Diversity & Inclusion

Our Vision Statement

“The Creative Industries are inclusive and offer opportunities equal to all, leading to a truly diverse sector that showcases the best of UK’s art and culture.”

Our Approach

Diversity across the Creative Industries remains largely unchanged, still failing to be representative of the wider working population or the communities that it works to serve and engage. 

We strive to ensure that opportunities to work with, work for and develop at PAPER Arts are open to all. We are looking at these issues holistically, understanding that change is required across a range of related areas of our work. 

We will publish our findings annually, alongside the practical actions we are taking to advance diversity and inclusion in our organisation. We are aware that when those who face barriers opt out of particular careers or professional and artistic routes, it is rarely about lack of ambition or awareness and more to do with battling feelings of not belonging and access to opportunities. 

We want to focus not on helping underrepresented groups assimilate into unfamiliar cultures, but to tackle the cultures ourselves. We believe it’s a change in organisational culture, that will affect real, long-lasting change. 

We also take intersectionality seriously. To change the make-up of the arts so they better reflect society as a whole, we will look at people’s work lives as being shaped by many axes of inequality that often work together and influence one another or creative distinct types of disadvantage.

Our Priorities

Being an actively anti-racist organisation.

Creating a more inclusive organisation for those with a disability.

Monitoring and improving our engagement with those from a lower socio-economic background.

Our commitment to you

-Our programmes/work tell the stories of diverse communities in Bristol.

-We consider the diversity of representation on stage and screen, in publications and in the work we exhibit and produce.

-We consider the gender balance in creative roles.

-Our Board is diverse and we monitor the equality characteristics of our Board members.

-Our recruitment procedures are fair and accessible, with all opportunities being advertised and promoted widely.

-Our staff team is diverse at all levels of the organisation.

-We monitor the protected characteristics of all employees, including the artists we work with.

-Our staff and Board receive regular equalities training.

-At a minimum, we pay all staff Bristol’s living wage.

-As a minimum, we pay standard industry rates to artists.

-We pay interns, and don’t offer unpaid opportunities.

-We gather audience data and evidence the demand for our work.

-We offer a range of appropriate concessions in ticket prices.

-We provide information about different ways to access buildings where delivery takes place, and detail transport options.

-We make it clear when a building is not fully accessible.

-We prioritise accessible venues for all delivery and meetings.

-We will measure the effectiveness of what we are doing with regular feedback surveys.

– Diversity and Inclusion is an agenda item at all Board and team project meetings.

– We actively support the development of, and open opportunities for, our Black Creative workforce.

-We practise compassionate leadership: leading with kindness, paying on time, taking time to listen and check in; and developing a culture of transparency and openness, where teams are empowered and supported to perform at their best whilst maintaining a healthy work/life balance.

-Radical change starts at the top. We will ensure that Black people are able to prosper in every part of our organisation, at every level – and that Black people will be able to clearly envisage their future selves thriving in the arts, because people who look like them are already doing so.

-We operate a zero-tolerance policy for racism of any kind: within our organisation, and those we work with in any capacity.

-We will eradicate the use of terms such as BAME, People of Colour, Urban and other acronyms and terms that generalise or cause harm. We will be specific in our language and apply this through all of our communications – both internal and external – in written, verbal or any other form.

-We will monitor and increase our engagement with those from a lower socio-economic background.

You can read our full diversity and inclusion report here.

The future of paper arts

A Statement from the Board of Directors


Like many organisations, PAPER Arts has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. In 2020, on appointment of a highly skilled CEO, we made the bold decision to review our business model and begin a process of research and development in order to shape a new service and to better support creatives in Bristol with professional development, networking and the opportunity to learn new skills.

Throughout the pandemic we have proudly supported creatives in Bristol, with a focus on young people from St Pauls, our Creative Employment programme hosted over 20 sessions and we welcomed 17 young people to feed into our research and development proposal. 

However, the last 18 months have been a huge challenge, while we’ve been able to successfully deliver a plethora of projects since our inception seven years ago, we have been unable to secure the funding necessary to realise our ambitious plans for the future and to provide our organisation with much needed financial stability.

As a result, it is with a heavy heart that the current PAPER Arts team, made up of Grace, Kate, Katy, Lau and Amie will no longer be able to continue in their roles. Our small team has delivered a substantial amount of value to the community we serve and the Board of Directors are endlessly grateful for the skills and professionalism they bring with them each and every day. We are proud to know and work alongside such talented individuals and believe that the arts sector is a better place with them in it. 

The ideas generated by this team are inspiring and hopeful and the Board of Directors wholeheartedly believe in the importance of supporting the creative community in Bristol.

As September ends and the seasons change PAPER Arts will be going into hibernation in order to survive this adversity. Our voluntary Board of Directors will spend the coming months considering the future of PAPER Arts, the role we can play in the arts sector in Bristol and how we can sustainably move forwards. We don’t know what that will look like yet, but as soon as we are able to share more with you we will. 

In the meantime, should you have any questions or concerns or if you would like to speak to someone about the future of PAPER Arts please don’t hesitate to contact [email protected] – Kirsten Cree, one of the Board of Directors will be monitoring this inbox. 

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