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About Walk Before Me

The Arts Britain Ignores - 40 years on.


In May 1976 Naseem Khan wrote the groundbreaking report ‘The Arts Britain Ignores’ published by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Arts Council GB and the Commission for Racial Equality. In it, Khan attempted to map ethnic minority led arts in the UK in order to understand how far Britain capitalized on these assets in order to ‘gain a far richer cultural scene’. 


40 years on, this project seeks to understand how far we have come, take a longer view on the contours of debates about inclusive arts and multicultures, build intergenerational understandings of the journey, engage new audiences in discussion, and set agendas for the future of arts policy and practice in the UK.   


Project Aims

This programme of activities seeks to:

Stimulate new - and focus existing - debate, policy decision-making, and action to address the development of arts/cultural policy and practice which reflects and responds to the ethnic diversity of Britain. 

Create an iterative process that supports reflection, understanding and innovation among key policy influencers, commissioners, artists and audiences in order to encourage and enable actions that lead to change

Challenge entrenched positions, create spaces for the development of new visions, offer inspiration for change, and develop practical tools, new relationships and secure foundations for the necessary bold shifts in practice and policy in this arena. 


What We Will Do

The project will commission a series of 10 creative responses, where we will invite 10 prominent arts practitioners, policy-makers and commentators from different generations, ethnic backgrounds, and experiences to explore with us, ‘What Difference Does Difference Make?’ 


Papers, dedicated web-pages and 2 Salon Events will animate this work, forming Phase 1 of this on-going dialogue.


Events Programme:

An inter-generational conversation

Thursday 28th January 2016 from 5.30-9.30pm

Contact Theatre, Manchester 


An open dialogue Salon

Wednesday 10th February 2016 from 7 – 9.30pm

Autograph Apb, Rivington Place, London



Who We Are

WDDM is led by Dr Rob Berkeley MBE, with a curatorial team Kully Thiarai, Artistic Director, CAST; Matt Fenton, Artistic Director, Contact Theatre; David Bryan; Naseem Khan OBE; and is produced by Jenny Williams, Take the Space.


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