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3rd June 2019 Bea Udeh

The blog of small things #ADA

Melanie Murphy, ADA Fellow, is coming into the Audience Diversity Academy from all angles and in manageable steps.

I can’t believe that January is over. This year began apace and is hurtling along at an uncompromising speed. Amongst the many priorities for the RAD as we approach our centenary in 2020, marked by a move to a state of the art new building, a cultural engagement plan, a new multi-lingual website, a refreshed brand identity…and breathe. Tackling diversity, was seeming like one too many things.
At the start of the year I was feeling overwhelmed and ready to call time on the AMA Diversity fellowship. Diversity in dance issues are prevalent across the industry from dance companies through vocational schools and affecting every area of our organisation. The enormity of the task was weighing heavy. But, with the help of my mentor; I realised that this is not my issue to solve. It is not an issue that can be ‘solved’, easily or in its entirety. So what now?
As proverb says, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Lightened by this realisation and inspired by the thinking behind “scrappy” experiments the second realisation came; sometimes it’s the little things that matter.
Language matters. So step one, devise a coherent language and terminology for the whole organisation to identify and speak to diverse audiences. Step two, create a content plan to acknowledge a range of important days, festivals and holidays important to our global members and audiences and ensure they feel seen and heard. Step three, embed inclusive thinking into planning and practice across the organisation rather than at the end of the process. These three small but achievable things will and are already, making a difference. Most gratifying of all some unprompted, positive feedback on social media from our audience. It’s the small things!
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