March 2021 brought to a close the first iteration of Brilliant Routes, a specially curated programme as part of our delivery for Arts Council England’s Transforming Leadership Programme.
Brilliant Routes began as a pilot for leaders from Black, Asian and ethnically diverse backgrounds using a variety of formats to address issues of influence, kinship building, thought-leadership, self-compassion and career expansion. We were delighted to draw on the wonderful knowledge and vision of Clore Fellow Gaylene Gould of The Space to Come to curate and lead the programme. Taking on the responsibility to create this crucial space, along with the trust of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse leaders in the sector, during the beginnings of the global pandemic, we were uncertain how the programme would be received but were ready to embark on an enriching learning journey.
In June-July last year, we held ‘Creating Space’ sessions, to support Black leaders navigate the surge of the Black Lives Matter Movement – something that was not originally in the programme, but we identified a raw need to truly address this pertinent issue. Our monthly strategy sessions from October 2020 addressed topics such as the importance of kinships, the benefits and challenges of working globally, creating change within an organisation and how to lead a campaign, with speakers including: Writer and Founder of the Good Literary Agency Nikesh Shukla, Joint CEO of the Birmingham Museums Trust Sara Wajid, Founder of Inc Arts Amanda Parker and Chief Executive Producer of The Shed, NY, Madani Younis. We held 4 Kinship Circles, developing co-coaching skills with a vision to create sustainable networks and cross-sector alliances.
Between June 2020 – March 2021, we held 16 Brilliant Routes sessions and welcomed 350 arts and cultural leaders from Black, Asian and ethnically diverse backgrounds based all over the UK:
‘For the first time in my 25 year career these talks and break out rooms have created a safe and supportive space for me to reflect and take direct action. They have given me strength. Thank you so much’
‘It’s just wonderful to share experiences with those who recognise them and can advise from lived experiences.’
‘I just love the whole programme, it's so inspiring and uplifting. The speakers are really high level and there is an atmosphere of support and trust.’
And we continue to reach.
We are pleased to announce that Brilliant Routes will be returning next month with another year of programming including more strategy sharing sessions, digital content and new opportunities for kinships beyond the arts and cultural sector.
In the meantime, tune into the Brilliant Routes Learning Zone, our online platform with resources and articles from Black Asian and ethnically diverse leaders, including our Brilliance Mapping series, which asks leaders across the country to map their routes and share their vision of our cultural futures.
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12, 13, 18, 19 March 2021
Melanie Keen, Nikesh Shukla, Edeline Lee, Madani Younis
Influencing from the Inside
Tuesday 15 December 2020
Hilary Carty, Krishnendu Majumdar
The Art of the Campaign
Wednesday 25 November 2020
David Ogunmuyiwa, Prema Mehta, Amanda Parker
Thursday 22 October 2020
Sara Wajid, Joint CEO Birmingham Museums Trust & Kevin Osbourne, Founder of MeWe 360
Space for Change
Gaylene Gould, Jackee Holder and Clore Leadership Director Hilary Carty
More feedback from previous events:
“It was a space where I did not have to explain myself, even before a word had been said. That in itself was a weight lifted - for there to be space in being present without presenting a falsehood.”
Space for Change, How to Hold Your Space Participant
“I found the approach taken by Gaylene and Hilary to be extremely open and patient, whilst also challenging for all the participants. I also found it helpful to hear the experiences of other white people in leadership positions, and to know that there is much willingness to acknowledge our own bias and address our own complicity in structural racism”
Space for Change, How to Create Space Particpant
"The times we are living in and the disproportionate impact on the communities I work with means that I am both exhausted and restless. Brilliant Routes is exactly the kind of event I need: a boost of nourishment when rest is not forthcoming."
Building Kinships Participant
"Such a relief to have a safe space to just be myself, and be open about the discrimination issues I'm facing in my workplace."
The Art of the Campaign Participant
"My first professional development session in a minority context and it was liberating in a way I hadn't expected. Really helpful to hear from peers and to learn from those who have forged a path ahead of us. Encouraging to hear different ways of being a leader and to be given the vocabulary to describe different things that come up as an ethnic minority in the arts."
Influencing from the Inside Participant