Campaign Spotlight: Major arts institutions and celebrities come together to join Arts Emergency’s call to #BreakTheGlass

Giant 'Break in case of arts emergency' boxes appear across the UK to highlight the growing arts crisis for young people and UK culture

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LONDON, UK — Celebrities including Jack Dee, Miranda Har, Katy Brand, Michael Sheen, Neil Gaiman, Jenny Eclair, Samantha Morton, Nikesh Shukla, and Chris Addison 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.

The comedians, writers, and actors were amongst hundreds of those sharing the names of the people who helped them to make their breakthrough and encouraging their followers to support Arts Emergency, the award-winning charity bringing creative and cultural professionals together to open the door for aspiring young talent.

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 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.

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.

  • Just 16% of people in the Creative industries are from a working-class background
  • Only 4.8% of people working in music, the visual & performing arts are Black, Asian or from a minority ethnic background and just 12% of those are from a working-class background
  • 40% of people working in media attended private school.
  • 2.7% of people working in museums, galleries and libraries are Black, Asian or from a minority ethnic background.
  • 16% of people in film and TV come from working-class backgrounds, and only 9% of those in film, radio and TV are Black, Asian or from a minority ethnic background

A giant ‘Break in Case of Arts Emergency’ case has been built to display examples of creative work from Arts Emergency’s young people, Jannell Adufo, Maïs Bouteldja, Helen Hale, Gwent Odai, and Sam Oddie, showcasing some of the incredible raw talents which are at risk of being excluded from the arts. The box launched at the Museum of London yesterday before arriving at National Museums Liverpool.

Neil Griffiths, Founder of Arts Emergency said, “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.”

“We need to actively remove elitism and nepotism in our creative industries, and instead create diversity in race, gender, class and age. 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.” –– Rankin

“Having worked alongside Arts Emergency for the past four years, we’ve seen first-hand the impact of their mentoring and support for marginalised young people most affected by rising tuition fees and cuts to the arts. For these young people to follow their passions and navigate their way into the creative and cultural sectors is a tough road. And for many, it seems impossible to follow. But if someone can open the door and show them the way in, it could mean a breakthrough that changes their lives forever,” shared Katy Wright, Managing Director at FCB Inferno.

“The crisis in our creative and arts education cannot be understated. There are more new jobs in the creative industries and creative economy than in any other sector and yet our young people are not being supported, encouraged, or guided towards them. These sectors have lacked diverse representation for a long time and the continuing defunding and devaluing of a creative education will do nothing to support the social mobility or potential of the next generation. Framestore and C3M are proud to be supporting this campaign in order to raise awareness of the work that we have been and will continue to do to create change in our sector,” added Amy Smith, Head of Talent – Film, Framestore.

“LinkedIn is fundamentally committed to creating economic opportunity for every member of the workforce. We’re hopeful that by supporting Arts Emergency, LinkedIn’s community, and the platform at large, can be a place for our members to unite behind this important initiative and help connect young people to professionals already working in the UK’s wonderful creative industries,” expressed Darain Faraz, Director of Brand Marketing at LinkedIn.

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