Now Reading
Inc Arts UK wins prestigious awards for diversity initiatives in UK cultural sector

Inc Arts UK wins prestigious awards for diversity initiatives in UK cultural sector

For its groundbreaking work across the UK’s arts and cultural sector, last night (Monday 28 February) Inc Arts UK won Gold in four Anthem Awards across three categories: Education, Art, & Culture; Special Projects; Awareness Categories (Not-For-Profit). The award was selected by a host of experts across the field including actors Daniel Dae Kim and Ashley Judd, as well as Shayla Tait, director of philanthropy of The Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation. 

CEO and Founder of Inc Arts UK, Amanda Parker, used her acceptance speech to raise awareness for Windrush Day, stating:

“Inc Arts UK wants to acknowledge everyone who works with love and care to create equity, and that’s why we want to see June 22nd, Windrush Day, to become a public holiday in Britain, to mark the contribution that migrants make to Britain and to the world.”

Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp CBE, Interim Executive Director, Inc Arts stated:

“We’re all thrilled at Inc Arts to receive this recognition for our work, with four separate Anthem Awards. These awards are a powerful testament not only to the unswerving vision of Amanda Parker, our Founder and Director, but also to our amazingly innovative, talented and hard-working team, who together with all our stakeholders and partners, here in the UK, share our commitment to building a cultural sector that is truly inclusive and equitable.”

The Anthem Awards celebrate world-class talent and spotlight work leading the way in the Impact Industry. They recognise the impact and excellence behind initiatives from Inc Arts UK, which have seen over 3000 individuals and 600 organisations across the arts and cultural sector join forces to make inclusive, equitable change. The award has been given to Inc Arts UK’s Speak-Listen-Reset-Heal campaign and Unlock – an anti-racist toolkit for the arts. 

The online conference Speak-Listen-Reset-Heal saw over 3000 of the UK’s most senior leaders across the cultural sector partake in a ‘truth & reconciliation’ style conference. Informed through gathering testimony from 400 global majority arts sector workers, the conference shared first-person accounts with sensitivity, with professional psychological support built-in, to help leaders understand how racism is experienced in the arts and cultural sector. 

The first of its kind, the Unlock toolkit gives creative organisations over 100 practical, measurable anti-racist actions as well as timelines. Built collaboratively with ethnically diverse arts workers, Unlock enables senior creative leaders to tailor a plan suitable to their organisation’s capacity. The toolkit continues to inform policy, hiring and strategy at cultural institutions – including the Royal Shakespeare Company. To date, almost 600 organisations across the arts and cultural sector have signed up. 

Jessica Lauretti, Managing Director, The Anthem Awards, stated: 

“It is our distinct honour to recognize the work that brands, organisations, and individuals are all making to create an impact in their community. We launched this platform to show the world that all corners of our culture, from sports and entertainment to business leaders and celebrities, are all standing up to say, it is time for systemic change and that social good is what we value as a society.”

Winners for the inaugural Anthem Awards were celebrated at the first annual Anthem Voices conference followed by a star-studded virtual Awards Show on Monday, February 28, 2022. Anthem Winners are selected by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Members include Daniel Dae Kim (actor, producer, and activist);  Ashley Judd (Author, Actor, and Social Justice Humanitarian); Mitchell Baker (CEO and chairwoman, Mozilla); Lisa Sherman (president and CEO, Ad Council), Sarah Kate Ellis (president and CEO, GLAAD); Renata Erlikhman (chief investment officer, OW Management); Shayla Tait (director of philanthropy, The Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation); Russlynn Ali (CEO and co-founder, XQ Institute); Marc Ecko (chief commercial officer and board member, XQ Institute); Heidi Arthur (chief campaign development officer, Ad Council); and Alexis M. Herman (chair and chief executive officer, New Ventures, and former U.S. secretary of labour).

See Also

The Speak-Listen-Reset-Heal conference was presented by Inc Arts in partnership with Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and UK Theatre. The project team was Amanda Parker (Founder and Chief Executive, Inc Arts), Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Actor), Tali Pelman (Group Creative Managing Director, Stage Entertainment), Sebastian Cater (Head of UK Theatre & Workforce Development, SOLT/UK Theatre) and Miriam Nicholson-Butcher (Training and Events Executive, SOLT/UK Theatre). 

Inc Arts Unlock was developed with the generous support of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and from the advocacy of organisations including but not limited to: Eclipse Theatre, Migrants in Culture, Migrants in Theatre, Freelancers Make Theatre Work, All-Black Coalition, More than a Moment, Coventry Belgrade Theatre, Black Cultural Leaders, Anti-Racism Touring Rider, Museum Detox, and the many individuals who have made advocacy their life’s work.


Inc Arts UK is a national collective that champions the creative, economic and contractual rights of the UK’s ethnically diverse workforce. We work collaboratively across the arts and cultural sector to create peer-led solutions to redress under-representation and lack of diversity in our creative teams and workplaces. We do this through research and advocacy, creating bespoke Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) solutions to arts organisations, and providing a network of advice, support and fellowship to the diverse arts workforce, across all art forms and seniority, and throughout the UK.

The Anthem Awards was launched in response to the prevalence social good has taken within the national conversation and cultural zeitgeist in recent years. The inaugural competition received nearly 2,500 entries from 36 countries worldwide. By amplifying the voices that spark global change, the Anthem Awards are defining a new benchmark for impactful work that inspires others to take action in their communities. A portion of program revenue will fund a new grant program supporting emerging individuals and organizations working to advance the causes recognized in the inaugural Anthem Awards.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply