The Fair Practice Code, the Culture Governance Code and the Diversity Code are guidelines for all players in the cultural sector to conduct their business in an ethical manner. This is how Leeway for Arts relates to them.
Fair Practice Code
The Fair Practice Code is built around five core values: sustainability, solidarity, trust, diversity and transparency. The first one is at the very heart of our mission, which is to provide artists with opportunities for creative interaction to develop their practice through mutual learning, training and critical reflection. Leeway for Arts represents an investment in human capital development, which is key to any sustainable cultural sector that keeps high standards of quality without draining the makers from their resources. This is closely connected to solidarity, since our participants get a fair compensation for their time and effort. Without this kind of support, it is difficult to afford serious professional development without having to deal with economic loss. In this sense, Leeway for Arts defends and promotes the interests of the artists by trusting them. It is our trust in their talent and honest effort what inspired the design of the trajectory proposed in this application, the focus of which is not the production of measurable output but the development process itself. Making this clear from the start contributes to optimal working conditions for everyone. Such a positive environment is endorsed by a healthy policy of transparency. On the one hand, participants remain in constant communication with the artistic directors about their process of development, so that they can receive the feedback and advice they need at every step along the way. On the other hand, in the spirit of full accountability, our organisation remains open about its policies and management toward the artists and the citizenry in general. Last but not least, all our activities, be they operational or overhead, are conducted by people from diverse backgrounds. This refers to ethnic and cultural identities but also to gender, sexual orientation, language, knowledge and expertise, age group and religious beliefs. The current composition of our supervisory board and our board of directors, as well as the future group of participants at Leeway for Arts, answers to inclusiveness as a fundamental value. We are convinced that inclusiveness must be the basis on which our sustainable, trustful and transparent practices come to rest, as Dutch society keeps growing more and more diverse in every sense.
Culture Governance Code
Legally speaking, Leeway for Arts is a foundation that exists to give artists opportunities for developing their professional practice. This mission is coupled with our vision: to become agents of change in the cultural sector by fostering process-based logics of creation to counter the quantification of artistic value. To achieve our vision, we choose to apply the code in a way that makes our organisation dynamic and efficient regardless of our size. Even before our constitution as a foundation, Leeway for Arts already gathered around it more than twenty people contributing to the project ad honorem in different capacities. That number is expected to rise as soon as our actual operation begins, point at which paid staff and interns will be required. That is why we have chosen a two-tier governance model, which assigns the supervisory tasks to a dedicated board different from the executive board. That way, the members of the latter can benefit from the advice of the former and perform their tasks more efficiently, since a significant part of the workload that normally rests with a single ‘Board of Governors’ is conveniently distributed in this model. The executive board can thus coordinate the activities of all members of the organisation, including staff, advisors, interns and participants in the professional development trajectory, to the best of their abilities. Also, this model allows members of the executive board to be salaried, which is consistent with the values of sustainability and solidarity described above.
The diverse character of Dutch society stands out as an undisputed fact. At Leeway for Arts, we consider this the ideal context for accomplishing our mission. Our organisation embraces diversity out of ethical conviction but also as a strategic move. To use the metaphor to which our name is indebted, good sailors know about the movement of their boat caused by winds blowing against them. One of the winds responsible for the leeway, which may bring the sailor to surprising destinations, is diversity. Thus, it is in our interest to echo the cultural manifold by setting inclusive policies for the selection of participants, as they largely determine the programme of their professional development in consultation with us. In the long run, we expect to give proper promotion to the value of cultural diversity through our public events and publications, which will serve as testimony to the potential that our diverse cultural sector has to offer. In terms of the organisation, we have made sure to count on individuals from diverse backgrounds as members of the supervisory board, partners and volunteers, which enriches our discussions and optimises our decision-making processes. The implementation of the code is set to annual evaluation by the supervisory board.