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 Board shadowing opportunity through ADF was an extremely informative and educational experience. Having access to witness and understand how executive decisions are made within a theatre institution is essential for anyone interested in working in arts leadership and artsdepot has been incredibly welcoming. Shadowing a board and the events leading up to it, has hugely demystified the work of a theatre board for me and the experience has been very accessible all throughout” (Tessa Hart, ADF Member)
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.
This programme is designed to change the theatres that participate in the programme forever and feed in to the succession planning of their leadership.
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.
Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway, Founder and Artistic Director, Artistic Directors of the Future, commented:
“At ADF, we recognise that Trustees have the ultimate responsibility to recruit and appoint the artistic directors and leaders of their organisations. Currently there are disproportionately few culturally diverse representatives on the boards of theatres in the UK which not only fails to reflect the multicultural society that we live in, but I also believe it hampers the appointment of more culturally diverse leaders of those organisations. Through our partnership with the five Yorkshire theatres we are able to produce an exciting programme that increases accessibility through demystifying boards for potential trustees from culturally diverse backgrounds, raises the visibility of existing boards, brokers relationships between existing trustees and the diverse talent pool in the UK and create a new pathway to board opportunities. We are thrilled to kick-start this exciting work with five extraordinary partners and to continue working on our Diversifying Boards Programme with the support from our Evaluator, Dr Samina Zahir.”
Ruth Puckering, Interim Executive Director at Hull Truck Theatre, commented:
“We are delighted to be working with Artistic Directors of the Future and our partner theatres in the Yorkshire region on the Board Shadowing Programme. The programme speaks directly to Hull Truck Theatre’s core values of inclusion, innovation and integrity by opening up access to governance roles within the industry and helping to ensure that our Boards are representative of a modern Britain, as well as creating an opportunity to share learning and experience.”