Skip to main content

Our Transformation Promise

Creating a space where the unity and joy of live music can be shared by everyone.

To become everything Bristol Beacon promises, we need to build a concert space that is without barriers and provides opportunities to create and experience incredible music moments like never before. We need to grow what we do, who we do it with and who we do it for.

We’ve set out our ambitions in our Transformation Promise which you can read in full below.

A truly diverse music programme

Music is at the heart of life in Bristol. We want our artistic programme to be as cutting-edge and as diverse as the city we’re proud to call our home. By 2023 we are committed to creating a programme that celebrates and showcases what makes our city special.

Our pledge

 

  1. As a Founder of the Alliance for a Musically Inclusive England, continue to work closely with the National Foundation for Youth Music to support the development of under-represented early career creatives, through a dedicated, tailored programme of mentoring, seed-funding, creative collaboration and industry experience.
  2. Provide opportunities for Bristol’s diverse emerging musicians and producers by annually investing significant funds into a commissioning programme and showcasing the talent of the city
  3. Expand our Talent Pipeline developed alongside our partners and funders PRS Foundation to further support local under-represented artists, with a yearly investment to train and perform at the highest level.
  4. Work with young creatives in collaboration with Rising Arts Agency to develop the visual identity of our organisation.
  5. Create an annual programme of innovative orchestral work with Associate Artists Paraorchestra that will amplify the voices of disabled artists.
  6. Work in partnership with agencies, producers and promoters who bring additional experience of working with diverse artists.

Our progress

Updated June 2021

 

  1. Drawing on our work developing emerging talent over the last three years through our Multi-Track Home-Grown Heat, FLOW Creative and music ensemble programmes, in autumn 2021 Bristol Beacon will be announcing a new industry development initiative for 18 – 25-year-olds. Participants will explore career paths with a personal mentor, get expert advice from industry professionals and get seed-funding to realise their own creative ideas.
  2. In November 2020 we launched ‘A New Song For Bristol’, a major city-wide project through which we commissioned a diverse cohort of six Bristol-based artists to create original pieces of music inspired by the ideas and stories of Bristol communities. A new five-year commissioning programme is currently being designed to begin later this year
  3. Building on two previous live editions of Bristol Takeover, and two online editions during the pandemic, we are committed to delivering Bristol Takeover as an annual showcase of diverse music talent in the city with the next edition due to take place this year. In February 2021 we delivered an online professional development workshop responding to the challenges emerging artists faced with COVID-19 in partnership with Young Guns Network. Upon the conclusion of our Multi-Track programme in summer 2021, we are re-designing our talent pipeline to ensure that we create a talent pathway from school to stage.
  4. In November 2020 Bristol Beacon engaged a diverse cohort of three emerging creatives represented by Rising Arts Agency to collaborate on creating the new visual identity for Bristol Beacon. We have collaborated to create a brand that reflects the vibrancy and diversity of Bristol.
  5. We are continuing our ongoing partnership with Paraorchestra – and worked with them on their next original commission SMOOSH! Furthermore, as the Bristol Centre for the National Open Youth Orchestra, Bristol Beacon has been supporting a pioneering inclusive orchestra where talented young disabled and non-disabled musicians based in the South West develop their musical skills together. Their inaugural concerts are lined up for 2022.
  6. In September 2021 Bristol Beacon will host the Diverse Artist Network networking event, and in June this year we welcome Bristol Refugee Festival into the venue for their annual launch event. This is the beginning of a building broad relationships with the city’s cultural organisations.
  7. Over the next year we will be conducting a review of our existing partnerships and identifying underrepresented areas in our programme in order to build strategic relationships to address areas of opportunity.
  8. We have worked with a diverse cohort of young people from Rising Arts Agency over the last 7 months to develop new branding and marketing guidelines for our organisation.

Life-long experiences for all

By 2023 our audience will mirror the diversity of Bristol. We will make change so that everyone can enjoy live music and inspiring life-long learning experiences. From the classroom and the community centre, to the concert hall.

Our pledge

 

  1. Expand and initiate programmes to ensure those attending and participating in our work are representative of the demographic of the city, with a particular focus on ethnicity, age and disability.
  2. Continue to engage low-income families with our music education and performance opportunities by expanding programmes such as our primary schools initiative funded by Earthsong Foundation which provides free instrumental music lessons to 4,500 children in the city.
  3. Ensure that 20% of our programme takes place in community spaces in Bristol.
  4. Achieve an Attitude is Everything Gold Standard by the time we reopen our transformed venue ensuring people with disabilities have full access to our music and learning spaces and programmes.
  5. Publish an Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan which sets out our goals.

Our progress

Updated June 2021

  1. During the pandemic, we have focused our activity on supporting young people in challenging circumstances by offering free online 1-to-1 tuition and group music making workshops
  2. Key programmes of work include Hope Creative (for children in care), FLOW Creative (for disabled young people) and working with National Open Youth Orchestra (NOYO) to support disabled young musicians.
  3. Through delivering sessions online, participation in these programmes has greatly increased during the pandemic – in the case of FLOW Creative by 400%.
  4. Throughout the pandemic we have offered free in-person lessons for children in care, care leavers and disabled young people.
  5. We provide ongoing music tuition and ensemble bursaries for low-income families
  6. The Earthsong programme is moving into its third phase having successfully delivered weekly music lessons to 1,500 Bristol children to date and a further 3,000 over the next 3 years.
  7. We have provided online theatre tickets for 60 families in partnership with Dragonbird Theatre, Barnardo’s and Hope Virtual School
  8. In 2021 we are working with Brolly Productions in three city libraries to take music and art to local families and children.
  9. Bristol Beacon currently holds a Silver Award from Attitude is Everything’s charter of best practice. The transformed venue will have fully accessible spaces for people with disabilities, both audiences and artists.
  10. We have published our first Equalities Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan
  11. We have worked with The National Foundation for Youth Music to develop the HEARD model of inclusion, which helps us to reflect on our work and stimulate conversation around the purpose and impact of what we do. The model has been adopted by the Alliance for a Musically Inclusive England, and by Music Education Hubs across the country.

We have published our first Equalities Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan.

Download

Young male musician sitting holding a violin, receiving instruction from an adult female tutor.

Collaboration is the heart of our work

We want all Bristolians to be proud of their concert venue and this means working closely with Bristol’s communities. In the build-up to reopening and from then on, communities will be at the heart of our decision making, ensuring that our work is relevant and representative.

Our pledge

 

  1. Instigate a city-wide programme of work in partnership with Paul Hamlyn Foundation, who will invest £400,000 in a major programme of community-led activity centred around the reopening of the new concert venue. Programmes will include work with children under 5 from low-income families, adults living in social isolation or with dementia, children in care and care leavers and community artists and musicians
  2. Commission Bristol residents to share their creative responses to our Transformation through our National Lottery Heritage Fund interpretation programme
  3. Work in partnership with community organisations to identify participants, receive referrals and co-create exceptional music activities

Our progress

Updated June 2021

  1. In 2021 the following programmes we will establish:
  2. Musical Beacons – establishing safe creative spaces for disabled children in early years and their families to be creative and connect with others
  3. Flow Creative – a creative music programme for disabled young people
  4. Partnering with South Bristol Youth on a female empowerment project
  5. Partnership with the Dementia Wellbeing Service to provide opportunities for adults living with dementia and their families
  6. As part of the ‘A New Song For Bristol‘ project launched in November 2020, Bristol Beacon launched a city-wide callout for residents’ creative responses to living in Bristol
  7. The responses will inspire a large-scale artwork on the front of Bristol Beacon, designed by Bristol artist Parys Gardener, to be installed in autumn 2021.
  8. Our work is based on strong principles of co-creation. As a result referrals have dramatically increased.
  9. These include from partners in local authority, education, adult education, young people’s organisations, older people’s organisations, disability organisations and the arts and health sector.

Reflecting the city and its people

A modern, forward-thinking arts organisation represents and reflects the identities and experiences of all people. By 2025 we will improve workforce representation to mirror the diversity of our local area.

Our pledge

 

  1.  Expand and initiate programmes to increase representation of people of colour and those who identify as disabled in our workforce (currently 7% and 4% respectively).
  2. Undertake regular organisation wide diversity and inclusion training.
  3. Recruit a creative assistant in 2021 from an under-represented socio-economic background in a position funded by Jerwood Arts.
  4. Conduct a review of all aspects of our organisational structure and actions with a focus on culture and recruitment – including unconscious bias training, and inclusion and employee voice programmes.
  5. We will develop staff wellbeing initiatives as part of this organisational change, to support the individual needs of our staff and improve the richness of experience for all.
  6. Deliver on our commitment to run the UK’s first carbon neutral concert venue

Our progress

Updated June 2021

  1. We now offer guaranteed interviews for candidates with a disability who meet the minimum criteria for the role.
  2. We offer mentoring to applicants who are not sure how to articulate their experience when applying for a role in the arts, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds in our workforce
  3. We have redesigned our Job Application Pack to make it more accessible
  4. We are undertaking targeted recruitment advertising with local partners to reach candidates underrepresented in our workforce
  5. We are in the process of developing an Organisational Development – People Plan, which will include diversity and inclusion training for staff across the organisation. This work will start by autumn 2021 as staff return to work following the pandemic
  6. In May 2021 the successful candidate for the Creative Assistant role started work at Bristol Beacon. The Creative Assistant is now working across Programming, Marketing and Community creative teams.
  7. We have written and introduced a Wellbeing Policy and are now working to embed wellbeing throughout our organisation
  8. To support us we have introduced seven trained Mental Health First Aid Champion staff members and a new Employee Assistance Programme.
  9. In autumn 2021 we will undertake organisation-wide unconscious bias training as part of our internal culture review. This work will be underpinned by our Organisational Development People Plan.
  10. We have successfully appointed sustainability consultants HOPE Solutions, and are now preparing to undertake a period of consultation with the public, our audiences, partners and city leaders.
  11. We will publish our sustainability roadmap towards organisational environmental responsibility in November 2021 to coincide with the international climate change conference COP26.
  12. We are working with creative partners including charity Global Goals on a programme of activity to bring the issues around the environmental responsibility to life, including a response to COP26.