of 10,000 signatures

To Arts Council England, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

I am a Black woman/artist/mother and researcher. I have worked in the creative industry for over 7 years and have been practising as a performance artist for more than 8 years. My experience in the workplace (to include practice and professional employment) has been that of microaggression, misogyny, accusations and unfair practices that has depicted my characteristics in ways that are deep rooted in racial pejorative stereotypes against Black women.

As a live artist and a professional working in the industry, I want to see the rights of women honoured. Black women like myself are often the invisible labourers, we work tirelessly to create space for others, create change and campaign for the rights of the marginalised. Yet in our existence we have to contend with labels such as intimidating, aggressive and angry.

We are silenced and made to work under toxic and misogynistic conditions that create a ripple effect on our mental health, family life and more. I have battled depression for many years as a result of my experience in the work place, I have been silenced and accused of being aggressive when I have sought clarity and change. The impact of years of abuse in the workplace has effected my relationships and my overall mental health.

Open letter text

I want change to occur from all areas within the creative industry. I want Black women, women of colour and all women to be protected in the workplace. To be heard and for our rights to not be dismissed as intimidating or aggressive.

My aim through this, is to ask Arts Council England to conduct a review of the Live Art industry and its work place, placing an emphasis on the workplace conditions impacting Black women and women of colour. I understand that this is just a start to what needs to be a long-term commitment to ending violence against Black women in this industry. However, as a start this is all I can handle and would appreciate all the support I can get to bring this to the attention of change-makers.

16 Sep 2022
Thank you all again for supporting this campaign. Just to update you all on where we are at. We have received a response from the Chief Exec of Arts Council England who wants to meet to discuss how we can take action against mistreatment of Black women/ women of colour and women in the arts.

23 Aug 2022
Thank you all
We have now submitted the open letter to Arts Council England. I want to say thank you all for your support and for signing this letter. I will keep everyone posted on the outcome of the submission. Once again thank you. Vivian

15 Jul 2022
Thank you ! Let's keep going
We now have 651 signatures. Thank you all for signing this open letter, please keep sharing it amongst your networks. Let's Protect Black women in the workplace.

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Signers list

Glynis Spencer
Amanda Clapham
Twan Lentjes
Raymond Kohn
Jimmy Beckley
Juliet Gibbs
Alan Bell
Petra Moxley
Melissa Buckwell
Mr Bond
Paul Csordas
Allan Mcallister
Jennifer Lynne Knowles
Mrs Jean Mcleod
Jenny Shepherd
Chris Dunn
Anne Mitchard
Dianne Beck
Scarlett Kefford
Aileen Aitken
Carlos Amartey
Stephen Grundy
Keith Hebron
Monju Haque
Teddy Cottell
Steven Johnson
Sarah Walkley
Caroline Lewsley
Eloise Rene
James Storm
Carolyn Rice
Marianne Paton
Gladys Okwuosa
Claire Alexander
Mohammed Quadeer Rashid
Mark Andrews
Susie Mitchell
Trevor Palmer
Emma Langan
Hazel Conway
Nina Hamilton
Michael Davis
Emma Dawkins-Yates
Keith Calder
Franklyn Mgbadike
Tasadique Niaz
Chris Clark
Vera-Anne Smith
["Caroline"] Gardner
Ruby Barker

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