Equality & Diversity Policy

HEARTHSTONE Ways primary mission is to support rural and isolated communities within the South West. Offering opportunities for rural communities to access professional contemporary arts and culture through social engagement projects.

Our workshops and projects employ professional, local and national artists to give socially disadvantaged people of all ages the opportunity to experience creative, educational, culturally enriching resource and learning experiences within their own communities

Artistically, our mission is to actively seek out, mentor, nurture, and bring art and creativity to areas that are not usually serviced by the arts.

Operationally, our mission is for a staff team that represents all of the UK; encompassing diversity in race, ethnicity, faith, disability, gender, class and economic disadvantage.

Diversity will be an item on every meeting agenda, from Board meetings to Town Hall meetings – to which all staff, including part time and casual staff are invited.

Diversity will be a key consideration in artistic and organisational planning and all staff are encouraged to take responsibility for furthering the aims defined in this document within their own areas and departments.

We are asking all our artists and staff to sign up to this ethos, as individuals and as an organisation and to commit to furthering diversity within our company and beyond it into the wider arts arena.

This document outlines our guiding principles with regard to diversity and representation within and for our organisation. In addition to this, and in order to ensure we achieve our aspirations, we will create an Equality Action Plan which is created in discussion with the staff. This is a live document which is reviewed and updated regularly and shared with the whole staff team.

Creative Case for Diversity

  • We are outward-looking, inclusive, long-term, and development-focused – future-proofing ourselves by drawing the most brilliant talent not from the small proportion whose contacts, social mobility, opportunity, and class ease them into a professional career in the arts, but from the widest possible proportion of people for whom a arts career may seem a distant or unimagined ambition.
  • We test our decisions throughout the process to ask if we have made enough active choices and fulfilled every opportunity across the project to be as representative, open and diverse in the talent as we can be.
  • We regularly audit creative artists working with us and foster relationships with practitioners who can bring new perspectives and new methods of working.
  • A culture of learning and progression is supported by rigorous and constructive evaluation for each project and an ongoing review process for organisational and operational systems which support the work.

Equal Opportunities

  • Hearthstone ways is an equal opportunities employer. It aims to ensure that no job applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of sex, race, colour, nationality, disability, ethnic or national origins, class, marital status, civil status, sexual orientation, gender re-assignment, age, trade union activity, political or religious belief.  Applications from Deaf and disabled people are welcome.  Selection criteria and procedures will be kept under review to ensure that individuals are selected, promoted and treated on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities.  Improved advertising style and recruitment methods are reviewed regularly.

Leadership and Workforce Diversity

  • We embrace diversity of experience and thought, and we seek to cultivate leaders, as well as entry level and training opportunities.
  • Through trainee and apprentice schemes we create entry level opportunities to mentor and develop the best and the brightest talent from the widest pool, encouraging those for whom opportunities in arts may have been hard to come by and supporting them across all departments to fulfil their potential.
  • We will review, refresh and revise our recruitment procedures and practices to ensure we are reaching, attracting and appointing a workforce who will bring to us a diversity of background and experience alongside their work based skills.

Audience Development and public engagement

  • Each campaign for each project will be seen through the prism of diversity
  • The company’s projects are evaluated using the HACT (Mental Health Social Value calculator)
  • We will foster a culture of simultaneously attracting new audiences and encouraging repeat attendance and loyalty.
  • The company will develop projects that focus on well-being, Mindfulness, and developing skills in creativity.
  • We will seek to broaden our local reach in the South West, using digital strategies alongside traditional marketing and personal contact, reaching out to all sections of our society.
  • We will be rigorous in collecting and analysing data and get to know our audiences.
  • We will strive to make our events and our performances as accessible as possible and audit this regularly, internally and externally. We want to be open, friendly and welcoming and provide an environment in which audiences, artists and staff come together to make and experience the best possible.

Partnerships and Collaborations

  • We are committed to a culture of collaboration; embracing partnerships and working relationships which enrich both our artistic programme and our operational approach.

Governance and Board Development

  • We will work to create a Board which is skilled, supportive and engaged as well as diverse, enshrining a rotation system for board membership in the constitution to ensure we can harness new voices and energies

We are committed to diversifying our funding base to support the broadest range of work.