London Seminar set to encourage BME arts and heritage voluntary sector to embrace social enterprise

News release from Voice4Change EnglandVoice4Change England
4th June 2013

For immediate release

London Seminar set to encourage BME arts and heritage voluntary sector to embrace social enterprise


Voice4Change-England (V4CE) is holding its first seminar for BME arts and heritage organisations as a platform to provide support, advice and networking opportunities.

The seminar seeks to address the Black-led (African, African Caribbean and Asian) arts and heritage organisations struggling in the current financial climate. The evening will also provide an opportunity for keen creative practitioners to look at social enterprise as a way to engage the community in arts.

Key speakers will include Robin Simpson of Voluntary Arts, Ngoma Bishop CEO of the community arts organisation BEMA and Kunle Olulode Director of V4CE. Performances on the night will be made by spoken word artist Faizah and MC/poet Bossman the Orator. The event will take place on Thursday 6th of June 6-9pm at the Resource for London Conference Hall, 356 Holloway Road.

The conference follows Culture Minister Maria Miller’s comments in April this year regarding the future of arts funding in Britain. Since 2011 many BME arts organisations have lost funding from the Arts Council or have seen their budgets cut dramatically.

Robin Simpson, CEO of Voluntary Arts, said: “The affect of public funding cuts has targeted remaining resources on frontline groups while withdrawing funding from structure and support organisations.  This is having a negative effect on small local frontline groups who do not receive public funding but rely on the support of networks such as V4CE and Voluntary Arts.

Saqib Deshmukh, V4CE Development Officer, said: “Diversity in the arts is extremely important and this conference opens up ways to target and support organisations which encourage this. This is an opportunity for organisations, and particularly for young people, to network and seek ways for growth and developing skills we can’t afford to ignore.

Ngoma Bishop, CEO of BEMA, said: “We need to see the value of working in partnership with individuals and organisations from a range of cultural backgrounds and artistic disciplines. Organisations need to bring about and explore ways of expressing themselves to improve their outputs and bring cultural groups together so that groups are not ghettoised.”



Notes to editors: 

Voice4Change England (V4CE) is a national advocate for the Black and Minority Ethnic voluntary and community sector (BME VCS).  BME voluntary and community organisations (BME VCOs) are a crucial part of civil society that have emerged from and work for BME communities.  By supporting the BME VCS we aim to improve the life outcomes for BME and other disadvantaged communities. 

Voluntary Arts is passionate about amateur arts and crafts, and works to promote and increase active participation in cultural activities across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

BEMA Supports the development of community based organisations engaged in arts training, marketing, promotion and / or production. BEMA facilitates the development of a range of arts focussed forums, partnerships and consortia comprising artistically and culturally diverse membership.

For more information or interviews please contact Communications Officer Samantha Watson on 020 7697 4245 or email