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First cohort appointed in initiative to diversify theatre boards

Eleven ADF members will participate in the first round of the programme
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Artistic Directors of the Future has appointed 11 participants for its first board shadowing initiative, aimed at diversifying theatre’s boardrooms.

The organisation has partnered with five Yorkshire theatres to nurture a new generation of trustees from a range of culturally diverse backgrounds and disciplines within the industry.

Eleven ADF members will participate in the first round of the programme. They are Anthony Almeida, Robert Awosusi, Ebenezer Bamgboye, Anni Domingo, Samatha Girdham, Sandeep Malhi, Ella Phoebe Marchment, Sarudzayi Marufu, Naomi Sumner, Sabrina Richmond and Shelley Williams.

Richmond, who is an actor, said: “As we discuss diversity more openly we often say ‘something’ has to be done, and this ADF initiative is one gigantic something. Buildings opening their doors this way does something even more exciting than representation, it opens the door to diversity of thought.”

The participants will work across Hull Truck Theatre, Leeds Playhouse, Sheffield Theatres, Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre and York Theatre Royal.

As part of their placements, they will shadow board members at all five theatres, as well as engage with the organisations outside the boardroom at press nights, staff meetings and open rehearsals.

ADF has also designed a series of training sessions to run alongside the programme, which will allow the participants to practice tackling real-life scenarios and gain further insight the board process.

ADF’s founder and chief executive Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway said: “I have no doubts that this initiative will force the arts sector to examine the skill set and expertise of artists and leaders from culturally diverse communities and thus rethink its recruitment process at governance level.”

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