English National Ballet’s Tamara Rojo, Arts Council England chair Nicholas Serota and Mark Cornell, chief executive of Ambassador Theatre Group, will sit on a new government-led taskforce aimed at rebuilding the arts and culture in the wake of Covid-19.
They are among eight members of the Cultural Renewal Taskforce, announced by cultural secretary Oliver Dowden, which will develop a blueprint for "how and when closed businesses and venues can reopen safely".
Rojo, Cornell and Serota will be joined on the taskforce by former BBC chair and producer Michael Grade, as well as publisher and philanthropist Neil Mendoza, who has also been appointed commissioner for cultural recovery and renewal.
This means he will be called upon to provide independent advice to government about how culture and heritage can "begin the road to recovery".
Dowden will chair the taskforce, with members also hailing from sport, tourism and events, including former England footballer and broadcaster Alex Scott.
The government said the group’s focus areas would include:
Developing Covid-19 secure guidelines "in line with phasing ambitions" and including sector-specific input
Exploring creative solutions to drive the return of sectors such as the arts
Aligning guidance across relevant sectors
Offering a direct line for sector-specific stakeholders with ministers
The group’s remit is described as recreation and leisure, and will include the arts, culture and sport industries and will be supported by eight working groups, chaired by ministers from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, each of which will focus on a different industry.
These include entertainment and events, museums and galleries, sport, heritage, tourism and libraries.
The Society of London Theatre, UK Theatre and the Arts Council will contribute to the entertainment working group, as well as representatives from theatres across the country, other performing arts companies and medical advisors.
The government said the group would explore how the industry can begin rehearsing and producing theatre again, as well as the implications of returning to work for disabled artists and audiences, and the work of suppliers in the sector.
Dowden said: "We are determined to do all we can to help our sectors that are such an incredible part of British life in their recovery. The taskforce is made up of some of the brightest and best from the cultural, sporting and tech worlds. Experts in their fields, they’ll be instrumental in identifying creative ways to get these sectors up and running again."
The taskforce will meet for the first time on May 22, and will then meet on a weekly basis.
It is one of five taskforces announced by the government, with others covering pubs and restaurants non-essential retail, places of worship and international aviation.