The long-term ambition is for the More Than a Moment (MTAM) Pledge to no longer be needed in the Arts & Culture Sector.
In October 2020, close to 100 organisations in the West Midlands signed up to the MTAM Pledge promising to take radical, bold and immediate action to dismantle the systems that have, for too long, kept Black Artists and Creatives from achieving their potential in the Arts & Culture Sector. This was in response to the murder of George Floyd which highlighted global inequalities across all sectors, and sparked a call to action leading to a demand for systemic change.
The MTAM Pledge was ignited by the Black Creative Workforce and co-created with leadership with the aim to address and eradicate the systemic inequalities and challenges faced by the Black Creative Workforce in the West Midlands, with a key mission to make radical and permanent change, leaving no-one behind.
Between 2020 and 2021, we captured the baseline of progress and showed that the Sector can take the radical, bold and immediate action outlined within the More Than a Moment pledge, that is required to dismantle the structural barriers within the sector.
Below are three examples from last year's MTAM One Year On 2021 Report:
Between 2021 and 2022, we saw a year of continued progress within the West Midlands Arts & Culture Sector, with a sustained commitment from the organisations that signed up to the MTAM Pledge and regularly attended the Sector Learning Sessions (SLS) during a pivotal season of cultural transformation and within the Sector due to the City of Culture and the Birmingham 2022 Games. In the last 12 months, there is also evidence that the Black Creative Workforce across the midlands have saw an increased level of targeted opportunities across the Sector resulting in more original content made by Black Creatives from the West Midlands, which in turn have platformed the West Midlands Arts & Culture Sector on a national level.
Between 2021 and 2022, the Arts & Culture Sector in the West Midlands continued to take action, resulting in:
The Regenerative Futures report provides an overview of the transformations sought by the Black Creative workforce, highlights areas of both progress and stagnation, and identifies challenges faced by the sector in the last 12 months.
It places all of this in the context of local, national and global issues facing both the arts sector and humanity, and begins a discussion about how we could work together to embed future facing cultures and practices of honesty, accountability and innovation, which in turn allow room for permanent transformation and equitable change.
The last 12 months have highlighted the systemic challenges that cannot sit with senior leadership alone. Radical, permanent and long term change requires a collective vision, and a deep commitment to building a 21st century sector that puts thriving at the centre of all that we do. In order to truly dismantle systems that have kept the Black Creative workforce from achieving their full potential, organisations must collectively commit to refusing to repeat the mistakes of the past and start co-creating the blueprint of the future.
In order to make real progress, there must be a commitment to education, imagination and innovation.
From building cultures aimed at understanding how the legacy of systemic inequalities and injustice of the 20st century still prevail, to understanding the role of innovation and intersectionality, when addressing global challenges that are currently having detrimental impact specifically on Black People and underserved communities within and beyond the workforce.
Therefore, it is time for a new conversation, one that explores what it takes to build a Regenerative Future, and the unlimited possibilities that follow.
A Regenerative Future is a more sustainable, equitable and just future, where human activity works in harmony with natural systems and commits to ending inequality and injustice, whilst restoring and enhancing the health and resilience of people, planet and places.
We have entered an era of uncertainty and it is here to stay. We have identified that in order to make long term systemic change, our research has to always respond to and adapt to the context of society, and investigate the local, the Regional and the national context of the world, therefore each year we will focus on key specific themes.
This year we are exploring the theme of Regenerative Futures.
Our mission for the West Midlands Arts & Culture Sector is to be the model for a national ecosystem of inclusion, creative innovation, belonging, sustainability, safety and joy.
We want Black Artists and underserved communities to grow their careers here and most importantly stay and thrive in the region.