Arts Connect Leadership Development Programme – building leadership capacity at all levels

Investing in the current and future leadership of Learning and Engagement Professionals

Are you a leader or an aspiring leader working with or for children and young people in arts and cultural organisations?

In the arts and cultural sector, in common with other areas of work, people with all levels of experience lead in different ways. We see leaders as people who:

  • Influence the direction of the work they and others provide for children and young people
  • Create ideas and motivate others to join in and commit to their project
  • Devise learning programmes for children and young people

To achieve the high quality work they deliver for children and young people leaders in the arts and cultural sector also:

  • Manage teams of workshop leaders and artists
  • Manage freelance staff
  • Develop relationships with partner organisations to achieve common aims
  • Develop and manage relationships with funding organisations and sponsors

And many more tasks which require leadership skills.

Are you delivering some or all of the above activities or you aspire to?

If so this programme is designed to give you the support you need as a leader or aspiring leader in the arts and culture learning and engagement sector. Please see below an outline of what we hope to achieve through running this programme and what will be covered in the programme.

Outline of Programme

Arts Connect overall aim is to raise the leadership potential of those working in learning and engagement roles in arts and cultural organisations in the West Midlands. Through this programme participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Develop personal leadership and organisational effectiveness
  • Develop and deepen self-awareness and awareness of others to build productive relationships
  • Understand the broader context for Arts and Culture in the region and build networks to benefit the sector and Children and Young People

Who is this leadership programme for?

You will be a learning and engagement professional who wants to:

  • Be more influential in your current work and make a bigger impact
  • Build confidence in your own leadership potential
  • Be an aspiring and inspiring leader in the sector
  • Be part of a wider regional network

The core leadership programme consists of 4 sessions

Session 1 – Personal leadership, self-awareness and working with others
Understanding self and others, valuing diversity
Learning and leading – styles
Cultures and environments to thrive in
Vision and values (motivation and purpose)
Leadership and management

Session 2 – Leading through influence
Increasing influence in your organisation or with your clients
Influence in meetings, Improving communication and self-presentation
Empowering self and others
Developing a coaching style / nurturing curiosity

Session 3 – Political skills Understanding the political context and relationships
Impact of the wider policy context (role of the market, Arts and Education policy and social policy in the region
Power of networks and networking skills
Negotiating skills – working across the system
Leadership in partnerships

Session 4 – Change management and resilience
Leadership in managing change
Supporting self and others through change
Learning and resilience
Understanding resistance
Having difficult, essential conversations


  • 3 & 4 April 2019 – Sessions 1&2
  • 16 May 2019 – Session 3
  • 25 June 2019 – Session 4

Venue: TBC but will be in Birmingham city centre

To book and for further information about this programme please contact Susan Goodwin, Associate Director, Cultural Sector Partnerships.

The Application Process

There is an application process which includes you submitting a form which will ask you to tell us about:

Your interest in leadership development and readiness now
How will you want to benefit from the programme
How will your organisation and/or people you work with benefit

You will also need a statement of support from your line manager or, if working as an individual sole trader or in a small partnership, your referee. Your line manager or referee is someone who can tell us why you are ready for leadership development and how they can support you.