Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit – Offline Film Festival

Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit

Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit

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The brand-new Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit for the Birr Festivals Collective has been officially launched.

Nothing about us, Without us

Nothing About Us, Without Us is a collaboration between OFFline Film Festival and Offaly Local Development Company’s (OLDC) Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) and is thanks to funding from the Arts Council’s Capacity Building Support Scheme. 

The toolkit is an easy-to-follow guide that includes tips and tricks for an inclusive festival, inclusive communication strategies, event audit templates, a glossary dedicated to the terminology relating to diversity and inclusion, facilitating an inclusive consultation and more.

It also includes six key recommendations, adaptable to each festival needs; develop and implement an effective, relevant and current Diversity and Inclusion policy; guarantee diverse inclusive and aware festival team structures: provide relevant training and development initiatives for all festival team members; ensure accessible pathways of communication; critically assess and disclose all aspects of festival accessibility and commit to ongoing reviews of all implemented diversity and inclusion measures, allowing for necessary additions.

The first step on this diversity and inclusion journey commenced in May 2023 with a public event, facilitated by members of the OLDC SICAP team. These roundtable workshops proved very informative, capturing insights from a diverse group of attendees in a novel way through engagement with Clare-based graphic recorder, Gary Dempsey. 

Following the public event, a Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group was established, with a core aim of further teasing out toolkit practicalities. With support from OLDC, this group will support the Birr Festivals Collective with guidance and advice about festival programming and accessibility. Members of SICAP also surveyed members of the public at key festival events last year to gain insight into their knowledge and understanding of diversity and inclusion for the toolkit.

“It’s been a real privilege to work on this toolkit”, states Louise Larkin, Social Inclusion Team Leader with Offaly Local Development Company. “Inclusion is, most definitely, a choice. OFFLine Film Festival has made that choice and even though the toolkit is barely off the printing press, we can see its impact already. I’m really excited for the upcoming festival season!”

Gary Hoctor is the Director of OFFline Film Festival: “Festivals are a unique opportunity for collaboration, bringing creativity and community together. They bring many stakeholders together to create moments of priceless value. With the power to promote social inclusion, artistic engagement and cross-cultural integration, festivals have the potential to progress communities towards a more diverse and inclusive society.

I would like to thank members of the SICAP team for their dedication and hard work and OLDC for its continued support. I would also like to acknowledge the Capacity Building funding provided by the Arts Council of Ireland that has enabled the creation of this toolkit. If used as intended, it will become a go-to-guide for all Festivals and event makers in the locality in Birr and even further afield.”

Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit

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For more information on this project, please contact Louise on llarkin@offalyldc.ie

Funded by

Arts Council of Ireland

Our Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit is kindly funded by the Arts’s Council of Ireland’s Capacity Building Support Scheme. The Scheme was developed to support arts organisations to gain support, skills and expertise to review, strengthen and/or adapt their artistic and/or business models and support their strategic development in the medium to long term.

It supports activities that will assist in building capacity, in developing inclusivity, and/or in growing peer support and collaborations. All awards and schemes are informed by the Arts Council’s ten-year strategy (2016–2025), Making Great Art Work: Leading the Development of the
Arts in Ireland.

Developed By

Offaly Local Development Company

Offaly Local Development Company (OLDC) provide a range of supports to individuals and communities across the county. As Offaly transitions culturally, economically, environmentally and socially, OLDC aims to empower communities through the provision of innovative solutions. OLDC aims to build resilient and sustainable communities that are equipped to respond to challenges and maximise opportunities as they present.

OLDC’s Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) aims to reduce poverty and promote social inclusion and equality. Supporting communities and individuals using community development approaches, engagement and collaboration, the SICAP team in Offaly respond to presenting need with a solution- focused approach.

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