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NEWS: Jenny Williams appointed Chair of Anti-Racism Action Group

3 May 2024

Nottingham Playhouse announces the appointment of a new Chair of our Anti-Racism Action Group, Jenny Williams BEM.

Jenny is a Founding Director of Take the Space, an inclusive consultancy and creative production hub for Black and multi ethnic talent. With 28 years experience in the arts and cultural sector, her work focuses on engagement, new audiences and inclusive approaches that break down barriers to cultural activity, particularly through the lens of race equity.

Prior to founding her company, Jenny held numerous senior positions in the cultural sector including CEO & Creative Director for Revoluton Arts; Head of Diversity for Arts Council England; Education Director, The Kiln (formerly The Tricycle); Fundraiser English Touring Opera; as well as Arts Development Lead for two Local Authorities.

Jenny commented:

“I am thrilled to be appointed as Chair to support the Anti-Racism Action Group (ARAG) at Nottingham Playhouse. The group brings together the diversity of roles and perspectives from all parts of the organisation. I am honoured to hold space that will enable us to co-create approaches that are resonant and reflective of Nottingham communities.  We will also continue the important, national role Nottingham Playhouse has played in this work over time.”

 Stephanie Sirr MBE, Chief Executive of Nottingham Playhouse, said:

“We are delighted to have Jenny joining us, with her wealth of experience and knowledge.

Diversity, equality and inclusion are at the heart of everything Nottingham Playhouse is trying to achieve and we welcome her invaluable advice and guidance to our ARAG group.”

Jenny is a Board Member of The Towner Eastbourne and chairs the Diversity Task Group; a Partnership Member of the South Downs National Parks Association; ROSS Consultant for National Lottery Heritage Fund, Board Member for East Sussex Culture and is a member of Arts Council England South East Area Council.

Jenny was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the 2020 New Year’s Honours for services to culture and creativity.

Nottingham Playhouse established a Diversity in the Workforce Group in 2020, with the remit of diversifying its permanent workforce to better reflect the rich diversity of the city. Successfully achieving many of its initial targets, the group recently merged with the Anti-Racism Action Group to create a single, more powerful entity.

The Anti-Racism Action Group (ARAG) was set up in 2021 to look at the wider culture and environment at Nottingham Playhouse, and to advise the Executive team and Board of Trustees on matters of diversity, inclusion and equality. Its aim is to ensure that Nottingham Playhouse is a safe and fully representative organisation, which reflects the full breadth and richness of diversity within the local community.

The ARAG is made up of employees, Trustees and co-opted members. The co-opted members, who were recruited through an open call out, include people from within and outside the region, and those who work in the cultural sector and also outside of it.

Work by the ARAG in recent years has included the creation of an anonymous Reporting Racism Mechanism; a review of all HR policies; the provision of guidelines for recruiting and engaging freelancers; mandatory Anti-Racism training for all staff and Zero Tolerance signage around the building.


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