Dawn Bowden MS, Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, and Chief Whip
We have a rich and diverse cultural history in Wales and are blessed with an abundance of talent in the arts in all their forms.
We believe the arts and our wider cultural heritage should be available to all to enjoy and learn from and we are committed to widening access. Our Programme for Government is founded on the distinctively Welsh values of community, equality and social justice. It puts collaboration ahead of competition, showing how we will act to maximise fairness for all and eliminate inequality at every level of society.
We want our arts and cultural sectors to thrive – they are integral to our economy and our national life. Over this term of government, we are working to widen access to our heritage and the arts for all.
I therefore welcome the steps taken by Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales and the Arts Council of Wales over the last year to identify how they can widen engagement with people and communities which they currently consistently fail to engage in our work.
Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales and the Arts Council of Wales commissioned three organisations – Re:cognition, Richie Turner Associates and the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union – to undertake three different studies involving, respectively, an area of semi-rural poverty; deaf and disabled people and cultural and ethnic diversity.
The work was inevitably impacted by the pandemic but the three reports were published last month and are available at: https://arts.wales/news-jobs-opportunities/widening-engagement-research
These reports raise challenging issues, not just for Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales and the Arts Council of Wales, but for all of us in Wales.
We will work with both organisations to support them to put in place measures to address concerns highlighted in these reports to help improve access to the arts and heritage throughout Wales.
We will also hold a stakeholder meeting in October to get feedback and confirm plans to deliver against our commitments in our Programme for Government and the Race Equality Action Plan: An Anti-Racist Wales.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.