In a recent residency call-out made by Metal, the unaccredited work of artist Ama Josephine Budge from the Apocalypse Reading Room project, produced by Artsadmin, was used without permission. This is plagiarism which is totally unacceptable.
We are deeply sorry and ashamed that this has happened and would like to publicly apologise to Ama whole-heartedly for the distress and hurt this has caused.
For too long the work and words of artists of colour have been appropriated, silenced or made invisible by white-led institutions and this must be addressed.
We want to be an organisation where everyone feels they belong and the interactions with us are positive and supportive. We are working across the organisation with staff and trustees to learn from this, own it and make the necessary improvements through listening, training, reading, and performance management, and we actively commit to dismantling the attitudes and behaviours that uphold systemic racism across the arts sector and beyond.
We are at the start of our journey and will publicly share regular six-monthly updates on our progress. This will include information about our reading, training and the development and implementation of our anti-racism action plan; and the demographics of our staff, Board and artists we support through our residencies and commissions. We have set ourselves stretching targets to ensure that our organisation and our work reflects the communities we serve.
We remain in dialogue with both Ama and Artsadmin to work through accountable and transparent ways to move forwards and hope this public statement can open up wider discussions across the sector as well as document a process which is all too often invisibalised.