The Deputy Prime Minister, Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP will be visiting the National Portrait Gallery to launch the Naz Legacy Foundation’s Diversity Programme. The Deputy Prime Minister will be joining schoolchildren from various deprived and minority communities, who will be visiting a gallery or museum for the first time to learn about the rich heritage of diverse role models in Britain.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery said:
‘I’m proud to support the Naz Legacy Foundation’s Diversity Programme. Naz Bokhari, the first Muslim and first Asian head teacher in the UK, was a champion for education. He believed that every young person – no matter what their background or circumstances – deserved the best quality of education available. To ensure that for all of the children he taught, Naz Bokhari would take them to visit our country’s great galleries, museums and theatres. The Naz Legacy Foundation continues this work today, extending these brilliant opportunities to as many young people as they can. And the National Portrait Gallery in London is just one cultural institution, which – working with the Foundation – has gone out of its way to ensure that the work it exhibits fully reflects Britain’s modern diversity, alongside its rich heritage. For me this work matters, because it can help inspire all children to learn and succeed in their own lives. As a champion of social mobility, I believe that everyone, whatever their background or circumstances, should have the opportunity to rise as far and high as their talents and ambitions allow them. It’s been one of my biggest priorities in the Coalition Government to ensure that happens. So, I want to wish the Naz Legacy Foundation every success as it continues to enrich the lives of Britain’s children and helps us to build a fairer society.’
Sandy Nairne, Director, National Portrait Gallery said:
‘The National Portrait Gallery is pleased to collaborate with the Naz Legacy Foundation on the launch of their initiative to encourage more schools to visit public galleries and museums. Four schools will have a special opportunity to visit the Gallery and encounter diverse stories, including that of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo. The Gallery’s work with diverse audiences includes various community programmes, internships and apprenticeships, and a three-year project working with NEET (not in education, employment or training) young people to encourage them to visit the Gallery for the first time.’
Naz Legacy Foundation Diversity Programme is supported by The Deputy Prime Minister’s Office, National Portrait Gallery, Times Education Supplement and HRH The Prince of Wales’ Mosaic Initiative.
Other dignitaries joining the schoolchildren will include HRH Princess Badiya bint El Hassan, Zac Goldsmith MP and Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP.
The Foundation chose The National Portrait Gallery for the launch as it is one of the leading galleries in the field of making their collections and programmes more diverse and accessible to deprived and diverse communities.
The Diversity Programme has been developed by the Naz Legacy Foundation. The sessions in the National Portrait Gallery will look into the lives and experiences of positive role models from diverse backgrounds who have made an impact in the UK, for example: Mary Seacole (voted in 2004 as the greatest black Briton) and Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, a Muslim man who became a victim of the Atlantic slave trade, only to be bought out of slavery by public subscription in England.
Despite a rise in numbers of visitors to museums and galleries there hasn’t been a significant impact on visitors from ‘socially excluded’ communities. A Mori study in 2000 found that people with a degree are almost four times as likely to visit a gallery as those with no formal qualification.