In 2015, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s ‘Creative Industries: Focus on Employment’ highlighted that in 2014, 91.9% of jobs in the creative economy were held by people in more advantaged socio-economic groups, compared to 66% of the wider UK economy.
Arts Council England’s 2015-16 report ‘Equality, Diversity and the Creative Case’ acknowledged slower progress in relation to the representation of disabled people across the workforce in their National Portfolio and Major Museum Partners, which currently stands at 4% compared to the working age population average of 19%.
As an arts organisation, you might be looking to diversify your public programmes, exhibitions or interpretation materials to encourage or reflect new and diverse audiences, or to meet funder requirements. Hosting a Step Up training course can help your organisation directly address this inequality in employment in the art world by equipping artists with the skills and confidence needed to gain employment or self-employment in the sector. By taking up positions of authority in the art world, artists from diverse backgrounds are able to offer and share new perspectives, leading to an increased diversity in programming.
All of our courses are delivered by experienced and knowledgeable course tutors trained through Outside In, plus each course has a dedicated handbook and access to unique course materials. Additionally, Outside In is in the process of developing an Online Learning Hub accessible by course participants, tutors, and partner organisations.
Benefits for artists
Step Up training provides an opportunity to feel engaged with society, encouraging individuals to view themselves and the future in a more positive manner. The sense of belonging to the Outside In community and working with partner organisations is seen to increase levels of self-esteem and wellbeing amongst participants, providing a sense of meaning and purpose and encouraging them to seek further – paid or voluntary – employment.
The programme encourages participants to develop communication and interpersonal skills, in meeting and interacting with different groups of people in a range of new locations and settings. In addition it creates a space where participants feel mutually respected and able to explore their creativity with other like-minded individuals. In addition to the skills-based outcomes resulting from the training programme, Step Up training is evidenced to have had subsequent impacts upon participant confidence and self-esteem, mental health and wellbeing.
Benefits for organisations
There are many benefits of hosting a Step Up training course at your organisation. Depending on which course you choose, there are opportunities to diversify your public programmes, exhibitions and collections by gaining new and unique perspectives from artists who may traditionally have been excluded from the art world.
As part of our Exploring Collections courses, participants have produced exciting new interpretative materials in response to partner organisations’ collections and exhibition programmes that have a legacy that lasts well beyond the courses and, in turn, these new perspectives can increase interest in your work from new audiences. In the ten years that we have been delivering our Leading Workshops course, we have also seen upskilled artists go on to plan and deliver innovative creative workshops at a number of arts organisations, conferences and events.
Step Up training aims to encourage meaningful long term relationships between Outside In artists and partner organisations well beyond course delivery, providing an open opportunity for knowledge and skill sharing between organisations and artists traditionally facing barriers to the art world.