Major arts institutions and celebrities come together to join Arts Emergency’s call to #BreakTheGlass and welcome in new young talent

Georgie Moreton

Deputy Editor, BITE Creativebrief


Research shows that the odds of getting into a creative job are significantly lower if you are Black, Asian or from a minority ethnic background, from a working-class background, female, disabled or living outside of London and the South East. In fact, people from privileged backgrounds are four times more likely to land in a creative occupation, and the likelihood of someone from a working-class background finding work in a creative career has remained largely unchanged since 1980. 

This is why celebs including Jack Dee, Katy Brand and Michael Sheen have joined the #BreakTheGlass online campaign calling on those working in culture to help open the doors for young people struggling to break into the arts.  

"No matter what you've achieved, someone at some time gave you a leg up, and Arts Emergency is thousands of people from across the cultural and creative industries doing just that for the next generation by donating money, time and contacts to help them get in and get on," said Neil Griffiths, Founder of Arts Emergency.

The #BreakTheGlass campaign sees major arts institutions and celebrities come together to join Arts Emergency’s call to and let in new young talent into the industry. To raise awareness for the campaign, across the UK, giant 'Break in Case of Arts Emergency' boxes are set to appear, highlighting the growing arts crisis for young people and UK culture.

Alongside this, a giant ‘Break in Case of Arts Emergency’ case has been built to display examples of great creative work from Arts Emergency's young people; Jannell Adufo, Maïs Bouteldja, Helen Hale, Gwent Odai and Sam Oddie. This display aims to showcase some of the incredible raw talent which are at risk of being excluded from the arts due to the exclusionary nature of the industry. The box launched at the Museum of London and has gone on to be displayed at National Museums Liverpool.

The campaign is backed by celebrities; Jack Dee, Miranda Hart, Katy Brand, Michael Sheen, Neil Gaiman, Jenny Eclair, Samantha Morton, Nikesh Shukla and Chris Addison. And, over 25 arts organisations, creative companies and universities around the UK including the BFI (British Film Institute), University of the Arts London, the Eden Project, Get Up, Stand Up - The Bob Marley Musical, ATC Management and ATC Live, Avalon and The Agency, FCB Inferno, Rankin, Framestore, Company 3 and LinkedIn have also joined the campaign to show their support as the stats show that so much more is needed to open the creative industries to marginalised voices.

“We need to actively remove elitism and nepotism in our creative industries, and instead create diversity in race, gender, class and age,” said Rankin. “This isn’t needed just for fairness, but because it makes the work we create significantly better. At RANKIN, we say that we want to change the world, and it’s projects like Arts Emergency that really will change the creative one.”

As the industry continues to strive toward greater inclusivity, it must break down barriers to entry to ensure new talent from all walks of life are championed so diverse voices can be heard. To find out more and show support, please click here.

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