Strength in diversity shown by Drama Schools

The Diversity Schools Initiative, which was unveiled recently is a very welcome and timely event. Not only does it underline the importance of challenging the status quo, but it also showcases sectors that need radical and urgent changes.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland feels that when stories and backgrounds are shared, then the arts are enriched. They champion diversity as being at the heart of our values. It is important that diversity comes into practice in daily lives.

Rated as Scotland’s National Conservatoire, they embrace the commitment to improve diversity, with the aim being to develop a greater ethnic representation of black, Asian and minorities being representative both within the staff and the student communities.

The Royal Conservatoire states that by having a vibrant and widening access programme which spans all age groups, they are becoming more committed to enhancing diversity in the community. They are additionally committed to those who have been taken care of at home, whether it is residential or foster care, or in kinship care places, with regards to those with physical disabilities.

The Conservatoire feels that it is only by nurturing the talent of a diverse section of Scotland’s youth – along with youth from other parts of the UK, Europe and across the world – that life opportunities will increase, choices will widen, and they will then be able to broaden their art. This will only serve to enrich and enhance all communities.

To do this, the Royal Conservatoire strives to deliver with a diverse range of measures including:

  • Transitions 20/40 programme, which is designed to widen participation.
  • Degrees such as the BA which is now offered in British Sign Language and English.
  • The Equality and Diversity Creative Fund, which is designed to fund new and creative art work.
  • The Fair Access Committee which is tasked with enabling access and participation in all aspects of the Conservatoire.
  • The Newly Appointed Fair Access Manager, who will join ranks with and E&D Officer, a Counsellor and Disability Advisor, and the Student Recruitment Officer. Together they will form the workforce dedicated to pre-higher education, continued education, and greater participation.

The Royal Conservatoire states that while there is still a long way to go, before significant progress is made, they remain committed in the joint goal of achieving true diversity. This means that people from all walks of life will be enabled to reach their full and true potential, be able to have access to the arts, and share their own stories.

It is through arts that people are able to break down barriers, explore their cultural differences, challenge the many injustices in systems, and celebrate their individual identities. It is even more true now, that arts is a way to draw people together, and cross boundaries, which up till now, may have been uncrossable. The arts bring people together in ways which are more relevant and critical in society.

It was the American Poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou, who - after publishing seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several poetry books – said that ‘in diversity, there is strength’. It is very important that we do not forget this.


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