Entertainment & Arts

Diverse arts groups land £5.3m funding boost

Hip-hop and Shakespeare workshop Image copyright PA
Image caption Actor Sir Ian McKellen and rapper Akala (with skull) held a musical workshop in Tower Hamlets combining hip-hop and Shakespeare

The Hip-hop Shakespeare Foundation and Disability Arts Online (DAO) are among 40 arts groups set to receive £5.3m in funding from Arts Council England.

Other organisations that will benefit include transgender theatre group Trans Creative, Leicester Dance Theatre and Diverse City.

The aim is to enhance diversity in England's arts sector.

Kate O'Donnell from Trans Creative said it will "enable us to... raise the visibility of transgender work".

She added: "This is just the start - Trans Creative is looking forward to making transgender arts and cultural activity part of the mainstream, so that it truly reflects what's going on in society today."

'Vibrant and inclusive'

Abid Hussain, director of diversity at Arts Council England, said: "We want to ensure our investment supports and nurtures creative talent from all communities and backgrounds."

Trish Wheatley, director of DAO, said it was "an important moment" for her organisation.

"We are looking forward to working with all our partners, new and old, to support a vibrant and inclusive artistic community that recognises the talents and voices of disabled artists," she said.

Image copyright Rachel Cherry
Image caption Members of London-based Avant Garde dance, which has been awarded a £150,000 grant

Other organisations who will benefit include the Ort Gallery in Birmingham, One Latin Culture in Liverpool, the Milton Keynes Islamic Arts Heritage and Culture Organisation and Ballet Black.

Beneficiaries will receive funding through the Art Council's Elevate fund, designed to strengthen organisations already contributing to enhancing diversity within the sector.

Elevate was developed in response to an equality analysis led by the Arts Council in 2014.

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