ADF Board Shadowing Programme

We are proud to announce our participation in the Artistic Directors of the Future (ADF) Board Shadowing Programme, alongside Leeds Playhouse, Sheffield Theatres, Stephen Joseph Theatre and York Theatre Royal.

This is a first of its kind initiative and will take place over the duration of four months. The scheme will offer 10 ADF Members from a wide range of culturally diverse backgrounds unprecedented access to the boardrooms of five prominent theatres in Yorkshire. This is with the aim of empowering, advocating and transforming ADF successors into successful leaders.

The new programme has been designed by the founder and artistic director of ADF, Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway, who carried out a piloted version in London in 2017, in partnership with artsdepot, The Albany and Finborough Theatre. 

The ​ADF Board Shadowing Programme: Yorkshire Edition begins in December 2018 with board shadowing placements starting from January through to March 2019. Applications are now open.

The programme is designed to broker the relationship between aspiring trustees from culturally diverse backgrounds and existing board of directors at five leading theatres in Yorkshire to redress the balance of diversity at governance level.

This unique programme is designed to empower artists and leaders from culturally diverse backgrounds who will:

  • gain access to the board rooms of five of the most prominent theatres in the UK, providing a unique experience to observe an array of different perspectives, operations and approaches to governance.
  • gain a tangible insight to examine what type of board is most suitable to their personality and expertise.
  • gain an introduction to the challenges, complexities and rewards of board service.
  • become a part of a network of existing and aspiring culturally diverse trustees going through a similar experience who can share learnings and support each other throughout the duration of the programme and beyond.

ADF’s Board Shadowing Programme directly responds to the Arts Council England’s published Data Report: Equality, Diversity and the Creative Case for 2016 which evidenced the lack of BME representation in board leadership. Annual Survey data for 2015/16 showed that only 9% of NPO Chairs define as BME whilst 80% define as White and 11% prefer not to say. There are currently no BME led theatre buildings and only one theatre building with a BME focus in the North which supports the case that there is a lack of BME representation in leadership positions across the theatre sector.

The ADF Board Shadowing Programme will include board shadowing at five Yorkshire theatres, board and diversity-related training, theatre tours, complimentary theatre tickets, networking opportunities and access to the ADF Board Support Hub to ensure that our members and host organisations gain a meaningful, informative, and valuable experience which will lead to positive changes for arts organisations and for the sector as a whole. 

To apply for the ADF Board Shadowing Programme or to RSVP to the briefing event taking place on Monday 12 November 2018 at 6pm at York Theatre Royal to learn more about the programme and meet the partner theatres, please email Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway at​. 

For further information on Artistic Directors of the Future please visit