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Arts organisations receive £7.1m to develop more diverse arts leaders

Graeae will run a career-development programme for D/deaf and disabled practitioners. Photo: Becky Bailey
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Graeae Theatre Company, East London Dance and the company behind Coventry City of Culture are among the organisations receiving a share of £7.1 million to support and develop diverse arts leaders.

Eighteen organisations across England have successfully bid for money to nurture leaders in the arts, including addressing the under-representation of certain groups.

Some are specifically supporting emerging and early-career leaders, while others will run programmes designed to equip senior-level leaders with new skills.

In total, £7.1 million of National Lottery money has been allocated by Arts Council England, whose executive lead for workforce development Mags Patten said: “Our evidence tells us we have a generation of cultural leaders with great ambition, but also great pressures bearing down on them. This fund is an investment in those leaders – offering them development opportunities that will give them time and space to think.”

Graeae will run one of three career development programmes for D/deaf and disabled practitioners, with the company receiving £300,000 to bolster support for early and mid-career artists.

It will connect them with mentors and help them build relationships with venues and the wider industry.

Other funded projects include the establishment of a £450,000, two-and-a-half-year leadership programme in Coventry, part of the city’s role as UK City of Culture 2021. It will focus on creating a stronger, more diverse generation of cultural leaders in Coventry.

East London Dance, on behalf of a consortium of dance organisations that includes ZooNation, Boy Blue and Breakin’ Convention, has been given £260,000 for another two-year programme, to develop new leaders from within the hip hop dance community.

The largest grant – £1 million – has been given to the Clore Leadership Programme for New Horizons, a national suite of schemes for arts leaders of all levels that it said would “drive sector impact and change”.

Other recipients include Access All Areas, which will offer development programmes for learning disabled leaders, Jerwood Arts, whose programme will focus on leaders from lower socio-economic backgrounds, and Libraries Connected, which will help tackle a lack of diversity in the library workforce.

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