Cultural Diversity Working Group

The Cultural Diversity Working Group, chaired by Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, was set up in 2004 to advise the National Museums Directors' Conference on ways forward in relation to the growing diversity of our culture as a vital issue for the national museums and galleries.

The working group recommended a three-pronged approach looking at staffing and governance, collections and public programmes, and audiences and participation. The final report offered a number of recommendations to reinforce the changes taking place within national museums and galleries (and equally in regional and independent museums) and help link them better to important developments taking place within society as a whole. These recommendations were agreed by NMDC in March 2006.

Four principles emerged to guide the final recommendations:

Accountability: National museums, while often having a broad international remit, are accountable to the whole nation in respecting and representing the diversity of cultural heritage.

Inclusivity: National museums must follow both ethical and economic imperatives in promoting an inclusive use of collections and resources, and drawing in the widest range of participants.

Proportionality: National museums have a statutory duty to promote race equality (under the amended Race Relations Act, 2001), and must reflect - within their own staffing and trustees - the cultural and racial mix of those they aim to serve, both regionally and nationally.

Creativity: National museums should see cultural diversity development in collections, programming, audiences and staffing, as part of the commitment to innovation and the exploration of new experience that is fundamental to their work.

The final report of the Cultural Diversity Working Group can be found here.

Mayor's Commission on African and Asian Heritage

More information about the report can be found on the Greater London Authority website here.

The National Museum Directors' Conference welcomed the Mayors Commission Report. It is of great importance that the diversity of our cultures is reflected in the contents and staffing of and the visitors to our national collections. We look forward to helping in the implementation of the recommendations of the Report.