On Thursday evening I was at Resource for London in Islington for our first joint event with the BME voluntary sector umbrella body for England, Voice 4 Change. Opening the event, Voice 4 Change Director, Kunle Olulode, said “This is the start of a process. We hope to build a core of arts organisations that can spread the word about infrastructure support.” Our invited audience of about 30 people included representatives of networks of artists and organisations, representing more than 200 BME arts groups. Ngoma Bishop, Chief Officer of the Hackney-based Black and Ethnic Minority Arts, said “it’s wonderful for people from different cultural backgrounds to work together”. Saqib Deshmuhk from Voice 4 Change said “the arts are about transmitting culture and traditions. We want to find out how Voice 4 Change can best support the changing arts and heritage sector”. I spoke about Voluntary Arts, the way the voluntary sector organically develops the infrastructure organisations it needs and the importance of connecting the work of organisations such as Voluntary Arts and Voice 4 Change. Daniel demonstrated our Running Your Group online information services and we encouraged BME arts organisations to take advantage of the information and advice available from Voluntary Arts. The speeches and networking discussions were interspersed with performances from two excellent young poets – Bossman the Orator and Faizah (Roslyn Blu). It was a very enjoyable and interesting evening and an excellent start to an ongoing partnership between Voluntary Arts and Voice 4 Change.
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