This is not an exhaustive list, but it includes some of the key organisations and funding/development opportunities in the creative industries and gives an indication of the range of opportunities available.
Funding and scheme cycles vary.
A New Direction describes itself as London’s leader in cultural education, connecting children, young people, and education with the best of arts and culture. They believe that children and young people’s access to creative and cultural opportunity should not be dependent on wealth, geography, or luck.
The Act for Change Project campaigns for better representation across the live and recorded arts. Set up in January 2014, after responding to a trailer for a new season of TV drama which failed to include a single BAME or disabled artist, the actor Danny Lee Wynter brought together a group of colleagues from across the entertainment industry. They believe that the broader and more diverse their membership, the more empowered a group of campaigners will be. We encourage members of the Federation to join their campaign.
Action Space supports the creative and professional development of artists with learning disabilities and provides opportunities for disabled communities to engage with the visual arts. They are always looking for new ways to promote the artists they represent, and creative partners, alongside volunteers and donors.
ADASSOC promotes the role, rights, and responsibilities of advertising and its impact on individuals, the economy and society. It recently published ‘The Whole Picture’: a comprehensive examination of the representation of BAME people in British advertising.
A report and case studies in relation to Diversity in the Arts.
Arts Professional is a general Arts bulletin (recommended) which includes a general thread of articles and calls for funding relating to Diversity.
(Disability) - recruitment portal, paid work experience schemes.
Beatfreeks aims to give a voice to young people, develop transferable skills, and create community leaders. Beatfreeks uses art forms such as dance, poetry, music, and media as a tool to inspire, engage, and empower young people. They also work as a consultancy to help businesses engage better
with young people and to collaboratively find creative solutions to business and social issues. They have an active network of over 1000+ young, creative people who they engage and upskill through creative projects.
The Bernie Grant Arts Centre aims to remove barriers to participation in the arts and creative industries, to celebrate our diverse culture and to develop diverse cultural and creative practitioners. They offer training and professional development for working class and BAME communities that are still largely excluded within the industry.
The BFI’s main mission is to promote greater understanding and appreciation of, and access to, film and moving image culture in the UK.
Bigga Fish is a social enterprise which provides a performance platform for young creatives and is also an educator for those interested in working in events and marketing management. They offer start up loans to young companies, as well as workshops, events, enterprise clubs
(BAME) – financial support, training and mentoring, online community for aspiring authors and illustrators.
This business-led, independent charity offers practical ways for businesses to work together on social issues such as education, social background, gender, race and the environment. Services include research, training, peer learning, events, and awards.
(varied eligibility; including BAME, lower socio-economic status) work shadowing, mentoring, work experience, professional development in publishing.
Clore Leadership is a dynamic and inclusive resource for leaders and aspiring leaders in the arts, culture, and creative sectors which report on diversity.
Creative & Cultural Skills works with businesses in the industry to identify, develop and implement new work based training opportunities that respond to the growing skills needs of our sector. By opening up new and alternative entry routes into the workforce through apprenticeships and paid internships, they believe that we can attract a much more diverse range of talent, in turn shaping a workforce that better reflects the makeup of our society.
Creative Access was set up in 2012 hoping to help address the underrepresentation of people from BAME backgrounds working in the media and creative sector.
An amazing resource containing creative career inspiration from useful tools to reassuring guidance, their articles are packed full of insights into the working world.
Creativity Works delivers creative projects that make a real difference to people’s lives, working within Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, and beyond. It works with community groups involving people from all backgrounds and all ages, helping those with mental health issues, social issues, disadvantaged sectors of society, or simply those looking for inspiration in their lives resulting in positive social and community change. They are in particular keen to work with partners on the subjects of ‘End of Life and Palliative Care Projects’, ‘Children and Young People’ and ‘Our Time, Our Space - family interventions’.
DASH is a disability led visual arts organisation. It offers mentoring, training and workshops where participants can showcase their work. Dash also helps galleries and art organisations develop commissions and opportunities for disabled artists. It receives funding from Arts Council England, as a National Portfolio Organisation, and from Shropshire Council, Arts Council Wales and QC Data.
This web journal gives disabled and deaf artists, performers, film-makers, writers and critics a place to converse. It's a disability led organisation: 83% of the board & 95% of writers identify as being disabled. The journal encourages appreciation for disability arts and culture, nurturing creativity and discourse from a different perspective.
Diversity UK is a think tank to research, advocate, and promote new ideas for improving diversity and inclusion in Britain. It is a not-for-profit, collaborative organisation that works with a wide range of partners, bodies and key opinion formers to engage in a healthy debate about issues of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, and disability discrimination.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is a nondepartmental public body in Great Britain that was established by the Equality Act 2006 and came into being on 1st October 2007. The Commission has responsibility for the promotion and enforcement of equality and on discrimination laws in England, Scotland, and Wales.
The Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion is the UK’s leading employer network covering all aspects of equality and inclusion issues in the workplace. Their six strategic themes are: access to opportunities, agile working, the global marketplace, inclusive leadership, workforce representation and unconscious bias. In addition to supporting employers, their role is to influence government, business, and trade unions, campaigning for real practical change.
Equality in Publishing has been established to promote equality across UK publishing, bookselling, and agenting, by driving forward change and increasing access to opportunities within the industry.
Evenbreak promotes the business benefits of employing disabled people, assists disabled jobseekers into work, and helps employers who want to attract disabled people into their workforce.
Graeae provides a platform for deaf and disabled people in theatre through performance, workshops, and training.
Impact Arts is a forward-thinking community arts organisation based in Edinburgh which uses the arts and creativity to enable and empower social change. It works collaboratively with children, young people, older people, and communities to achieve its aims. It works predominantly, but not exclusively, with vulnerable groups.
Established by Creative Skillset and Stonewall, this is an informal network forum for finding jobs and contacts in the creative industries for LGBT people working in the media.
Website has a useful list of graduate schemes and opportunities in journalism, marketing, publishing etc. Some of the opportunities listed are targeting specific groups eg. BAME students.
(BAME, female, working class) - mentoring scheme for emerging crime writers
The MAMA Youth Project recruits, trains and nurtures young people between 18-25 years of age from under-represented groups or with limited educational or employment opportunities.
Media Trust/ITV Breaking into News annual competition – initiative to discover diverse talent.
MeWe360 is an incubator for British creative talent. It actively seeks out ‘Untapped Talent’ and in doing so aims to prevent the wasted potential amongst individuals, improve the lives of those from marginalised communities, and harness the opportunity that this ‘Untapped Talent’ represents for society as a whole. MeWe360 combines a not-for-profit development house, MeWe Foundation, with a commercial investment arm, MeWe Trading CIC.
The Journalism Diversity Fund awards bursaries to people from diverse backgrounds who need help funding their NCTJ journalism training. Bursaries are awarded four times per year and can help cover the costs of NCTJ course fees and/or living expenses. Recipients will also be paired with a working journalist to mentor them throughout their studies.
Facebook Community News Project – diversity in regional journalism (varied eligibility).
Sports Journalism diversity scholarship (varied eligibility).
PAPER Arts is a social enterprise in Bristol that offers young creatives, not in employment, education or training, access to facilities including studio space and printing. They also run events, workshops and hold exhibitions of work.
PressPad is an award-winning social enterprise that is fighting to lower the financial barrier of entry into journalism. They link young people with work experience in London with experienced journalists who can offer a spare room plus great advice.
List of Publishing Diversity Schemes
For young creatives age 11-25. If you’re cutting your teeth as an artist or you’re wondering how to get started, there are loads of opportunities to shape your skills in the Paul Hamlyn Roundhouse Studios.
The Royal Television Society runs two bursary schemes: the Technology Bursary and the TV Production and Journalism Bursary. The schemes are designed to support people from lower-income backgrounds to pursue a career in the television industry.
Sampad is a dynamic development agency for South Asian arts based in Birmingham. It plays a significant role regionally, nationally and beyond, in promoting the appreciation and practice of the diverse art forms originating from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Through its work Sampad serves, supports, and initiates South Asian arts in all its forms working with youth, community, education, and professional artists. Sampad is a strategic partner with Mac Birmingham.
Scene TV provides a platform for television and film content that represents diversity in terms of subject matters, stories, and perspectives that are not always seen in the mainstream.
Supporting individuals from under-represented backgrounds to pursue a MA in Journalism.
ScreenSkills runs an in-house mentoring programme as well as supporting other organisations that wish to offer mentoring.
SheSays is an award-winning international organization running free mentorship and events to women in the creative and marketing businesses. They also offer courses, career management and a collaboration platform called shout for women in the profession, from London to Chicago and Melbourne.
The Aspiring Professionals Programme relies on the goodwill of firms and organisations, as well as professional individuals, to support the young people that they work with. They offer support in the form of mentoring, internships, skills sessions, or pro bono support. Mentoring
students makes a huge contribution to their development, whilst in turn adding to your professional development. Or for organisations looking to diversify their workforce, working with the SMF gives you access to a pool of untapped talent.
Spread the Word is London’s writer development agency, funded by Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO). They provide high quality, low cost opportunities for writers to improve their craft and develop their careers. They identify and support talented writers from a diversity of backgrounds and encourage as many people as possible to try creative writing as a means of selfexpression. Spread the Word also derives income from box office sales, commissions, a Friends scheme, sponsorships, and from Trusts and Foundations on a project-by-project basis in order to further their charitable objectives.
Stonewall works with organisations to ensure they offer inclusive, equal and inspiring environments for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people. These workplaces include workplaces, schools, healthcare providers, sports clubs and religious institutions, in the UK and abroad.
They also help institutions to understand the huge benefits that lesbian, gay, bi and trans people can bring: a different set of experiences and perspectives can help organisations to flourish. Stonewall helps institutions to recognise the value of these different perspectives, and how they benefit all employees, service users and members of the community.
Talawa is the UK’s primary Black led touring theatre company. Its work is informed by the wealth and diversity of the Black British experience and through that it creates outstanding work by cultivating the best in emerging and established Black artists. It invests in talent, develop audiences and inspires dialogue with and within communities across the UK and internationally. By doing so it enriches the cultural life of all.
(BAME) – supporting graduates to pursue a career in communications.
The Bridge Group is a national charity promoting social mobility, working with government, employers, universities and the third sector. Founded in 2011, the Group is based at King’s College and is philanthropically supported by a range of organisations including Google and KPMG.
The TV Collective is an online resource for promoting the creative and commercial value that diversity contributes to the UK’s TV and film industries. They offer workshops by programme makers on practical solutions on diversifying.
Tomorrow's Warriors is a jazz music organisation focused on young musicians from the African diaspora, and girls aged between 11-25. They offer a programme of learning, participation, artist development, and performances. They do this by devising and producing high quality development programmes and performance opportunities for new, emerging, and established artists and music leaders.
The Tonic ADVANCE Theatre Project aims to advise theatres wanting to employ more women. Tonic supports arts and creative organisations to progress on diversity in general, but with a special focus on gender equality. Depending on client’s needs, the focus can be wide: on entire staff
structures and creative programmes, or specific: on individual challenges. They work with all scale of organisations from 5 to 500+ staff, providing them with the tools to make long-lasting, meaningful change. Clients include National Theatre, and Royal Shakespeare Company.
TriForce Creative Network was created in 2004 by the best friends and working actors Fraser Ayres (The Smoking Room, Son of God) and Jimmy Akingbola (Rev, Holby City). It identifyies diversity-related issues in the entertainment industry, including access and 'knowing the right people'. TriForce was built on a strong ethos of inclusivity rather than exclusivity. It aims to open doors to the industry to people from all walks of life, and to be a trusted and viable avenue for the industry to discover diverse talent.
Voluntary Arts works to promote and increase active participation in cultural activities across the UK and Ireland. They also advertise voluntary arts opportunities around the UK.
Sign up with us if you would like to have a creative industry mentor. Our mentors are from branding, film, production, advertising, visual effects, and more. We can also signpost you to further mentoring programs and initiatives should you require more personal help and advice beyond our program.
WACL is a members club for “the most influential women” in the UK’s communications industry to network, inspire, and support each other.
WiTT is an informal networking group focused on education and enhancing women’s careers by sharing experiences and lessons learned in members’ career development. They encourage mentoring and provide excellent networking opportunities.
The following schemes are currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. They endeavour to open as soon as possible.
Arcola Lab offers 26 weeks a year of free rehearsal space, to support the development of new creative ideas and encourage new diverse voices, to Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic, or Refugee artists looking for rehearsal space to develop a new creative idea.
Commonword is a writing development organisation based in Manchester, providing opportunities for new and aspiring writers to develop their talent and potential.
The FEDS Experience offers a ten-month-long paid traineeship in the film exhibition sector, as well as mentoring and industry expert advice. Annual application rounds.
Guardian News & Media continues to support the better representation of our diverse society in the media. It runs a Positive Action Scheme that offers placements to individuals from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds and people with disabilities considering a career in journalism.