Making Music, the UK's association for leisure-time music groups has recently announced the launch of its new inclusion-focus programme Making Music: INCLUDE.
Funded by Arts Council England it seeks to meet the ambition that everyone should have the opportunity to be part of a music group in their community.
Over the course of 18 months, Making Music will collaborate with four member groups, who operate in the Government's 'Levelling Up for Culture Places', to explore how leisure-time music groups can include more people from a wider demographic in their regular activities.
Making Music will work with two vocal groups, one instrumental group, and one promoter group: Great Bowden Recital Trust (North Northamptonshire, instrumental); Luton Choral Society (Luton, vocal) and OutSingCancer Choir (Arun, vocal).
A fourth group will be announced soon.
The groups will receive support from Making Music staff and Inclusion Focus Programme Manager Elizabeth Palmer, who will guide them to plan, deliver and review actions to make their group or audience more diverse and inclusive.
These will be centred in their local community, one with a focus on inclusion and one for Make Music Day on 21st June 2024.
We're thrilled to be launching this programme to understand the challenges groups face in removing barriers for potential participants and audiences Making Music Chief Executive, Barbara Eifler
Making Music is holding a special launch event — 'Introducing INCLUDE' on Monday 25th September which is open to anyone within the sector who has a special interest in access and inclusion work.
No matter the level of experience or understanding of diversity and inclusion practices, anyone with an interest in these topics can attend.
At the launch event, there will be a chance to learn more about the programme, meet the groups taking part in INCLUDE, find out about the brand-new Census Comparison Survey, and gain inspiration from keynote speakers: Dr Michael Bonshor from the University of Sheffield; Roger Wilson from Black Lives in Music; and Rachel Wolffsohn from OHMI Trust.
Speaking about the initiative, Making Music Chief Executive, Barbara Eifler, said: "We're thrilled to be launching this programme to understand the challenges groups face in removing barriers for potential participants and audiences.
The learning from INCLUDE will help us support and inspire more leisure-time music groups to achieve their ambitions to be more accessible to their communities."