Thursday, November 24, 2005

Racist Arts Council England (2)

I have received a reply from the Arts Council England following my complaint about a writing competition that is only open to entrants "from an African, Asian or Caribbean background".

Dear xxxx xxxxxxxx,

Thank you for your enquiry.

The reason for the original decibel definition of African, Asian and Caribbean was that there was clear evidence that these groups which are what you could term 'majority-minority groupings' within England i.e. they are the biggest minority groups had not benefited from our funding programmes to the level you would expect from the demographics. This link will provide you with information about other short story competitions. If you are interested in prizes for other writing formats please let me know and I can look into this for you.

Arts Council England does not consider this competition to be unlawful under the Race Relations Act.

Best wishes,


The Arts Council England may not consider this competition to be unlawful under the Race Relations Act but I still do!

Update My response:


Thank you for your prompt response. What is the "clear evidence" that you refer to? Are you implying that Art Council England funding is inherently racist as it unfortunately excludes minority groupings using current spending formulae?

Looking through the short story competitions that you helpfully provided, not one single competition is exclusive to English residents, obviously ignoring the smaller regional competitions. Why is this? Is this an oversight? Ironically, the 'Rhys Davies Short Story Competition' is only open to writers "born or currently living in Wales" whilst the 'Scotsman Orange Short Story Award' is only open to Scottish writers!

Unfortunately, you have not explained why the Art Council England is running a competition open to UK residents. Surely the competition should only be open to UK residents from the 'minority groupings'? Wouldn't it be ironic if a Welsh or Scot won an Art Council England competition!?!



PS Do you consider London teachers to be another 'minority' grouping who have not benefited from your funding programmes to the level you would expect from the demographics? "The Creative Writing Competition for London Teachers 2006" - Booktrust, in association with Arts Council England, London Metropolitan University and the Arvon Foundation are running a writing competition for London teachers.


lascivious said...

That response is rather reminiscent of the BBC's response to criticism: assertion without evidence.

Stevo in Taichung said...

"decibel definition"? what the hell does that mean? I guess we should have expected a reply like this from someone named Tania.