CAN uses a layered approach to supporting increased engagement and representation of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) artists and communities in the arts in WA.
In 2018 this included ongoing face to face meetings by the General Managers with many DLGSC-funded arts peer organisations, service providers to CaLD communities and selected local governments. The aim was to understand current levels of engagement with culturally diverse artists, audiences and communities, gather ideas and examples of effective practice within the sector and discuss matters that limit engagement or impede development.
The Office of Multicultural Interests assisted with a survey to CaLD groups, seeking information about engagement in the arts. CAN also built preliminary relationships directly with communities through creative consultation workshops in preparation for project work.
The appointment of CAN’s Diversity Manager, Zheela Vokes in the second half of 2018 continued the process of scoping out partnerships, strengthening engagement and ensuring ongoing feedback and review of CAN’s work in this space.
A Diversity Working Group (DWG) established in August 2018 is now steering the co-design of a strategy. This is a diverse group of arts peer organisations, CaLD artists and arts workers, service and local government providers, community members and researchers, involved in the CaLD and arts sectors in WA. Members bring a range of skills, experiences, cross-sector knowledge and a plurality of voices to the table, with value placed on lived experience and an active commitment to the work.
One of the main issues highlighted through consultation was the need for a common infrastructure which strengthens the capacity of, and engagement between, arts and cultural organisations and CaLD groups and artists. To address this gap CAN is developing a geospatial database as a knowledge linking tool, modelled on ARTfinder by Arts Access in Victoria and due for launching in late 2019.
Underpinning the strategic work and advocacy with arts peer organisations, is the project work that CAN is developing with CaLD communities, often in partnership with state and national peers. In 2018, with Multicultural Arts Victoria, CAN delivered Common Ground Returns spoken word poetry at The Blue Room Theatre; with Museum of Freedom and Tolerance and Edmund Rice Centre WA, we celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and we continued to develop projects with Diversity Arts Australia which will be delivered in WA in 2019.
CAN’s Diversity in the Arts program is supported by Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and Lotterywest