CDS strives to cultivate an inclusive atmosphere, creating anti-oppressive, ethical, welcoming, and accountable settings where all artists can thrive. You can read more about the CDS Artist Community’s values in our Community Culture Document.

We acknowledge that racism is a significant barrier to black and brown people working in the arts, and understand that dismantling these barriers shouldn’t be the responsibility of marginalised individuals or groups.

CDS therefore prioritises specific resources for, and invests in the leadership of, artists who experience racism. The below commitments have been developed in collaboration with black, brown and global majority artists in our community, and will be updated regularly. This work informs our longer-term strategy to promote anti-racist practice in the sector, led by the Artist Committee.


A note on language...

We acknowledge it is impossible for language to account for the diversity of experiences by which people are racialised. For the purposes of this document we have chosen to use ‘black and brown people’, and ‘people who experience racism’, but we also hold space for the use of many terms, including Global Majority, person of colour, BPOC etc. This language was developed in conversation with the Artist Committee.

This choice was based on the understanding that racial dynamics and white supremacy are fundamentally underpinned by colorism and therefore we want to prioritise the people who are at the sharpest end of this system of oppression, namely black people and brown people. 


Commitments to supporting artists who experience racism

Accountability & Training

  • All staff, trustees, and artists in the CDS Artist Community are required to engage with a process of reflection on racism and antiracist practice. This engagement will be different for people with different backgrounds and experiences. 
  • CDS has commissioned Season Butler to create a series of three online webinar training videos, which are mandatory for non-black people.
  • We also hold space for artists to gather to collectively process and discuss their commitments to antiracism, including a space specifically for black and brown artists.
  • We are currently developing a Grievance and Anti-Harassment Procedure, and our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy. These will be published on our website by mid 2024.
  • We currently have a complaints process that can address instances of racism and other forms of oppression. We can offer external mediation held by someone with lived experiences of racism, when needed. 



  • We invest in leadership from black and brown artists through our paid Artist Committee, a group of five marginalised artists who meet for a full day each month. They work with staff and trustees as representatives of their communities.
  • Black and brown people are currently underrepresented on the CDS board. We commit to increasing the number of black, brown, and global majority people on our board of trustees to at least 30% by the end of 2024.
  • As an organisation that is committed to supporting artists who experience racism, we recognise the importance of reflecting these experiences in our staff team and freelancers. It is a priority to work towards a team that reflects the diversity of our artistic and local communities.



  • We resource community-building events hosted by and for black, brown, and global majority artists every two months. These are open to artists both inside and outside our community.
  • We understand the need for spaces for those who experience racism, and are keen to support other WTF Thursdays events specifically by/for marginalised artists.
  • All of our application selection processes prioritise black, brown, and global majority artists.
  • We commit to a ‘more than one’ anti-tokenism policy, which means that every programme/panel of four or more artists will include more than one person from the global majority. At least one of these artists will be black.
  • We have established a buddy system, which will help to connect marginalised artists joining this community.


If you would like to speak to someone in our team about these commitments, you can contact:
Frances Morgan (Artist Community Producer):


Banner image: Valerie Ebuwa speaking at the 27th July Artist Community Gathering for black and brown artists

Developed by CDS Staff with input from the CDS Artist Committee: Alice Tatge, Claudia Palazzo, Jose Funnell, Valerie Ebuwa, and Zjana Muraro. Updated March 2024.