Ogun, a 23-year-old musician, writer, designer and activist from Newport in Wales, today takes on the role which adheres to an Arts Council of Wales pledge to take specific action in order to ensure access to its activities, services and funding is fairer and more equal.
This commitment was set out in the organisation’s Black Lives Matter statement, and supports the Seven Inclusive Principles for Inclusive Recovery which stemmed from the #WeShallNotBeRemoved campaign.
“The Arts Council of Wales has made a clear commitment to change. No‑one can be unaware of the disproportionate impact of the Covid‑19 virus on diverse communities and disabled people,” states Phil George, Arts Council of Wales chair.
“As we emerge from Covid restrictions it’s essential that those communities that have previously felt marginalised and ignored are able to take their proper place in our cultural recovery.”
Making such commitments, he adds, is “all very well”, but “communities are telling us that this is not the time for conversations but for action. We need to translate our commitment into action, and the Agent for Change will help lead this. Andrew will have the full and engaged support of Council”.
Who is Andrew Ogun?
The newly-appointed Agent for Change has spent the last year predominantly focusing on the Black Lives Matter movement, organising a march in Newport which attracted over 2000 attendees. He also played a pivotal role in the creation and implementation of the Welsh Government Race Equality Action Plan published last year.
Ogun’s remit will be central the Arts Council of Wales agenda moving forward; using his knowledge, expertise and lived experience to identify and call out barriers that prevent fairness and inclusion. He will also lead a process of cultural change within the organisation itself, with the hope this will then influence opportunities across the wider cultural sector.
Having taken on the role for an initial two-year period, Ogun says he is “looking forward very much to starting in the role of Agent for Change with the Arts Council of Wales and indeed working with the wider arts sector – which is itself such an important agent for change in our society”.
More information on the Agent for Change position is available here.