Friday, 21 April 2017

The unaffordable Cost of Diversity ?

So who should be footing the bill ? and HOW is the message of real diversity being sold in regards to inclusion, when many roles are stereotypical ones, and the inclusion of diversity in mainstream is viewed as a campaign and lecture platform on awareness ? 

The key is MINORITY, not just DIVERSITY, and the fact funding is supplied not on diverse basis, but on a minority and 'ring-fenced' dedicated basis.  The whole set up is to pigeon-hole artistic endeavour, and the Deaf insist on it !  They have pasted themselves into own corner, then blaming others for it.  If you make a show or film strictly to raise awareness, or for own area of minority or language, then by default, it can never appeal to the wider audience, can it ? Appealing to own areas is difficult because the audience can only be found it cities... even then subsidised...

No amount of funding is going to make it a mainstream appeal.  Deaf culture has ruined wider awareness of deaf and HoH people because it is elitist and sign-driven, now mainstream areas expect only deaf that sign as a representation of that area... and deaf artists are angry about it, nobody employs them for anything else. The DWP and Lottery who fund artistic disability and deaf access can now capitalise on the fact it isn't inclusive, or representative and operate more cuts.  

As deaf and HoH people why cannot we ask the question, what is in all this 'diversity' in the arts, for us ? Why is nobody asking the real question 'Given there are 9m of us in the UK, why is funding ONLY going to a few hundred deaf luvvies who make the content we don't want to watch ?'  Is it not factual, deaf and disabled just want the mainstream to finance own exclusion under the guise of diversity ?  The appeal is too singular of their output.  Suits deaf culture down to the ground.

The artistic director of Metta Theatre has claimed organisations have a moral duty to invest in diversity regardless of extra costs.

Poppy Burton-Morgan says the industry needs a “step change”, and although budgets are stretched, producers always have a choice.  Burton-Morgan, who works as a freelance opera and theatre director alongside her role at the London and Exeter-based Metta, raised the issue in a blog for UK Theatre, which discussed the ethical considerations of budgeting for producers.

She told The Stage: “It costs more to work with deaf and disabled actors. There is a scheme called Access to Work where you can apply for funding from the government, but it gets harder and harder and there is never a guarantee. If you are a producer then that is a really big consideration.  “At the casting level it takes the time to find those people. For instance, with ethnicity, if you have to work harder to reach different people, that is the cost.

“Sometimes audiences for certain works can be perceived to be narrower, and there is a feeling that there will be less box office takings. Also, if you have to provide captioning, that all costs extra.”  Burton-Morgan argued, however, that organisations needed to build these costs into their budgets from the beginning and make diversity a driving force behind their work.

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