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Creative, But Never Struggling: How Black Northern Artists Are Staying Afloat

As a black female artist and freelancer in the North West, I’m in a rare line of work for women in our community. Recent reports from Black Ballad’s Great Black British Women's Survey revealed that only 6% of respondents reported to be working as freelancers or independent contractors. For those of us in the creative industry, we seem to be an even smaller minority; only 4% of respondents reported working in this type of field.

Being based in Manchester, I’m aware of the series of blockades that prevent myself and other black women from accessing these types of jobs. Firstly, London is the major hotspot for creative jobs with an estimated 25% of them being based in the capital. Though the creative scene in the North West has come a long way, there’s still steps to be taken to create something on par with the investment, funding and development seen in the South. Furthermore, the creative sector contains dire representation for black women. Only 5% of creative industry roles are thought to be held by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates.