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Anti-Racism Action Plan Update

16 Dec 2020

Since we published our Anti-Racism pledge this summer, The Hepworth Wakefield has completed the immediate actions it identified as important first steps to further promote inclusivity within our organisation. These are detailed below. We will be making some exciting new partnership announcements in the new year in support of our longer-term strategy. Once the details of these partnerships are agreed, we will be publishing our comprehensive Anti-Racism Action Plan online.

Actions taken in 2020

In order to start diversifying The Hepworth Wakefield Board of Trustees, we have welcomed Priya Khanchandani, Founding Member of pro-diversity collective Museum Detox, and artist Dame Magdalene Odundo, whose major retrospective The Hepworth Wakefield organised and presented in 2019.

We have externally reviewed our recruitment practices to ensure they are inclusive, communicated as widely as possible and are welcoming to ethnic minority groups.

All staff have taken part in unconscious bias training and all staff with management responsibilities have had inclusion awareness training.

We have reviewed and revised all relevant policies, including our Code of Conduct and staff induction, to include explicit references to our position on anti-racism.

Individual performance management plans have been revised to embed anti-racist and inclusion objectives.

Working in partnership with the University of Sheffield, we have secured significant funding for a new programme of paid-placements and mentoring to support young Black people and other marginalised individuals into careers in the art and museum sectors. This programme will commence in spring 2021.

We have established an Anti-Racism Trustee Taskforce to support our Diversity & Inclusion Action Group and to ensure we deliver on all our commitments.

Since opening, The Hepworth has focused on addressing the historic gender imbalance in Wakefield’s art collection. We have now updated our acquisitions policy to include an equal commitment to increasing the representation of Black artists in the collection. This work is supported by the appointment of new advisors from Black and ethnic minority backgrounds to our Collection and Acquisitions Committee (to be announced in the new year). We will also be announcing a new acquisition and curatorial training partnership programme in January.

We made a commitment to increasing the representation of Black artists throughout our programme. Our 2021 exhibition programme includes a solo show of new work by Jadé Fadojutimi and a new commission from Veronica Ryan. Our flagship schools project – School Prints – has commissioned six black artists for 2021 (to be announced) and will support the teaching of Black history across the curriculum.

We have agreed a Memorandum of Understanding between The Hepworth Wakefield and the Geraldine Connor Foundation to formalise our ongoing partnership programme of joint working and mentoring of young Black artists in the Leeds City Region.