Making Music: INCLUDE

This brand-new programme for music groups is born out of the vision that everyone should have the opportunity to be part of a music group in their community. 

Funded by Arts Council England from 2023-25 as an Investment Principles Support Organisation (IPSO) under the Inclusivity and Relevance principle. The project was created to engage and collaborate with four full Making Music member groups operating in Levelling Up for Culture Places to develop their diversity and inclusion work.

What is INCLUDE?

INCLUDE aims to help member groups in Levelling Up for Culture Places in England connect with new members of their community and include a wider diversity of people in their normal activities. 

Diversity means including the widest range of people from your community and recognising, respecting and celebrating each other’s differences. This includes a broad range of identities such as ethnicity, disability, neurodiversity, gender, sexuality, and socioeconomic background. If you want to get a better understanding about what we mean by inclusion in a music-making group, have a look at this resource: Creating an accessible and inclusive group

With the support of Making Music and dedicated project manager Elizabeth Palmer, the selected groups will: 

  • plan, deliver and review actions to make their group or audience more diverse and inclusive
  • produce two events in their local community, one with a focus on inclusion and one for Make Music Day on 21 June (funding is available for these)
  • connect with the other three groups in the programme to share learning, challenges, and successes
  • communicate their journey to other Making Music members and the sector through blog posts and social media.

We will share the learning from the programme with all Making Music members, so that everyone can benefit from what we discover, no matter where they’re based or what they do. 

The Making Music members groups taking part are:

Great Bowden Recital Trust (North Northamptonshire, instrumental) 
Great Bowden Recital Trust is a registered charity providing music-related activities for people of all ages living in South Leicestershire and North Northamptonshire. They believe in making access to music barrier-free by keeping the cost of tickets to a minimum, not holding auditions for any of their choirs and ensembles and taking a fully all-inclusive approach to all of their activities.

Luton Choral Society (Luton, vocal) 
Founded in 1866, Luton Choral Society is a choir of mixed voices, performing classical choral music concerts in Luton and the surrounding area, providing the opportunity for people to sing in a classical choir and for audiences to hear live classical music in their own locality. Their aim is to contribute to the cultural diversity of the Luton area by maintaining the town's longstanding and proud choral tradition.

OutSingCancer Choir (Arun, vocal) 
Cancer United’s OutSingCancer choir are a unique choir for people whose lives have been affected by cancer. They currently have over fifty members split into two choirs who come together to embrace the joy of singing. They rehearse several times a week in various locations in preparation for live performances throughout the year and welcome new members of all singing abilities.

Scunthorpe and North Lincolnshire Concert Society (North Lincolnshire, promoter)
Since 1949, Scunthorpe and North Lincolnshire Concert Society has promoted an annual series of classical chamber music concerts by professional artists of international renown. They perform around seven concerts per year based at Outwood Academy, Foxhills.

Over the next 18 months, we will work with them step-by-step towards achieving goals they will set around including more people, from a more diverse demographic, in their regular activities.

Watch back the launch event which took place on 25 September 2023

What will the groups gain from this project? 

  • Greater inclusivity – groups will have the opportunity to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment, attracting new members and retaining existing ones.
  • Community connections – through this project, groups will have the chance to establish connections with other groups and people, raising their visibility and potentially leading to exciting opportunities.
  • Dedicated support – Making Music staff and Elizabeth Palmer, Inclusion Focus Programme Manager, will provide personalised support by visiting and getting to know each group, assisting them in developing and executing their action plans.
  • A wider network – groups will become part of a network of groups where they can share ideas and access peer support.
  • Funding – each group will receive funding to organise two community events, including one performance event in their community to connect with new people.
  • Increased visibility – each group will gain exposure and promotion within the leisure-time music sector through Making Music blogs and social media channels.
  • Helping and inspiring other groups – the groups' experiences will contribute to a research project that will produce resources benefiting the entire Making Music community, the learning from your journey will make an impact across the whole country.

We will share the learning from the programme with all Making Music members, so that everyone can benefit from what we discover, no matter where they’re based or what they do. 

If your group didn’t get a chance to apply for this programme, or could not take part in INCLUDE but you are interested in inclusion and diversity there is lots more you can get involved in. Please email us to find out more.

If you have any questions about the programme, please get in touch with us via email. Find out more about Arts Council England’s Levelling Up for Culture Places


We are supported using public funding by Arts Council England as an Investment Principles Support Organisation.