Stories / Inspiration / Opportunities

"A city of spires, a city of industry and a city of dreams, it's a great place, which has continually reinvented itself over the decades. Known for its welcome and sanctuary, it's a diverse and dynamic, international university city." 
Chenene Bhatena on Coventry 2021
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Greetings and welcome to Lead On – the quarterly Newsletter from the Clore Leadership Programme.

Summer is a time of festivals and celebrations, when cities broadcast their special features to attract your attention.  A good moment, therefore, to explore the leadership of place.  Call it local culture, public realm, civic leadership or place-making, at the heart of our discussion is the anchoring of cultural activity within communities to increase engagement, participation and a sense of belonging.


What aspects of cultural leadership are essential in this context?  How do we balance the creative with the civic, the entrepreneurial with tradition and expectation?  Who leads this cultural development?  And how might one achieve an optimal balance of local and external talent, skills, knowledge and expertise?

Patrick Fox, Director, Heart of Glass highlights ‘communion’ and ‘solidarity’; Creative People and Places advocate ‘shared decision-making’; whilst examples from the United States emphasize the creative abilities of local groups and the imperative for meaningful engagement. 

Closer to home, the terrain is well drawn and positive examples abound.  Check out the resources and case studies from the Inquiry into the Civic Role of Arts Organisations  and tune in online to ‘People Place Power’ for further examples of the good groundwork now evident in enhancing the leadership of culture and creativity for local, geographical and focused community engagement. 

As ever, Lead On invites you to share in the debate - to probe, ponder and discover, together. We welcome your thoughts, suggestions and ideas.

Hilary Carty, Director



Brain fuel

The problem with competitive place-making. 
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Wash clothes, make art, build community: the story of Harleem's innovative The Laundromat Project.
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Inquiry into the Civic Role of Arts Organisations: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation have drawn together a curated collection of case studies, tools and guidance that demonstrate the many ways in which arts and cultural organisations are engaging in the civic leadership agenda
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Shared decision-making toolkit: tips, tools and case studies from the Creative People & Places projects on how we can collaborate better with local people to shape relevant and inspiring arts programmes. 
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Spotlight on: Patrick Fox, Director of Heart of Glass, St Helens


In this case study on the theme of ‘civic engagement & social relevance’, Patrick describes the ethos and process that has gone in to developing an organisation that is driven by collaboration with the people of St Helens. Fox also talks about his own leadership story and journey.


News & Reports

'Creative Placemaking' is the landmark 2010 report by the National Endowment of the Arts providing 14 case studies of best practice from all over the US and plenty of inspiration for us across the pond.  

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People, culture, place: the role of culture in placemaking.

This report by the Local Government Association gathers best practice and some great case studies (many including members of the Clore Leadership community) on championing, and delivering the placemaking agenda.

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Hull gets Absolutely Cultured.

Built on the foundations of the company which delivered Hull’s year as UK City of Culture 2017, Absolutely Cultured continues to play a leading role in Hull’s future, as an arts company rooted in the city.

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“Coventry 2021 is a unique opportunity to work with the city to put culture at the heart of the long term creative, social and economic vision for Coventry. The year in 2021 will be a chance to reveal and tell Coventry’s many stories, building on our history but looking forwards and outwards. Our ambition is to grow a thriving creative economy to ensure that culture is part of the city’s DNA for decades to come.” Clore Short Course Alumni Chenine Bhatena is appointed as Creative Director of Coventy 2021. 

Read on >>

Programmes & Events

Have your say in the Cultural Cities Enquiry by Core Cities UK, an alliance for change by 10 of the UK's biggest cities mapping their cultural resources. 

June 22, 2018

More details >>

The Great Exhibition of the North: a free, summer-long celebration of the North of England’s pioneering spirit. The country’s biggest event in 2018, it will pack a programme of amazing exhibits, live performances, displays of innovation, new artworks and unforgettable experiences into 80 days.

June 22 - Sep 9, 2018

More details >>

Emerging Futures: Leadership, Culture and Big Ideas. Join us in Manchester in September for a dynamic leadership event that brings together aspiring and emerging leaders to tackle some of the key issues of our time – technology, democracy, wellbeing and leadership. Tickets go on sale shortly. Register your interest via the link below.

Manchester, 14 Sep, 2018


More details >>

Governance Now is a flagship national conference for cultural sector trustees and professionals interested in engaging with good governance. It will take place in London as part of Trustee Week 2018. Register your interest via the link below.

London, 13 Nov, 2018


More details >>


Photography: William Recinos

Artistic Director, Brent Borough of Culture 2020, London

Our winning bid is for Brent to be a Borough of Culture which explores London’s longest-running demonstration of diversity and celebrates all that comes from it. We need two ambitious and visionary leaders to bring our plans to life; An Artistic Director and an Executive Producer.


The Artistic Director will provide creative leadership and an authentic and compelling artistic vision. You will have extensive experience of curating and commissioning impactful and inclusive cultural programmes across a wide range of cultural disciplines. You will combine this with the ability to establish effective partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders, including elected members, commercial and cultural partners.

Young people are at the heart of our bid and will be involved in the appointment process, so a commitment to and experience of working with young people will be required.

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Chair of the Board of Trustees, Gloucester Culture Trust


Gloucester Culture Trust are on a mission to put art and culture at the heart of Gloucester for the good of all.  We are now seeking to appoint a Chair to join us and lead our ambition to be a credible candidate for UK City of Culture 2025.

The Chair will be an active advocate for the Gloucester Culture Trust and will take the lead of strategy and governance.  This is an exciting opportunity for an individual to lead the Gloucester Culture Trust in its role as a key player, advocate and innovator in Gloucester.

If you are looking to make a real difference to the future of Gloucester and relish the challenge of working across the city and with stakeholders to realise our artistic, creative and cultural potential – we want to hear from you!


Deadline is Thu, 28 June 2018.

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Artist Residency Opportunity, The Anvil, Basingstroke

Anvil Arts are looking to broaden our offer of artist development support, offering residencies for theatre-makers across our buildings. We anticipate that most residencies will last 1 or 2 weeks, though bespoke support packages can be discussed. We hope to build relationships with artists, and hope to be able to work with companies over many years. We are currently seeking applications from professional theatre-makers looking to access our residency programme during the period September – November 2018.


If you are interested in being considered for this residency programme, please email with the following information:

  • A brief overview of your company and practice
  • A development timeline indicating at what stage the work is currently at, and when you hope the show to be ready for an audience
  • Whether you already have a commitment for UK performance dates
  • Whether the work is currently being funded by the Arts Council
  • Any other co-producers/venues supporting the work
  • Preferred dates for residency and space requirements

Based in Basingstoke, Anvil Arts is the largest performing arts organisation in Hampshire. It controls and manages three performance venues: The Anvil (a 1,400 seat concert hall); The Haymarket (a 400 seat theatre); and The Forge (a 100 seat studio).

Read on >>


Share Your Views

How do you engage with your local area and local authority? Do you attend or host events in your local area? What are the most valuable outcomes in the placemaking agenda? Fill out our quick poll now! Results will be published in the late summer edition of Lead On. 

Results of our winter Lead On poll on digital transformation are in and they might surprise you. 100% of responders are engaging with the process of digital transformation. The biggest 2 barriers identified were 1) costs and 2) keeping up with the pace of change. Most of you read blogs and e-newsletters to stay abreast of developments in digital. 

Lead On is edited by Petia Tzanova. Click 'reply' if you have comments, enquiries or suggestions for future editions. 
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