THE WORKING CLASS CREATIVES DATABASE MANIFESTO
WHO ARE WE?
There is a known absence of people from working-class backgrounds in the creative arts. As of 2020, only 16% of the workforce in creative industries are from working-class backgrounds.
Working-classness is made from the intersection of a variety of diversities, histories, places, and identities. What unites us is a culture formed from the difficulties of not having the same level of support as those from Upper- or Middle-class backgrounds to thrive in modern society.
Art is a reflection of our time and if working-class people are not given the opportunities to develop sustainable careers, our stories are not represented.
The Working Class Creatives Database is a platform to share and highlight the work of working-class creatives by promoting a more accessible arts culture in the UK. Our Database is open to members worldwide but due to most of our members being UK-based we are focusing our efforts on the UK’s arts culture.
The Working Class Creatives Database aims to facilitate a space that puts working-class creatives at the forefront; A space for conversation, connections, and sharing of opportunities, skills, and knowledge. This database is about creating a community amongst working-class artists and encouraging greater representation of the working-class experience within the arts.
CREATE A COMMUNITY
The Database will enable creatives who do not have a connection to the established art world network to form a community amongst each other. We will form this community by encouraging collaboration through our Whatsapp chat, Social Events, and Group meetings. We recognise that our members come from all walks of life and we encourage skill-sharing across different ages, cultural and educational backgrounds, and regions.
Within the UK we want the art world to be less London-centric and the voices of working-class creatives to be spread far and wide. We aim to build a community outreach program to make sure we are engaging working-class communities across the UK.
It is our goal to not only spread awareness of the lack of working-class creatives within the arts and creative fields but take into consideration class in relation to many other intersections.
Working-class women are five times less likely to secure a creative job than men from privileged backgrounds and for girls from the poorest homes in England, only 6% make it to university, often leaving Working Class students to feel alienated amongst their classmates. We want to make the university experience easier for working-class people. Equally, we want to provide a space for resources and alternative learning.
Non-White households in the UK are twice as likely as their white counterparts to be amongst those hardest hit by austerity and only 2.7% of those who work in galleries and museums are from a BIPOC background. In addition to this, working-class people with a disability are more than three times less likely to secure a creative job than privileged non disabled people. The Working Class creatives database is working towards developing a Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility team to make sure our approach remains intersectional.
We want to see an increase in the accessibility of arts education and open up the conversation about class within academic institutions and university settings. We will do this through a combination of digital and in-person engagement by:
Virtually sharing our Open Letter with those in higher creative roles and asking them to share with their contacts.
Inviting people to join our Supporters scheme allowing people from a more privileged background within creative fields to offer their skills to working-class creatives.
Sharing weekly opportunities, recommendations, and independent courses outside of higher education on our social media pages.
Hosting workshops, reading groups, and critical feedback sessions for our members.
Establishing a resources page of reading suggestions and helpful education websites.
Host talks and workshops with universities and galleries infiltrating academic spaces.
Organising showcases of working-class artists’ work across the UK.
PROVIDE A PLATFORM
We champion the work of working-class creatives across the industry and aim for our platform to showcase creatives to Employers, Programmers, Event Organisers, and Gallerists leading to more paid opportunities for our members.
We feature our members through our website, Instagram takeovers, and other social platforms.
By developing both a digital and in-person presence we will spread our message far and wide and make sure the voices of working-class creatives are a part of our arts culture!
"I wasn’t very “well-read” or connected, I was the first in my family to attend university and one of the only people with a regional accent. The Database was created out of a need to bring together a community of creatives that would usually be overlooked in the arts and provide a support network, connections, and exposure. Creating a space within the creative worlds for Working Class people and trying to make the elitist bubbles more accessible."