Theatreland will have to give up its bedroom secrets in the quest for funding, under new Arts Council requirements. Organisations applying for grants are being asked to state how many board members are bisexual, homosexual, heterosexual, lesbian or whose inclinations are “not known”.Meanwhile, in The Guardian , Mark Ravenhill wonders whether the focus on sexuality, race and disability means that the biggest diversity issue is being overlooked.
Audrey Roy, the director of grants, said that the council needed to understand who its audience was and to whom its funding was going. “We see diversity as broader than race, ethnicity, faith and disability,” she said. Question 22 of the Grants for the Arts forms, relating to sexual orientation, was not compulsory, she added, although the form states that it must be answered.
A few days ago, I introduced the subject of diversity into a dinner party conversation. "Let's be honest, darling," a friend said. "There isn't any particular issue to do with diversity in the arts, other than the age-old problem of class. As long as you're from a middle-class background, you're fine."
Wine and privacy had loosened her tongue - I suspect it's not a view that many people would align themselves with publicly. But I realised that I almost entirely agreed with her.