The Art of Balance: For equality and diversity in arts

The Art of Balance (Balansekunst) is a Norwegian association of more than 50 organisations, labels, festivals and other arts and culture institutions that engage in promoting gender equality and diversity in the music industry and the arts. 

The Art of Balance wants to share knowledge, experiences and ideas on how to proceed in the field of gender balance and diversity, specifically through challenging structural inequalities, stereotypes and prejudices.

The initiative was established in 2009, when a couple of key institutions got together to come up with easily accessible tools for stimulating some much needed action towards gender equality in the Norwegian music business. See The Language Gap below for a sample of our work. 

Message

Society is marked by strong social and cultural norms attached to for instance gender, sexuality and ethnicity, which in turn leads to inequitable distribution of power, and to unequal prerequisites for people. Inequality exists on most levels, and they tend to influence and enhance each other. Gendered educational choices, for instance, contribute to maintain a gender-segregated labour market. Equality means greater freedom for all, and greater diversity leads to a richer cultural life.       


People make choices based on social structures and expectations, not only based on personal abilities and ambitions. Therefore, diversity and gender balance in cultural life has significance and impact on questions concerning equality in general. In addition, it is considerable waste of talent not to recruit from a broader range of people. Patterns and structures that contribute to making and maintaining homogeneity and inequality in cultural life must be broken.

The Language Gap

Over the last few decades, music journalism has been professionalised. It is no longer enough simply to attach artist portraits, album reviews, concert reviews, or other reviews of artists to stereotypical clichés on skin colour, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender. The good music journalism of today is about music, and demands knowledge.

Yet, female and male artists are still treated differently in the media. 

The Art of Balance has taken the initiative to work out a checklist for writing about music in the 21st century. Whenever you feel the need to classify artists as girl bands, as ballsy rock, or as female musicians, try swapping gender with skin colour, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs.

If it looks odd, it is odd. View the full article here
 

More information in English will follow shortly.
 

The board 2017-2018: 

Board 2017

Board members: Camilla Slaattun Brauer (Norsk jazzforum), Andreas Gilhuus (Norsk Kulturhusnettverk), Mariann Skjerdal (Norske Konsertarrangører), chairwoman Guro Kleveland (Kulturtanken), Thomas Michael Walle and Rhiannon Hovden Edwards (Musikkutstyrsordningen).

Deputy board 2017

Debuty board members: Eva Lien (Ladyfest Oslo), Agnes Ida Pettersen (Norsk Komponistforening) and Rune Rebne (Norges Musikkhøgskole).


Contact information

Chairwoman: Guro Kleveland (Kulturtanken)
Ph.: +47 995 90 130, e-mail: gk@kulturtanken.no

Siri Haugan Holden

 

Project coordinator: Siri Haugan Holden
Ph.: +47 930 377 02, e-mail: siri.haugan.holden@gmail.com