Promoting the Inclusion of Europe’s Migrants and Minorities in Arts and Culture
Decades of sustained immigration have transformed many European cities into mosaics of different cultures. Yet this diversity is not always mirrored in the art celebrated in museums, the plays produced in major theaters, and the music heard in concert halls. In addition, well-intended efforts to celebrate ethnic and cultural diversity through art and culture run the risk of overemphasizing differences, exoticizing minority groups rather than contributing to the normalization of diversity within society.
But this status quo may be changing. Widespread anti-racism protests have prompted long-overdue conversations about mis- and under-representation of minorities as well as discrimination in the cultural scene. At the same time, pandemic-related restrictions have placed further financial strains on the already fragile cultural sector, challenging organizations to reach new audiences in new ways.
This MPI Europe report, which draws on interviews with cultural professionals from 11 European countries, explores approaches to strengthening the participation of migrant and minority communities in arts and culture, with potential benefits for immigrant integration outcomes, social cohesion, and the vibrancy and sustainability of cultural institutions. It examines migrants’ and minorities’ inclusion on three levels: as visitors of cultural venues and consumers of art, as featured artists and performers, and as leaders and staff within cultural institutions.
The research was conducted within the framework of the Urban Agenda Partnership on the Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees, co-led by the City of Amsterdam and the European Commission and funded by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs.
2 Migrants’ and Minorities’ Inclusion in Arts and Culture: The Promise and the Barriers
A. Why Is Inclusion in Art and Culture Important for Integration and Social Cohesion?
B. Barriers Migrants Face to Accessing and Shaping Art and Culture
3 Local Practices to Promote Inclusive Artistic and Cultural Scenes
A. Promoting Access to and Participation in Mainstream Cultural Services
B. Supporting Cultural (Co-)Production by Immigrant and Minority Communities
C. Anchoring Diversity in Institutions
4 Strategies to Ensure Cultural Institutions Mirror Societal Diversity
A. Strengthening Cultural Institutions’ Role in Migrant Integration and Social Cohesion, while Putting Culture at the Center of Sustainable Urban Development
B. Supporting the Structural Transformation of Cultural Institutions and Making the Business Case for Diversity