‘Time to think – the most valuable thing we can offer each other is the framework in which to think for ourselves’. Nancy Kline

This unexpected period of physical isolation from work colleagues, co-creators, friends and family has created a new working and living environment and a new landscape in which to think.

At Arts Connect we are working hard to provide support for the arts and cultural sector as we face the next period of lockdown. All our staff are working as normal but from home. We’re all available for advice and support. I am available for a chat anytime and you can request a mentoring conversation or set of sessions.

Arts and Culture learning and engagement professionals are describing how their experience of this new landscape we find ourselves in is opening up new ways of looking at what they do. It’s giving them time to think and reflect on their creative practice and careers. People are challenging themselves and questioning the beliefs and societal realities that once provided the framework and the motivation for their creative practice.

Whilst you are engaged in this reflective practice, we would like offer support and some food for thought. We invite you to explore the rich ideas and depths of thinking shared by arts and culture learning and engagement professionals, who gathered together at our Leadership Convention and at the ‘Long Table’ Event, to explore what Cultural Democracy as Creative Practice means to them and what this means for leadership in the cultural sector.

Arts Connect has been developing cultural leadership capacity in the region since 2016 and it is our belief that leadership happens at all levels. As one of our alumni said, ‘Leadership is not a strange secret or a skill you pick off a shelf and then you’ve got it, leadership is in us all and it’s how we recognise that and use it to influence what we can to make the best change.’Rachel Sharpe, Creative Partnerships Manager South Worcestershire National Trust

Our interest through holding these events is to explore the relationship between cultural practice and leadership and to ask:
What needs to shift in the leadership culture for individuals as leaders and practitioners of cultural democracy to flourish?

Through sharing this report, we hope to invite you into the conversation, and we welcome your input and engagement with us on this leadership journey… You can read the report here. 

Nancy Kline 

Susan Goodwin, Arts Connect, Associate Director, Cultural Sector Partnerships