commitment to reflect and change.
We believe we need to strive for a variety of goals, as you can find on this page. Most importantly is looking at structures, both within our organisation and across the local creative sector – exploring the barriers, blindspots, and bad practice while encouraging learning, reflection, and education.
In consulting our community, we always hear that access to the creative industries in the city (from the perspective of makers, artists, and creators) is a big issue – and often where you can observe stark racism and classism, as well as the most destructive consequences of crises like COVID and the current recession. We often discuss inequality in a passive manner, but it is essential to understand it is a structure. One that has been designed & perpetrated, and needs to be addressed.
While pushing for and implementing these structural changes, we continue to be committed to accessibility, diversity, and inclusion across our content & programme – where we also hope to reflect the values of the individuals that make up Creative Dundee, namely that creativity is for everyone, our collective cultural structures must be decolonised and Black lives matter.
Most of all, we’re committing to self-reflection, to looking at who we are with a critical eye. We’ll listen, invite new perspectives, and work on our failures and shortcomings.
Below are some of the outcomes and actions we are committing to take. If you have any responses or suggestions please get in touch.
Outcome: Developing structural changes within Creative Dundee
- Work on ongoing education within the organisation, such as unconscious bias training.
- Ensure our recruitment process includes perspectives from outside Creative Dundee when hiring for a new role within the organisation or recruiting for the Board.
- Reassess our application process and criteria for new commissions and opportunities, and widening our pool of collaborators within Dundee.
- Bring in a range of perspectives to curate seasons of our Original Features.
Outcome: Promoting structural changes within the Creative Sector
- Host regular training for cultural organisations and practitioners in the city on topics of equality, justice, accessibility, and inclusion within the creative industries. Starting with a workshop by Glasgow Women’s Library on 21 October 2020, and continuing every other month from a range of topics and providers.
- Commission three artists to develop short term research on different barriers to accessing the Creative Industries in Dundee and create pieces on their chosen artforms that comment on the findings. We will create an easily shareable pack with the findings that can be freely shared and used by decision-makers, campaigning groups and organisations across the city.
- Engage with wider conversations about issues of equality and justice in the city in the context of our programme, content, and original features. We’ll be offering a platform to insightful voices that challenge the Creative Sector in the city to kickstart important self-reflective discussions.
Outcome: Creating accessible opportunities for makers in the city
- Every year we put 50% of all contributions to our Amps Network back into the Community Ideas Fund. From now, the other 50% of contributions will be used to commission 4-6 local artists from a variety of creative disciplines to create pieces in response to current issues and conversations in the city. These artists will be welcomed into the Amps Community without charge and supported in the making of their work.
- We have created an opportunities page for anyone wanting to apply for a specific piece of work with Creative Dundee (i.e. Designing a Pecha Kucha Poster), and have made the process of ‘putting your name forward’ more open and accessible.
We will continue to:
- Implement the actions within our EDI strategy, in terms of content, audiences, and live events as we reassess the strategy in light of lockdown restrictions.
- Make sure all of our events are hosted in fully accessible venues.
- Provide BSL interpretation at our biggest event, Pecha Kucha Night Dundee, as well as its Livestream and videos.
- Still on Pecha Kucha Night Dundee, offer discount tickets for those who are unwaged, students, over-60s, and under-18s. Dozens of free tickets will continue to be given out to community groups and charities across the city.
- Ensure our events have speakers who are representative of the communities we serve and never host or take part in an all-male panel.
- Curate content, events, and materials with a diverse range of experiences included.
- Caption all of the original content videos we create.
- Continue to run and develop Dundee Soup, which offers micro-financing for community projects, and Teach Meet, exploring career pathways for young people.
- Encourage our Amps Pay It Forward programme, giving free subscriptions to anyone who cannot afford one.
If you have any questions or input on the above, reach out.