Our mission at Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru is to place Welsh language theatre at the heart of the nation. However, we recognise that our work and our ways of working have previously excluded some people and communities whose stories and experiences weren’t reflected in our productions and projects.
In June 2020, we committed to do more to ensure that we are a truly inclusive organisation and to better reflect the diverse communities of Wales in our artistic work, participatory projects, networks, staff members and Board of Trustees. You can read our previous statement in response to the Black Lives Matter movement here.
We want to assure you that we are taking steps towards achieving that commitment with an update on our progress so far.
- We have made diversity and inclusion our top strategic priority for the coming year.
- We have scrutinised the current diversity and inclusivity of our work and our organisation and drawn up a new inclusion plan. This organisation-wide plan will be discussed with staff team members and trustees over the coming months and will then be shared publicly.
- We have established a new group of trustees and staff members with a focus on improving diversity and inclusion. To ensure the group includes people from a wide range of backgrounds, we extended the membership to include people from outside our organisation. To date, we’ve welcomed Mali Ann Rees and Nia Edwards-Behi to the group and we are grateful for their insight.
- We launched a campaign to recruit new trustees particularly aimed at groups that are currently under-represented on our Board: young people, disabled people and people from diverse ethnic backgrounds. We look forward to announcing our new trustees soon.
- We recognised that disabled artists and artists from diverse ethnic backgrounds were under-represented among our artists under commission – so we launched a new Idea Development Bursary specifically for artists who identified with those characteristics to submit ideas for a new production. We look forward to announcing the successful artists soon.
- All of our team members and trustees took part in unconscious bias training, delivered by Diverse Cymru. Many of our team members have also continued their personal learning journeys through additional reading, absorbing digital content and attending further discussions and training sessions.
- Arwel – our Artistic Director – took part in a series of interviews as part of the Critically Speaking podcast series about systemic racism and white privilege in the arts. You can listen to the series on your preferred podcast platform (released from late December 2020).
- We have listened to the wider conversation around language and terminology. We will continue to listen to feedback to ensure that our team are using the most inclusive and appropriate language possible.
- Since the beginning of Lockdown, we have captioned all of our digital productions bilingually (Welsh and English) to enable D/deaf audiences and those who don’t speak Welsh to engage with our work. We commit to ensuring that our marketing materials are always inclusive for disabled audiences moving forward.
- We have improved the accessibility of our recruitment processes by offering video applications, large print forms and BSL adverts, as well as sharing opportunities more widely and beyond our usual networks.
- As part of our commitment to welcoming new and diverse voices to our work (on and off stage), we are rethinking our recruitment and casting policies and procedures to ensure they are more open and inclusive.
- Improvements with regard to socio-economic inclusion has also become a focus for us. We are one of 50 arts organisations to be funded to host a Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries Fellow, as part of a programme to get more people from low socio-economic backgrounds into cultural careers. You can read more here. We will be welcoming a new member to our team soon.
We remain fully committed to making Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru a beacon for inclusivity and diversity in the Welsh language. We will continue to take action and hold ourselves accountable and will update you on our progress over the coming months.