We are delighted to announce that we have awarded six research and development bursaries of £1500, each recipient will also receive an executive coaching session from Munira Thobani, Executive Coach and Organisational Development Consultant to support them with their work.

The bursaries were created after we repurposed our funding following Covid and were designed to invest in the arts and cultural sector at a time of crisis, the bursaries have been awarded to provide support in the development of innovative research to nurture new ways of developing arts and cultural programmes created by, with and for children and young people aged 0-25yrs. A key priority was that Local Cultural Education Partnerships (LCEPs) will benefit from the outcomes of the work. This fund was open to applications from those who have previously taken part in Arts Connects Leadership Programme Leadership Through Influence.

List of Bursary Recipients 

  • Amy Dalton Hardy – Creative Producer. Amy wants to embrace the fundamental shifts in society, such as antiracism and care for the environment. She plans to explore what inclusivity really means and how she can create an organisation that truly embraces difference and celebrates this.
  • Sarah Coxall – DASH Disability Arts in Shropshire. Sarah plans to produce an online arts leadership inclusion strategy which will be shared with the wider sector at the sharing day event. The project will utilise the current Young Disabled Artists Programme at DASH as a test-bed to further research and develop their current accessible arts practise. The project will benefit from the insights and feedback from their creative workshop leaders (all practising artists, 50% disabled) and cohort of 24 young disabled artists (aged 16-25).
  • Jo Essen – Freelance Arts Educator. Jo plans to develop a framework of activities to deliver the goals of world-wide activities at the local level involving a wide range of participation methods and art and educational activities for children and young people. The global themes she will link up to are: climate change; slow art day; food for life get together; and family arts campaign. Jo plans to bring her leadership learning through her work and to transfer this to an entirely new and challenging context where she can creatively combine her passions for promoting and building knowledge and skills for sustainable living whilst involving children and young people through art and culture. Thus building her professional leadership and presence for these types and projects and activities in the region
  • Heidi Murphy – Creative Colab. Heidi’s research is an exploration into how empathy and emotional intelligence is used in leadership practice. She is focused on how this can support her leadership and support of her team in the workplace. How it will influence decision making.
  • Hannah Prior – Ignition Theatre. Hannah will explore areas such as: Do the usual accepted understandings of negotiation change in a virtual environment? How does working remotely impact on communication and does it need to be altered when you do not have an ‘in person’ working relationship already established?
  • Jenny Smith – Curiosity Productions. Jenny plans to research best practice in supporting mental health and well-being in the workplace and best practice in inclusion and access support that empowers neuro-divergent staff and creatives. She will consult with her staff, collaborators and neuro-divergent creatives on what support, measures and principles of working will support them to be the best they can be and thrive in their roles.