In June 2020, following the global impact and resonance of the death of George Floyd, and galvanised by Black Lives Matter, a working group of Black artists (at different stages in their careers) and leaders from arts organisations in the West Midlands formed: committing to work together, and support others, to bring about radical and permanent change with and for Black people in the Arts & Culture sector and in society.
More Than A Moment is the West Midlands Arts sector’s response - and the Pledge is its promise - to take radical, bold and immediate action, to dismantle the systems that have for too long kept Black artists, creatives and employees from achieving their potential in the arts and cultural industries.
We acknowledge and thank all of the Black Creative Workforce for their time, honesty and emotional labour in contributing to the process that led to the co-creation of the Pledge, and to the Radically Listening research that underpins it.
We want to thank all the Black artists, creatives and professionals who put themselves forward - from filling in the radical listening survey, contributing to the sessions; and spending hours working with us, shaping the pledge to ensure this was right for Black people, Black artists, creatives and professionals. More than 100 people were actively involved in this part of process, including Adaya Henry, Albert Wallace, Clancy Williams, Gabriella Gay, Jamaal O'Driscoll, Leon Phillips, Marika Beckford, Natalie Edward-Yesufu, Sindy Campbell Tamar Dixon and Tyrone Huggins.
The first five months of this journey towards meaningful change, have been a carefully constructed, compassionate and iterative process.
Feeling the acute absence of safe spaces for Black creatives to talk openly about lived experiences, to reflect and to heal; and without an existing support network with which to begin this crucial work, Elizabeth Lawal initiated anonymous, radically listening research within the Black Creative Workforce. With the support of Culture Central, the More Than a Moment working group was formed.
Testimonies shared through the research became the foundations to rebuilding the sector, and inspired a process to enable cultural leaders to put radical listening at the heart of decision making moving forward.
We carried out extensive work to develop a 5-part framework, carefully crafted to ensure this process was safe and considered.
For more detailed information and advice about our process and the principles and ethos we applied throughout, please contact Culture Central.
Thank you for making your commitment to be part of real change and radical, needed action as we work together to make a fairer future – starting now.