Designing Diverse Destinations

Inclusivity & Audiences Day is over for 2023 — thanks to everyone that joined us online

If you’d like to be first to hear about our next Inclusivity & Audiences Day event, please email, and you’ll be sure to know when the next date is announced.

The information below relates to Inclusivity & Audiences Day 2023 and is not necessarily indicative of content or approach for future events.

Join us to develop your understanding of accountability in the context of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Now in its 5th year, Inclusivity & Audiences Day champions Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) best practice from across our sector. 

Taking place on Wednesday 10 May, this day-long online event offers you the opportunity to roll up your sleeves and dive into concepts and case studies that challenge and provide new perspectives. 

Designing Diverse Destinations. That’s the theme for Inclusivity & Audiences day and it’s going to be this provocation where we’re going to be able to break it down into parts and look at things that we are doing. Actually what are we doing in terms of our EDI work? Are we actively doing the work, do we even know what the “work” is?

Internally, what kind of conversations are you having with your teams? And remember that policy or that black square that you might have put there in 2020? Have you created a policy which then sits stagnant? With no one looking at it. Or is it because you have no demographic in your city or even rurally that you can say that you can ignore how to represent protected characters, your audiences.

So you are welcome to join us when we are looking at how we can define, design and develop those diverse destinations with some artists and poets and a call to action for you to join us so that we are better at putting audiences at the heart.

Designing Diverse Destinations

The arts and cultural ecosystem is supposed to be a microcosm of society today, but the actuality is not always represented within our organisations, or our audiences, effectively.   

When facing this challenge, we think we have a clear starting point — a policy or plan to follow — and an endpoint to achieve, but are we consistently putting in the time needed to create truly diverse destinations?

How do we breathe life into that policy that got filed away? Are we sharing and implementing what we learn through conversations with our teams and local communities? And are we designing and embedding practices that put EDI at the heart of all we do?


Member rate: £95 + VAT

Small Organisation/Freelance Member rate:
£65 + VAT

Non-member rate: £145 + VAT

Please note: booking for this event has now closed

About the Day: 10 May 2023

Artists connect their expression to their truth and to what is happening with their audience and environment. This year our speakers will co-create their sessions with an artist.  

Each of our speakers will be paired with a poet with lived experience of the topics at hand, who will help bring fresh perspectives and new ways of thinking to complex subject matter. 

During the day our speakers and poets will cover topics such as: 

  • Locating your Leadership in relationships 
  • Designing perspectives in human equity 
  • Reviewing the fine print of your strategy  

We’ll be engaging with challenging concepts and realities that make us fragile or resistant to accept, so come prepared to be present for these conversations — we’ll support you and aim to clear your head, ready to focus during the day.

We want to make sure everyone brings the right mindset, as we acknowledge the hard work you are doing that aligns with many of the themes across the day.  

We’ll be adding further details on the programme and speakers as we move closer to the event. 

Who is it for?

This year’s Inclusivity & Audiences Day is aimed at those in senior and leadership positions — senior managers, team leaders, Heads of, and CEOs etc. 

How do I join?

Inclusivity & Audiences Day is a full day event and takes place online.

We will be using Zoom Events, so please read our online training checklist to ensure you get the most out of this event.   


All sessions will be live captioned on the day, but if you have any other accessibility requests please email

Timetable & sessions

8:30am — 9:00am

Trust in Yourself

In this journalling session with Ravelle-Sadé Fairman, you will start your e-journal, which has been designed by the AMA as a keepsake for you.

At various points throughout the day you will be prompted to make notes in your e-journal, so you can share your learnings with your teams and board to continue your intention to design a diverse destination at your organisation.

9:30am — 10:30am

Designing relationships from the Boardroom to the Cleaner’s office.  Monitoring how climates are changing our outward behaviours and our internal (organisational) practices 

In this opening panel session Keisha Thompson, Ravelle-Sadé Fairman and the AMA’s CEO Cath Hume will explore how current climates are changing our behaviours and internal practices.

10:45am — 11:30am

Consider: Land Mass Occupation in Strategic Audience Development

Northstowe is a brand-new town in Cambridgeshire, with a more socio-economic and ethnically diverse community compared to its wider area.

In this session Mari O’Neill and Zena Edwards will explore how Northstowe Arts can ensure that everyone continues to hear about and engage with their activity, in a strategic and holistic way.


Unblocking the Path to Great Organisational Alignment

It can be a real challenge to obtain the clarity, agreement, and alignment needed at the top for the most productive organisational culture to emerge. 

In this session Michael Nabarro will look at potential blockers that could be stopping the executive team from being able to provide this, and some ideas on how to address them.  He will also explore a tangible approach to providing the clarity that will enable your organisation and culture to thrive. 

This session is sponsored by Spektrix.

11:45am — 12:30pm

Acknowledgement Part 1

In the first of two sessions, Nima Taleghani joins us to share new practises, including addressing the historical contexts of acknowledgement statements.


Connecting your Organisation with the Audience you want

In this session Jamie Hale will explore how lived experience is not enough without culture change.

12:30pm — 1:15pm


1:15pm — 1:25pm

Tea. A National Drink

A cultural, artistic and heritage interlude with artist Abíọ́dún ‘Abbey’ Abdul.

1:30pm — 2:15pm

Acknowledgement Part 2

In his second session, Nima Taleghani will look at how acknowledgement statements coincide with intersectionality and our audiences.


Does the Audiences’ Lived Experience Matter to your Organisation?

Audiences have changed since the COVID lockdowns and understanding their behaviour is a priority for organisations. As an open sourced venue, the CCA cinema has not previously focused on their audiences, which is something they are aiming to change.

In this session Sarah Harbison and Abíọ́dún ‘Abbey’ Abdul, alongside chair Sadia Pineda Hameed, will explore how audience development can become a key part of a business plan and EDI policy review when considering the unique opportunities and challenges being an open source provides.

2:30pm — 3:15pm

Organisations Leading the Way

In this session, two arts leaders explore how organisations can be accountable in relation to pay and wellbeing.

Anita Kumari and Rachel Grossman will discuss what, as a real living wage employer, ‘real’ means within an arts organisation where many employees fit into non-traditional groups.

Nyasha Daley and Ravelle-Sadé Fairman will discuss how organisations might safeguard employee’s wellbeing when working towards EDI best practice and inclusive governance.


Everyday Creativity

We know that becoming more inclusive means widening our horizons — opening our eyes, ears and minds to new ways of working, different kinds of activities, a wider role in our communities. The Audience Agency’s recent research into Everyday Creativity (commissioned by Arts Council England, in partnership with Centre for Cultural Value) reflects on how cultural organisations can adapt to support people in pursuing their own creative passions and interests.  

In this session Anne Torreggiani shares some of the headlines and offers a sneak peak of some of the practical steps proposed in a new resource based on the research. It also invites discussion how supporting Everyday Creatives might help organisations on their journey to becoming more inclusive.  

This session is sponsored by The Audience Agency.

3:30pm — 4:15pm

Zoom into Ethics via the Historical and Cultural Contexts

In this panel session Nick Corston, Owen Craven-Griffiths, Shamima Noor and Anne Holloway will discuss how we can consider quality and authenticity in fundraising campaigns and recruitment processes.


Accessibility, Inclusivity and how not to Fake them

Accessibility and inclusivity are in danger of joining lists of buzzwords. Both of these terms have different meanings to our audiences and organisations, and they should absolutely be core values of any organisation.

In this session Ren James will explore how we can ensure we’re accessible and inclusive for our audiences in everything we do, in ways that go beyond implementing WCAG guidelines and asking people their pronouns.

This session is sponsored by Splitpixel Creative.

4:30pm — 4:45pm


In this closing session Ravelle-Sadé Fairman and Cath Hume will look back on today’s event and discuss the future of your e-journal.

The Artists

Headshot of Ravelle-Sadé Fairman

Ravelle-Sadé Fairman

A commissioned writer and voice actor for BBC Radio 4 and a Trustee for New Perspectives Theatre Company, Ravelle-Sadé is a self-proclaimed ‘accidental’ Poet, Performer, Writer and Workshop Facilitator. She is a freelance creative who uses her ‘Poetic Perception’ to encourage self-belief, and invite others to ‘Validate their Voice’ — whether through her own work, or facilitating the work of others. 

Headshot of Keisha Thompson

Keisha Thompson

Keisha is a Manchester based writer, performance artist and producer. She is Artistic Director and CEO of Contact theatre, Manchester, Chair of radical arts funding body, Future’s Venture Foundation, an ITC board member and recipient of The Arts Foundation Theatre Makers Award 2021. 

Her recent works include, Issy, BOSSS & Fractal, The Bell Curves and 14%.  

Headshot of Zena Edwards

Zena Edwards

For 27 years Zena has been a published writer/poet performer, creative educator and project developer after graduating from Middlesex University. She advocates for climate, ecological and environmental justice awareness, equity, decolonisation and regeneration. Her artist’s pedagogy roots connection to the body to amplify personal sovereignty and reconstitute the imagination through creative engagement with Earth. 

Nima Taleghani Headshot

Nima Taleghani

Nima is an actor, writer and facilitator. On screen he is appearing in Heartstopper for Netflix and on stage in Cyrano De Bergerac in New York and the West End. His facilitation work focuses on levelling the playing field and overcoming systemic injustices. He has run long-term active anti racism programmes for senior management teams, and run workshops for the Barbican, BBC, National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company & Arts Against Racism.

Jamie Hale sits in their black electric wheelchair against a red background, one arm on their armrest, the other resting at an angle. They are white, with dark red hair, and a short, ginger beard and are wearing pink and orange eyeshadow, their head resting on their wheelchair headrest. They are dressed in a silver and black floral blazer with a black rollneck underneath.

Jamie Hale

Jamie is a multi-award-winning disabled poet and cross-disciplinary creative, unpicking connections between self and other. They have showcased work from the Southbank Centre to the Barbican and are one of the 100 most influential disabled people in the UK. Jamie founded and leads CRIPtic Arts, developing and showcasing work by deaf and disabled creatives, while also embedding change in the industry.  

Headshot of Abíọ́dún ‘Abbey’ Abdul

Abíọ́dún ‘Abbey’ Abdul

Abíọ́dún ‘Abbey’ Abdul is a Yorùbá-Nigerian English Language Lecturer and the UNESCO Cities of Literature Global Poetry Slam Winner 2022. She also writes short stories, life essays and memoir-polemics reflecting on social issues encompassing her schooling across three continents. Her work has been published in anthologies and she presents at academic conferences.  

Headshot of Sadia Pineda Hameed

Sadia Pineda Hameed

Sadia Pineda Hameed is a Filipina Pakistani artist and writer based in the Ebbw Valley, Wales. She works in film, installation, text and performance to explore collective and inherited trauma; in particular, the latent ways we speak about this through dreaming, telepathic communion and secrets as an anti-colonial strategy inherent to us. Her practice is led by semiotic and associative journeying, and a trust in the intuitive process. 

Headshot of Rachel Grossman

Rachel Grossman

Rachel is a theatre artist, engagement strategist, and organizational leader working in the U.S. nonprofit arts and education sectors for 20+ years. For close to a decade, Rachel’s organised and facilitated antiracism\anti-oppression learning spaces (working predominantly with her fellow white people) and consulted institutions of all sizes and missions in change navigation and shifting culture toward equity and justice.

Headshot of Owen Craven-Griffiths

Owen Craven-Griffiths

Owen is an artist and producer also known by the stage name John Berkavitch. As Owen he is Associate Producer for Apples and Snakes, working across the country to support thousands of emerging artists with a particular focus on those voices that are currently underrepresented in the arts. As Berkavitch he is a former UK slam poetry champion and critically acclaimed theatre maker whose work touches on environmental activism, choreography, poetry and education of all ages.

Headshot of Anne Holloway

Anne Holloway

Anne is a poet and founding editor of Big White Shed indie press, which supports and publishes new and emerging poets. She is working to promote poetry and the power of words to improve mental wellbeing and develop a spoken word community which welcomes all ages and abilities. She is currently creative lead on Surviving by Storytelling at the Institute of Mental Health.

Peer Speakers

Mari O'Neill Headshot

Mari O’Neill

Mari is a viola player who developed a career in arts marketing and communications, strategy, and project management. Having worked nationally and internationally, she set up Northstowe Arts CIC to support community development through creativity. Northstowe is a completely new town being built in Cambridgeshire, and the growing community are really embracing the arts and creativity in all its forms to develop a sense of place and of belonging.

Michael Nabarro Headshot

Michael Nabarro

Michael co-founded Spektrix in 2007. He’s passionate about the role that the arts and entertainment can play in making the world better, and found his calling in supporting arts organisations by providing them with the tools and support needed to build strong relationships with their audiences and develop their revenue streams.

Ren James headshot

Ren James

Ren is the Head of Content and Web Projects at Splitpixel Creative. She is a copywriter, content strategist and project manager with 15 years of experience creating content. Seven of those have been spent with creative agencies, where she focuses on UX, UI, SEO, accessibility and inclusivity for the web. She lives in Huddersfield, England.

Sarah Harbison Headshot

Sarah Harbison

Sarah is the Cinema Audience Development Co-ordinator at Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA), Glasgow.

Anita Kumari headshot

Anita Kumari

Anita is an experienced Head of People & Operations in an Arts Organisation. Having a strong commitment to equality and equity; particularly within marginalised communities. Anita has worked across Local Authority, Charity, and Arts sectors. As a community collaborator she has served governance to raise aspirations and expand access for families in deprived socio-economic communities. 

Nyasha Daley

Nyasha Daley

Nyasha is a Consutlant and Director. Her first feature filme Black, Quuer & Done premiered at Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre in November.

Anne Torreggiani headshot

Anne Torreggiani

Anne is CEO of The Audience Agency, the UK charity for cultural participation and engagement. Anne is an experienced facilitator and adviser on audience research, strategy and policy. She is also part-time co-director of the Centre for Cultural Value, a research centre based at the University of Leeds, and a trustee of Europeana, the major platform for aggregation of cultural collections data from across Europe. 

Nick Corston Headshot

Nick Corston

Wired and The Guardian have described Nick as a ‘man on a mission’ after his career change from the world of marketing and innovation. He was recently runner up at Arts Council England’s Digital Ambassador. His focus is now as a creative education campaigner and art activist through the non-profit social enterprise STEAM Co. He is currently raising a Million Quids to Inspire a Million Kids Aim Higher than High with the #OurMillion23 appeal. 

Shamima Noor Headshot

Shamima Noor

Shamima is a Marketing and Communications professional in the north of England. She holds an undergraduate degree in English and an MA degree in Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies from University of Leeds. She is a Creative Access alumni and a CLORE Leaders Emerging Leaders Programme alumni. She is a board member for Utopia Theatre, an African theatre company based in Sheffield 

Artist and Peer Speaker mages courtesy of named speakers.

  • Keisha Thompson (c) Audrey Albert
  • Sadia Pineda Hameed (c) Simon Mills


Actions that participants planned to implement as a result of previous Inclusivity & Audiences Days include:

Thinking about the spiral model and how community engagement work feeds back into artistic planning. I am looking at doing an audience development project with a consultant this year, and making sure programming and education teams are fully engaged in that so that engagement and audience development projects are integrated with each other and with the artistic programmme.

Andy Boreham, Head of Marketing, Bristol Music Trust

Helping develop the diversity representation on our board. Changing ways that we can rethink how we talk about the work we do with our local community. Rewriting key parts of our website and also sharing with my company the wider language of diversity. Making sure that our diversity practices and communications are authentic — a challenge in a small organisation.

Tom Warman, Marketing & Comms Director, Walk the Plank

Talking at a strategic/management level about how we co-programme with community and discussing what might need to change to effect this change.

Susie Biller, Head of Communications, Kettle’s Yard

It gave me a proverbial kick up the backside and I’m going work with partners to make diversity visible in my sector

Jan Ford, Senior Creative Producer, Orchestras Live 

With thanks to our Inclusivity & Audiences Day sponsors:

Spektrix Logo
Tessitura Network Logo