Working Class Creatives Database is disrupting an inaccessible, London-centric industry

Chanelle Love and Seren Metcalfe:As a database we want creative industries to be more accessible to working class people. Creative industries are incredibly London-centric, and there’s a lot of gatekeeping and nepotism. This is something we aim to change, because art should be for everyone, not just those who can afford it. Art is something we look back on as a reference of a period of time, and if only the stories of a select few people are being represented, it can never be a true representation of a time.
I founded the database out of a need to build a community of working class creatives who could support each other on their creative journeys and relate over similar backgrounds and experiences – as well as to create a platform to promote our work, share resources, knowledge, and contacts.
Chanelle Love:We also want to change the current gallery mode and the percentage taken from emerging artist and question why artists are represented by galleries in the first place.
In 2020, During my final year of university, I saw a rise in working class voices on Instagram. The majority were art students who had come from up North or from small towns and cities outside of London and were all having similar experiences.
It’s important for us to highlight the voices of working class creatives because their work feels a lot more real, personal, relatable, and exciting. It’s important for people to see themselves within the industries they want to work in.
It’s Nice That:What about the creative industry are you aiming to change and why does it need changing?
Seren Metcalfe: Before I started university, I thought anyone could be an artist or a creative; it seemed like an accessible career. It wasn’t till I moved to London to study that I realised the lack of working class people in not only the professional arts but also within universities and art schools. The majority of students had come from wealthy backgrounds, were privately educated, and had parents with connections already in the arts, leaving working class students and creatives feeling alienated and at a disadvantage, especially when leaving these institutions.

Posted by Contributor