COMMON
 
 

COMMON exist to support the UK CREATIVE INDUSTRIES to achieve greater socio-economic diversity.

Our MISSION is to make ARTS & CULTURE WIDELY accessible to the working & UNDER-class; whether they be artists, audiences or communities.

 
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“CURRENTLY, A KEY CHARACTERISTIC OF THE BRITISH CULTURAL AND CREATIVE WORKFORCE IS THE ABSENCE OF THOSE FROM WORKING-CLASS SOCIAL ORIGINS.”

‘Panic! Social Class, Taste and Inequalities in the Creative Industries, 2018.

 

READ OUR RESEARCH

 

“Over a third (34.8%) of the creative workforce in London are from upper-middle class origins.”

Panic! Social Class, Taste and Inequalities in the Creative Industries, 2018.

“RESEARCH BY THE SUTTON TRUST LAST YEAR FOUND THAT DESPITE JUST 7% OF BRITISH KIDS ATTENDING PRIVATE SCHOOLS, 42% OF BRITISH BAFTA WINNERS ATTENDED A FEE-PAYING SCHOOL.”

Acting Up Report: Labour’s Inquiry into Access And Diversity in the Performing Arts, 2017. 

 

“The proportion of young cultural workers from upper-middle class backgrounds more than doubled between 1981 and 2011, from 15% to 33%. The proportion from working class origins dropped by about a third, from 22% to 13% over the same period.”

Panic! Social Class, Taste and Inequalities in the Creative Industries, 2018.

 

“10% OF THEATRE DIRECTORS COME FROM A WORKING-CLASS BACKGROUND, COMPARED WITH 44% OF THE GENERAL POPULATION.”

SDUK: ‘The Director’s Voice: A Study Of Theatre Director Training And Career Development In The UK’, 2018.

 

“WORKING-CLASS KIDS AREN’T REPRESENTED. WORKING-CLASS LIFE IS NOT REFERRED TO. IT’S REALLY SAD. I THINK IT MEANS WE’RE GOING TO GET LOADS MORE MIDDLE-CLASS DRAMA. IT WILL BE MIDDLE-CLASS PEOPLE PLAYING WORKING-CLASS PEOPLE, LIKE IT USED TO BE.”

Dame Julie Walters (The Guardian: 2015)

 

“Only 12.4% of the workforce in the creative industries are from working-class origins. This is compared to 44% of the UK population as a whole.”

‘Panic! Social Class, Taste and Inequalities in the Creative Industries, 2018.

 
 

“79% OF THE WORKFORCE IS MADE UP OF DIRECTORS WHO COME FROM WHAT IS CATEGORISED AS EITHER AN UPPER-MIDDLE CLASS OR MIDDLE CLASS BACKGROUND. IN CONTRAST THIS CATEGORY MAKES UP ONLY 27% OF THE POPULATION AS A WHOLE.”

SDUK: ‘The Director’s Voice: A Study Of Theatre Director Training And Career Development In The UK’, 2018.

 
 
 

JAMES GRAHAM: OLIVIER AWARD-WINNING PLAYWRIGHT AND PATRON OF COMMON

"Socio-economic diversity in the arts is a tough fight to fight. It has and continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing theatre in the UK, and our industry is all the poorer for its lack of accessibility and inclusivity of working-class artists.

There were problems, challenges, and impossible hurdles when I was starting out from this kind of background, from a deprived community, but it's only getting harder for the next generation of ferociously talented artists.

I have been so impressed and inspired by the work of David Loumgair and of COMMON, and wish an organisation like this had existed when I was in my early career.

I admire its mission, its punchiness and its ideas. I admire its desire to work with existing companies and venues in fuelling this conversation, and collaborating with them to come up with solutions. I admire its national focus and its commitment to regions outside the capital, working with communities across the UK who have limited access to the arts.

As an artist from a working-class background, I am thrilled to join COMMON as a Patron to support this cause, and can't wait to see what ideas are generated and the progress we can all make together."

 
 
 

RECENT NEWS:

 
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10 WAYS TO BREAK THE CLASS CEILING:
DR SAM FRIEDMAN AND DR DANIEL LAURISON

  1. Measure and monitor class background.

  2. Find out whether your organisation has a class ceiling.

  3. Start a conversation about talent.

  4. Take intersectionality seriously.

  5. Publish social mobility data.

  6. Ban unpaid and unadvertised internships.

  7. Senior champions are necessary but not sufficient.

  8. Formalise the informal.

  9. Support those who want it.

  10. Lobby for legal protection.

 

 
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Class privilege remains entrenched as social mobility stagnates

Inequality is now entrenched in Britain from birth to work, and the government needs to take urgent action to help close the privilege gap, the Social Mobility Commission says today (Tuesday 30 April).

The commission’s sixth comprehensive State of the Nation report looking at early childhood, schools, universities, further education and work reveals that social mobility has been stagnant for the last 4 years.

Extensive analysis of new Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows the wide gap in school attainment and income between the rich and the poor has barely shifted. Being born privileged still means you usually remain privileged.

The better off are nearly 80% more likely to end up in professional jobs than those from a working-class background.

 

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THE STAGE

‘‘Working-class representation in theatre
stuck in the 1980s’, industry panel argues.”

“Working-class representation in mainstream theatre is ‘stuck in the past’ and reinforces outdated
stereotypes, industry figures have claimed… [arguing] that an 'updating needs to happen'
in terms of the stories being told."

March 2019

Read Full Article

 

 
 

Our Impact

 
 

450+

working-class artists THAT
we’ve SUPPORTED across the uk


25+

theatres and arts organisations THAT we’ve PARTNERED WITH NATIONWIDE


12+

cities THAT we’ve worked
in across the country

 
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THE TROUBLE WITH SOCIAL MOBILITY (BBC)

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OUR REACH

 
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THE STAGE

‘Lyn Gardner: Is British theatre
guilty of failing the working-class?’

“It was the absence of working-class voices in theatre and the lack of acknowledgement
of the challenges faced by working-class theatre-makers that led director David Loumgair,
who recently revived Abi Morgan’s ‘Tiny Dynamite’ at the Old Red Lion Theatre, to set up COMMON.”

March 2018

Read Full Article