This Strategy sets out Royal Liverpool Philharmonic’s Inclusivity and Relevance priorities and actions for the financial year 2023-24. It was developed by our cross –organisational Inclusivity and Relevance Steering Group, which includes managers in all our key areas and is supported by two board members.
All the work set out in this document is costed and budgeted within our approved 2023-24 budget contained within our Business Plan. It is supported by a detailed Action Plan with specific actions, outputs, resources allocated, and lead personnel identified. This document will be the tool for internal delivery and monitoring through the course of the year.
It was approved by the Board on 12 June 2023.
We believe that equality of opportunity across our organisation and our intention to reflect and engage the rich Diversity of Liverpool City Region is central to our artistic success, continuing audience and participant growth and long-term sustainability.
In the development of our plan, we are fully committed to ensuring equity and equality across all the protected characteristics as set out in the Equality Act of 2010. However, we recognise that we have work to do in relation to three of these in particular, as well as in relation to socio-economic disadvantage:
Through the priority actions set out in this Plan we believe we will become a more diverse, and a stronger organisation, in relation to
1.3 SUMMARY OF KEY ACTIONS
The mission of Liverpool Philharmonic is to enhance and transform lives through music. In order to achieve our mission we are prioritising reaching new audiences, engaging young people, delivering social change and improvement in our city and performing the widest range of music.
Inclusivity and Relevance are fundamental to how we see ourselves as a music organisation. We are profoundly connected with communities and individuals across our city, unlocking their creativity and placing music – whether making or experiencing it – at the centre of their lives. And we are a national and international leader in innovating and reinventing what it means to be a professional music organisation with an orchestra at its heart in the 21st century. We are nothing if we are not relevant. Our music making speaks to people, enriches them, and engages them with today’s society. It gives our communities a voice; it unlocks the creativity of those we work with. Everything we do is to that end.
We believe that diversity, inclusion and relevance are fundamental for the development of our business. If we are disadvantaging any sector of the population, we are potentially losing audience members, musicians, diverse partners and staff members – ultimately losing potential income and skills and talent; and not performing or presenting some great music. We need to ensure that we continue to be relevant to the people of the Liverpool City Region, and that we are reaching ever more, and more diverse, people within our communities.
Our vision for inclusivity and relevance is core to how we achieve our core goals and mission of becoming a truly international organisation rooted in Liverpool that enhances and transforms lives through music. We see this as a positive process, about embracing the opportunities that diversity presents to us as an organisation.
Liverpool Philharmonic will embrace and champion the opportunities that inclusivity and relevance offer in our leadership, company members and in the artists and music genres we present. We believe that equality of opportunity across our organisation and our intention to reflect and engage the rich diversity of Liverpool City Region is central to our artistic success, continuing audience and participant growth and long-term sustainability.
In the development of our plan we are fully committed to ensuring equity and equality across all the protected characteristics as set out in the Equality Act of 2010 (age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation) However we recognise that we have work to do in relation to three of these in particular, as well as in relation to socio-economic disadvantage:
For the purposes of this plan the term ‘diverse’ is used to mean the target groups referred to above, whilst also including all protected characteristics.
The Arts Council uses the term Black, Asian and Ethnically Diverse to indicate the categories within the UK Census data ‘Asian or Asian British’, ‘Black, Black British, Caribbean or African’, ‘Mixed or multiple ethnic groups’, ‘Arab, and other ethnic groups’, and excluding ‘White’. The Government uses the term ‘Ethnic minorities’ . In this document we use the ACE terminology but shortened to ‘ethnically diverse’.
The Action Plan focusses on the following areas of our business:
In carrying out this Plan we know that we have to work towards equity as well as equality of opportunity; to recognise and address the fact that certain people, whether employees, audiences, participants or artists, will have particular needs which have to be addressed differently and which we need to support to achieve true equality.
Five years - what will change look like in 2028?
3. PRIORITIES AND ACTIONS
We have identified the following 17 actions for 2023-24 which range across and are integrated into every area of our business and our programme of activity. The delivery of these with specific actions, initiatives and outputs in the year, and lead responsibilities will be set out in a separate detailed internal working document which will be used to monitor progress on a quarterly basis.
WORKFORCE, LEADERSHIP AND GOVERNANCE
3.1 We will invest in recruitment to increase the diversity of our professional musicians and of our staff.
We have worked hard to widen our recruitment and the effectiveness of our recruitment processes and will continue this work with a range of actions including more effective monitoring, engagement in community recruitment events, and further training.
Example output in 23/24: an increase in the number of diverse applicants at each stage of the recruitment and selection process benchmarked against 2022-23 figures.
3.2 We will support our workforce to ensure that the needs of diverse employees are met.
This will include further development of our HR policies with a focus on diversity and inclusion; providing further resources for staff; and further training across a breadth of relevant areas.
Example output in 23/24: specific training provided to identified Learning, Front of House and other relevant staff members on topics including Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid, ASD and Autism Awareness, supporting gender diverse children & young people, and Dementia Friendly training, as well as other specific identified training relating to Learning programmes.
3.3 We will ensure our Board is diverse and representative of our communities.
We will manage recruitment to any Board vacancies within best EDI practice procedure and include the Board in our EDI training programme.
Example output in 23/24: specialist external EDI training for Board carried out.
3.4 We will involve our whole organisation, from the Board down, in the conversation, in creative ideas, and in continuous review and improvement.
This will include carrying out further externally delivered further bespoke training programme for orchestra, senior management and the Board from a diversity and inclusion specialist working in the sector. We will ensure full and continuing communication of and engagement with of our Diversity priorities and actions through the Company.
Example output in 23/24: Entire orchestra engaged in specialist sector specific EDI training and development programme
3.5 We will ensure we communicate our commitment and strategy externally.
We will continue to promote our plans and report our delivery on our website and elsewhere and ensure that diversity and inclusion is fully reflected in our communications and marketing.
Example output in 23/24: increased references to our Inclusivity and Reference work in social media mentions and other media stories.
3.6 We will exercise leadership working to ensure diversity, inclusivity and good practice in the sector.
This includes partnerships with other cultural organisations in Liverpool, and in the orchestral sector nationally. We will also be a signatory to the Liverpool cultural sector Race Equality Manifesto, and will build its commitments into our detailed plan.
Example output in 23/24: further work in freelance recruitment through our Black Lives in Music partnership, with increased number of contracts with global majority freelance musicians.
3.7 We will invest in targeted activity to increase the diversity of Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Company
We will do this through our wide range of ensembles; work to broaden further the diversity of the company, and partnerships with a wide range of diverse music and skills development organisations.
Example output in 23/24:further growth in global majority young people engaged across our Youth Company
3.8 We will deliver our In Harmony programme with the communities of Everton and Anfield
In Harmony has a very diverse mix of young people involved and we will continue to broaden this still further and to provide support for the young people involved to develop their musical potential still further.
Example output in 23/24: Increased number of In Harmony young people engaged in our Youth Company ensembles
3.9 We will deliver Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra Schools’ Concerts to a diverse and inclusive audience and with programmes that are relevant to their lives.
Our schools concerts will have a strong inclusive focus both in their content and in the diverse schools we work with and support to be involved.
Example output in 23/24: Monitored data on schools from areas of social deprivation, and special schools, attending.
3.10 We will deliver our NHS Music and Health Programme for users of a range of disability and physical and mental health services.
Our programme will reach 2,000 patients and service users with a range of disabilities and health problems including mental ill health: anxiety, depression, psychosis, social isolation, schizophrenia, perinatal mental health, eating disorders, older people, high secure inpatients; physical ill health: cancer, gerontology, chronic diseases, acquired brain injuries; learning disabilities; dementia; drug and alcohol recovery.
Example output in 23/24: further growth to 2,000 participants with a range of disabilities and health challenges.
3.11 We will target additional investment into audience development with ethnically diverse, disabled and socially excluded communities across Liverpool City Region through our Leap Into Live Music Audience Development programme.
Our Leap Into Live Music programme will attract new and first time audiences from diverse communities with free and discounted tickets, and su[port to welcome them on first visits.
Example output in 23/24: We will reach 450 new households through our Leap Into Live Music programme.
3.12 We will develop a singing strategy aimed at unifying our approach to singing with a focus on broadening the diversity of our participants in Choirs and other singing programmes.
We are investing additional resources to refresh and grow the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir and further diversify its membership, and we will continue to provide opportunities for young people through our various choirs and singing programmes.
Example output in 23/24: We will measure and increase the diversity of protected characteristic membership across our choirs and singing ensembles compared to the baseline in 23/24
3.13 We will ensure that our facilities are accessible to all communities.
We will undertake increased promotion of Access Scheme and grow its membership; continue to review and further improve our customer service in relation to accessibility.
Example output in 23/24: We will increase membership of our Access Scheme from 5,200 members to 6,000
3.14 We will increase investment in artists and composers from ethnically diverse backgrounds through performances, commissions and artist residencies.
We will increase the number of ethnically diverse artists across all of our areas of programming, with specific targets and initiatives to do so. This will include work by composers, both contemporary and historic, and a presenting a minimum of 15% of all Music Room artists who are ethnically diverse.
Example outputs in 23/24: At least 15% of lead artists in Music Room performances will be ethnically diverse and we will further increase the proportion of ethnically diverse artists working with the Orchestra and performing in the Hall compared to 22/23.
3.15 We will invest in cultural partnerships with ethnically diverse -led and other diverse organisations generating new music, events and audiences.
We will agree long term partnership agreements with organisations such as Africa Oye, Milap, and Liverpool Arab Arts Festival and other as appropriate.
Example output in 23/24: We will present at least 10 performances with local diverse partner organisations.
3.16 We will invest in new talent entering the music workforce through a Liverpool Philharmonic Emerging Professionals Programme and through the Rushworth Composition Prize, seeking a diverse entry.
We continue to develop specific programme to bring new and more diverse talent into the sector and our organisations, and to deliver existing programmes including the Rushworth Composition Prize; and Year 2 of the Emerging Musicians Fellowship.
Example output in 23/24: We will engage four emerging professionals within our Fellowship, and deliver a second round of our Black Lives in Music Recruiting Classical programme to recruit ethnically diverse freelance musicians.
3.17 We will increase the number of female composers, conductors and artists that we present and support.
We will deliver and maintain our Keychange pledge to achieve 50:50 gender balance in our promoted Music Room programme; improve the gender diversity of our guest conductors and soloists working with the Orchestra and increase the programming of historic and contemporary works by women, meeting our Keychange pledge of gender equality in our premieres and commissions.
Example output in 23/24; We will meet our commitments of a gender balance of lead artists in the music Room, and of composers whose new work is premièred by the Orchestra and ensembles.
Appendix – Background information
THE DIVERSITY OF OUR CITY REGION
The Office of National Statistics 2021 Census data provides detailed data on the demography of the Liverpool City Region. Our commitment is to be representative of the LCR population in our audiences, or programme, and our workforce. Some key data is attached as an Appendix.
The Asian, Black, mixed and other ethnic population of the City Region is now 8%; and of Liverpool City Council it is 16%. 21% of the population is defined as disabled under the Equality Act.
Several sources attest to significant socio-economic deprivation in the City Region.
THE MUSIC SECTOR
There have been various reviews by organisations such as Keychange, Arts Council England, and UK Music identifying shortfalls in the diversity of the music industry in the UK (and beyond). There continue to be national challenges in the music industry as a whole, and in classical music around equity across gender, disability and ethnic groups, and increasingly around educational and socio-economic background.
Our most recent full Audience Finder report is for 2021-22 up to March 2022. This shows that of those who responded to surveys, 98% were white with a total ethnically diverse number of respondents at 2.7%. The Audience Finder Survey 2019/20 indicates that 10% of those responding have a long-term health condition. Whilst this is an imperfect methodology to assess our true audience breakdown, dependent as it is to responses to online survey requests, nonetheless it is clear that our audiences currently fall short of the ethnic and disability diversity of the City Region.
We collect comprehensive data tracking participation each term, and annually, on the young people in In Harmony and the Youth Company.
In the financial year 2022/23 Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Company included 410 children and young people of which
In the financial year 2022/23,1,715 children aged 0-18 were involved in the In Harmony programme:
We collect full data for our workforce and governance including demographic profile of company members, and of all applicants to vacant positions, tracked through every stage of the recruitment. Aa at May 2023
As with audiences we fall short of our city region profile in relation to ethnic diversity and disability, and we are addressing this through our recruitment, retention and development of staff is a priority.
We will work hard to encourage both applicants and current employees to share their data in relation to protected characteristics. We will seek to alleviate any concerns regarding confidentiality and sensitivity, and we will proactively explain why this data is important ad part of our commitment to improving our effectiveness as a truly inclusive organisation.
EVALUATION AND MONITORING
We have a range of means of evaluation and monitoring our work in relation to Inclusivity and Relevance.
We collect and review full diversity data on all employees. We monitor fully our recruitment at every stage and review this data. We also seek and review feedback from candidates in recruitment.
We record and monitor all training, including gathering staff feedback processes.
We conduct appraisals of all staff, including musicians and use these to gather feedback, set direction, support training and development, and ensure we are supporting each member of the company on an individual basis
We record and monitor data around all priority areas against targets in out Action Plan including numbers of artists engaged. We seek and review internal staff and musician feedback on all events, and audience feedback. When working with partners we debrief and review all events after they have taken place and capture any learning for future application.
LEARNING AND PARTICIPATION PROGRAMMES
Across all programmes we undertake surveys and focus groups with programme participants and partner organisations.
We have established an Internal Learning Programme evaluation framework which we are implementing in 2021/2.
We have conducted a long term external longitudinal evaluation of In Harmony Liverpool (both locally and part of national evaluations).
We seek and monitor feedback from all attendees after the event on both their experience of the artistic programme, and their overall visitor experience.
We undertake regular audience surveys to help us improve our overall service, product, and meeting of specific needs
We have well developed Feedback systems and evaluation for all LEAP! Into Live Music attendees
DELIVERY OF INCLUSIVITY AND RELEVANCE
We have created an Inclusivity and Relevance Steering Group, made up of representatives from across key departments, members of the Orchestra, and Board members.
The Action Plan is reviewed quarterly by the Inclusivity and Relevance Steering Group, Leadership Team and Executive Team
Inclusivity and Relevance is a standing item at all Board meetings, with both overall strategic considerations, and delivery against targets considered.
WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP
We cannot achieve this programme on our own. We will engage with communities, education and health partners, cultural partners, and others to both develop and deliver our work and to ensure that we are both effective and truly responsive to our communities’ needs, and ambitions.
We are actively working with Black Lives in Music to ensure we recruit in a way that encourages more applications from ethnically diverse musicians and staff. We work with various partners in recruitment to improve the diversity of our applicants, including Merseycare, MICAH, Prince’s Trust, Give Get Go, Black Lives in Music, UNITE the Union, Musicians’ Union, Parents in Performing Arts (PiPA), and specialist training providers.
In Harmony Liverpool is based on frequent community and partner consultation and engagement with the communities of Everton and Anfield, aa well as from outcomes from case study children termly interviews, parent and teacher feedback. Curriculum design is planned with partner schools.
We consult with Youth Company participants and parents/carers to feedback on programme content and experience and identify improvements/future developments.
Our Schools’ Concerts programmes are created using annual evaluation feedback with schools and music education hubs.
Our NHS programmes are co-designed with service users and NHS staff to ensure the intended outcomes are achieved. Focus groups and surveys with service users inform future developments. Strategic priorities are identified in consultation with NHS trusts.
Rushworth Composition Prize was subject of a formal programme review March 2021 involving previous participants, judges and other stakeholders.
Leap Into Live Music is based upon direct consultation and engagement with community groups and companies, developing with them a programme to attract new attenders to our concerts.
PROGRAMME AND TALENT DEVELOPMENT
Our Creative Partnerships will be developed in close dialogue with key diverse led cultural organisations in (and in some cases beyond) the city. Our programme, particularly in the Music Room is curated in partnership with a number of specialist local and national promoters and agencies engaged with specific and diverse genres of music and artists.
Our Talent Development programmes are developed in close consultation and partnership with a range of organisations including HE institutions such as Royal Northern College of Music and University of Liverpool.
We work actively with and in many cases lead a range of partners in developing regional, national and sector-led strategic approaches. These include:
Liverpool Philharmonic's Race Equality Manifesto
As arts and culture organisations in Liverpool City Region, we stand against racism and racial injustice. Hate and discrimination have no home in the arts or anywhere else.
We are committed to redressing the imbalances that exist in our sector, by creating opportunities for, increasing the positive visibility of, and promoting the inclusion of those who experience racism.
We jointly commit to the seven pledges of this Manifesto, in a dynamic campaign that tailors and scales our organisations’ activities to drive change. Collectively, we will support each other to uphold these pledges.
We will annually: review progress and any barriers; share new understanding; apply and review actions and targets set for each pledge; and actively challenge our organisations to stand against racism and racial injustice.
A LEARNING ORGANISATION
We are committed to being truly inclusive, and an organisation that is truly relevant to its community – its audiences, participants, and the wider communities of our city. We will only achieve this ambition with true leadership, commitment, and self-refection. We need to keep learning, keep reviewing, keep building our understanding of what it means to be truly inclusive. To that end we will be active in reading, sharing knowledge, drawing on the skills and ideas of our company, and also drawing on knowledge and information from elsewhere, both within and beyond the music sector. The senior management will share and build a continuing library of studies, reports, and information which will help us in this aim.