Eclipse Theatre, the UK’s leading Black-led touring company, recently published the Slate: Black. Arts. World. 

The report revealed the impact of their ambitious three-year programme. For many years Black artists, and fellow artists marginalised for their race, have been forced to operate almost entirely outside of the established cultural sector. Over the course of an ambitious three-year programme, Slate supported over 5000 Black, Asian, and ethnically diverse artists in the North of England by creating conditions for artists to be seen, heard and take action. Because of this programme of work, there is now a tangible legacy in the North of Black-led collaborations, productions, and future cultural leaders.

The report, titled How to plant magic beans AND build rockets to the moon, details six key challenges faced by Black, Asian and ethnically diverse artists in the North and how Slate faced and tackled these challenges head on. It also reports how Slate commissioned or supported the creation of over 200 new works which reached audiences of 46,000.

As the arts sector re-emerges and makes its tentative first steps to a “new normal”, Eclipse shares this report to be used by Black, Asian and ethnically diverse-led companies and artists to make the case for funding and support for change as well as acting as a reminder to the wider sector of the work already done, the lessons learnt and a call to action now and for our all our futures.

Amanda Huxtable Artistic Director and CEO of Eclipse Theatre comments: “As Eclipse moves forward, our focus remains to challenge our industry to do better in order to be better for the many communities we belong to and serve. The dismantling of the power structures and dynamics within our industry that overtly and discreetly discriminate must be our core focus now as we look to rebuild together.”

Stella Kanu, Chair of Eclipse’s Board shared: “The aftermath of Covid-19 has shown us that the role of the artist, freelance or otherwise, is the backbone of the arts and cultural sector with 86% of freelancer engaged by National Portfolio Orgs identifying As Black, Asian or ethnically diverse. The ambitions of Slate to identify and nurture independent artists in the North of England is working and will go from strength to strength with the new dynamic leadership team!”

You can read the full report of How to plant magic beans AND build rockets to the moon via Eclipse Theatre’s website here.