Diversity Matters

Guidance for musicians, bands and audiences about our cultural diversity policies.

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Cultural Diversity - A Brief Statement

Ribble Valley Jazz & Blues prioritises the need to promote culturally diverse events & festivals. When employing artists and musicians, and engaging audiences at events and festivals we expect to include equal and valued contributions from people who might not otherwise have opportunity to engage fully in jazz as an art form. We want equal participation from women, younger & older people, people from black & minority ethnic communities, people of differing sexual orientation, disabled people, people from various geographical communities, and people experiencing low income. We expect that engaging people from culturally diverse communities will create exciting arts activity that leads to higher levels of engagement with musicians and audiences. Promoting a policy of cultural diversity, arises out of recognising jazz’s black music heritage, a music created out of oppression.

Cultural Diversity - Policy Statement

As an organisation, Ribble Valley Jazz & Blues has the mission of creating higher levels of participation in jazz for musicians and audiences. Central to this mission is a commitment to cultural diversity as a means of giving everybody access to great art and culture through jazz.

Ribble Valley Jazz & Blues recognises jazz music’s strong black roots & heritage. Having evolved through oppression, jazz has good reason to embrace cultural diversity. Cultural diversity means giving opportunities to everyone, everywhere, crossing all social barriers relating to gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, age, geography, and low income.

The ‘Taking Part’ survey by the Department for Culture Media and Sport showed that arts engagement within lower socio-economic groups is substantially less than for those in the highest socio-economic groups. So there is a case for people from lower socio-economic groups to be targeted for inclusion in arts & culture, and jazz in particular.

Ribble Valley Jazz & Blues will prioritise the need for cultural diversity when booking bands, and developing audiences. Embracing cultural diversity means we will take account of characteristics relating to gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, geography, and low income when employing artists, musician & bands, and engaging audiences, in the expectation that this will create exciting arts activity. By promoting cultural diversity, jazz will create opportunities for developing and sustaining life-changing opportunities through participation as musicians or audience members in live music.

Promoting diversity and equality is crucial to the arts, including jazz, because the opportunity for engaging in art and culture has the potential for releasing and sustaining the artistic talent in all of us. If we want excellent art, we have to draw on all our talent, from wherever it emerges.