OPENING UP MOVEMENT
Project dates: May 2020 - October 2020
Opening Up is a grassroots movement which emerged to facilitate discussions on the inclusivity, sustainability, and efficacy of Exeter student theatre. As a group of facilitators interested in anti-racist and community-building work, we instigated online conversations on issues such as wellbeing, diversity, climate breakdown, queerness, and gender. These discussions were over Zoom and open to anyone, but explicitly aimed at those who feel disenfranchised from our circles.
Since, as a movement, we have found we can be most effective in amplifying unheard voices, organising difficult discussions, and creating an environment of kindness, care and support in our creative community. Recently, we published a document detailing specific opportunities for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ students in Guild society activity. We also post a general round up of opportunities for emerging artists weekly.
Opening Up has also been a springboard for further initiatives such as the creation of the Creative Community Hub, intended to be an empowering space to amplify peer-to-peer support in the Exeter area, connect with neighbours and share resources, advice, and skills.
We are also supporting the launch of Creative Switch to put the spotlight on BIPOC creative students at Exeter, as we understand representation and appreciation is crucial to encouraging a diverse creative scene.
We are pleased with progress we have made so far - such as pushing the Guild to outsource committee diversity training to an external company for the first time and exploding the amount of BIPOC casting calls for this year’s theatre productions.