In an open letter to ACE chair Nicholas Serota, female theatre leaders including Julia Pascal have accused Arts Council England of displaying a “serious disregard” for women in its new 10-year strategy. 

Read the full article in The Stage :

The letter in full

Dear Sir Nicholas,

We are writing to express our deep disappointment with Let’s Create, the recently published 10-year Arts Council strategy.

Before it was launched, our group met with you and colleagues at the Arts Council to emphasise the endemic inequality faced by women in the arts.

During these meetings ACE assured us that our objective to achieve 50/50 parity would be seriously considered as part of the strategy. However, the new ACE plan barely mentions women, with only brief references in the introduction and conclusion.

It was clear to us that if the issue of female parity was not enshrined in the Strategy, it would be ignored. ACE has missed this vital opportunity to set out a strategy to achieve 50/50 representation.

We are presenting our research and that of our colleagues in Equity, Era 50:50, SDUK, the Writers’ Guild, Black Womxn in Theatre, and University Women In The Arts, and discussing the ACE Strategy, on February 25 at Trafalgar Studio 2 at 1.30pm-5pm.

We would be delighted if you could join us and clarify what seems to us a serious disregard for female artists.

All very best wishes,

Sue Parrish, artistic director of Sphinx Theatre
Maureen Beattie, president, Equity
Polly Kemp, co-founder of Era 50: 50
Jennifer Tuckett, director of University Women in the Arts and academic
Titilola Dawudu, co-founder, Black Womxn in Theatre
Julia Pascal, the first female director at the National Theatre at the South Bank
Brigid Larmour, artistic director of Watford Palace Theatre
On behalf of the December Group