Three programmes from Jerwood Arts have been given the green light after receiving a round of funding from the Arts Council England’s Transforming Leadership Fund, joining previous investment from Art Fund, Arts Council Wales, Creative Scotland and Garfield Weston Foundation.

Dr Dave O’Brien, Chancellor's Fellow in Cultural and Creative Industries at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) will be working with the three programmes set to run from 2020 to 2022. Other partners include People Make It Work and Annabel Jackson Associates Ltd, with additional expertise from Kickstarter and Arts Emergency. The teams will also be working with the British Council to explore the potential for international placements.

Collectively, they aim to transform the leadership potential of the next generation of artists, curators, producers and creatives from lower socio-economic backgrounds. They will provide an 18-month programme of transformation for arts organisations, museums and galleries from across the UK to become more inclusive organisations through the provision of fellowships and dedicated organisational development support.

Dave is an expert on issues of inequality in the cultural sector, and has recently completed the AHRC funded Panic! It’s an arts emergency project highlighting the range of problems facing arts organisations as they attempt to become more diverse.

“I'm delighted to be bringing my research expertise to supporting Jerwood's work,” said Dave, “My work on creative careers and inequality suggests that there are a range of barriers stopping social mobility into arts occupations, and Arts Council England's investment, as well as Jerwood's three new programmes, are an important part of tackling these issues.”

The Director of Jerwood Arts, Lilli Geissendorfer said:

“Fair access to working in the arts remains one of the most urgent issues facing the sector today, with those from lower socio-economic backgrounds are still significantly underrepresented amongst the artists and employees of UK theatres, festivals, galleries, museums and arts organisations of all kinds, especially in leadership positions.

Building on Jerwood Arts’ ten years of experience in this field, our programme will offer specialised recruitment and supported, meaningful fellowships and development opportunities that will actively reduce the barriers for talented creative leaders to fulfil their potential.”

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