Clore Leadership prioritises funded places for its spring 2021 programmes, championing individuals and organisations to lead transition and change in the arts and culture.


As the cultural sector emerges from the COVID-19 lockdown, we are ensuring our leadership programmes will remain accessible to a wide range of cultural leaders, by working with partners to secure bursaries for sector leaders developing their leadership skills in spring 2021.

All places under the remodelled Fellowship Programme will be fully funded for 2021.  In a first for our intensive courses, circa 75% of places will be supported by bursaries.  We are also offering a number of activities on a ‘Pay-What-You-Decide’ basis.

Our workforce development survey (July 2020) highlights a strong ambition by sector leaders to be agile, entrepreneurial and adaptive. Respondents recognise the need for organisations to create flexible business models that respond the volatility of current and future challenges.  The disproportionate impact on the ability of freelancers to afford and prioritise professional development is articulated; and issues of diversity, equality and inclusion remain critical to achieving effective transformation. Critically, the survey confirms that organisations are struggling to maintain training budgets whilst resources are tight and the environment uncertain.

In response to these findings we have sharpened the content for all our programmes around priorities for adaptive leadership. A new modular Emerging Leaders course and the now established Leadership Pulse will run in spring 2021. The modular format will support participants to better reflect and implement learning in stages, which is particularly helpful as the sector seeks just-in-time solutions to evolving leadership challenges.  

Applications for the flagship Fellowship Programme and two modular courses, all due to begin in spring 2021, will open at the end of September 2020.

Our sector is set for a seismic change, only if we capture this extreme moment of disruption and explore its multi-faceted potential. We need evolution, adaption and fresh thinking to challenge the inequalities and vulnerabilities that have been exposed.
Wayne McGregor
Clore Leadership Board Member

Diversity progression remains high on the agenda for the sector in recovery. Our partnership with Diverse City (founded by Clore Fellows Jamie Beddard and Claire Hodgson) and coach and diversity adviser to Clore Leadership Sarah Pickthall, is already supporting diversity progression in several ways. This includes delivering Coaching Conversations, tailored support to strengthen the network of experienced D/deaf and disabled coaches operating confidently and effectively in the sector; and Inclusive Cultures, targeted support for organisations seeking to tackle diversity progression, which will come on stream in spring 2021.  

In addition, we are working with Clore Fellow Gaylene Gould to deliver Brilliant Routes. This tests different ways to combat the issue of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse leadership progression using workshops, a learning zone, talks and a variety of formats to address issues of influence, kinship building, thought-leadership, self-compassion and career expansion. The launch of Brilliant Routes was brought forward in summer 2020 in response to the #BlackLivesMatter campaign and featured tailored workshops to offer support to Black/People of Colour leaders as well as a mirrored workshop for CEOs and Artistic Directors. These strategic diversity programmes move into their next phase in autumn 2020, working to give space to marginalised leaders and tackle inclusivity in the culture sector workforce.  

Two Clore Leadership conferences will take place online in September and November respectively: Emerging Futures for early career change makers, features a range dynamic speakers including acclaimed performance artist, Travis Alabanza; and Governance Now for Trustees and aspiring Trustees, will include key themes around responses to crisis; adaptive governance; engaging with diverse communities; and the future of governance. Nina Simon (CEO of the non-profit organization OF/BY/FOR ALL) is the first of our keynote speakers.  


Wayne McGregor, Board Member, Clore Leadership said:

“Our sector is set for a seismic change, only if we capture this extreme moment of disruption and explore its multi-faceted potential. We need evolution, adaption and fresh thinking to challenge the inequalities and vulnerabilities exposed by this strange period of enforced pause and we need urgent action.  Artists and leaders today, over 70% of whom are freelancers, will need to be trailblazers, using their diverse creativity as a source of resilience, not only to reinvigorate the arts and culture sector but to impact society more widely with art making as a critical form of social action. 

Clore Leadership’s purpose is to inspire and cultivate innovation in the leadership of culture. With our refreshed and targeted programmes, we want to share invaluable stimuli, learning and networks to sharpen all of our perspectives and create new dialogues towards this change.

This is a particularly vital moment for the next generation of creative leaders who are ready with ideas and vision to exercise. It will be through their imaginings, their insight that we will grow and flourish – our job is to create space for and facilitate this powerful unfolding.  I’m delighted that the Emerging Futures Conference offers a timely opportunity for early career creatives to be proactive in connecting and curating new world experiences for the times ahead.”


Hilary Carty, Executive Director, Clore Leadership comments

“We recognise that individuals and organisations are operating under extreme financial pressures but the need for high quality and relevant leadership learning has never been greater as the sector navigates the next stage of the fallout from the pandemic. Therefore we have responded by broadening access to our programmes, being proactive in pushing forward the diversity agenda and expanding opportunities to nurture the creative, civic and brave leadership encouraged and modeled on our programmes.

During lockdown we have been finding innovative and agile ways to create resources that reach out to the sector at large, with our Leading from a Distance video series, Leadership in Action case studies, Small Group Conversations and Clore Leadership Experience sessions.  Looking ahead we want to maintain the topical urgency of our response to Covid-19, blending this with our highly regarded approaches to supporting current and future generations of dynamic, skilled and generous leaders ready to make their positive difference within society as a whole.”

Applications for the Clore Fellowship Programme, Emerging Leaders and Leadership Pulse Courses will open at the end of September 2020 and close 12pm Monday 26 October 2020. 

The Clore Fellowship Programme commences in March 2021 running through to September 2021.

Emerging Leaders Module Dates 

Monday 22 - Wednesday 24 February 2021
Monday 29 - Wednesday 31 March 2021

Leadership Pulse Module Dates

Tuesday 23 - Friday 26 March 2021
Tuesday 27 - Friday 30 April 2021
Tuesday 25 - Friday 28 May 2021

Emerging Futures 2020 conference takes place on Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 September 2020.

Governance Now 2020 takes place in November 2020.

Small Group Conversations commence end September 2020, and will each offer three facilitated conversations with experienced cultural sector facilitators to guide the processes.

The Brilliant Routes wider programme will launch in October 2020. Inclusive Cultures will launch later in 2020 and run in spring 2021. 


Funded Places for Clore Leadership Programmes

This critical investment for sector leaders and leadership has been made possible through the foundational support of longstanding partnerships with the Clore Duffield Foundation, Arts Council England and valuable new funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, all of which underpin an expanded range of core areas.  

A substantial range of funders are demonstrating their value for Clore Leadership and its ability to positively impact sector outcomes, by maintaining their investments in the Fellowship Programme and for bursary support.  These are: Arts Council Wales, a-n The Artists Information Company; Art Fund; the Arts and Humanities Research Council; Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation; Creative Scotland; Dancers’ Career Development; the Gatsby Charitable Foundation; Historic England; the Home Affairs Bureau of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region through Hong Kong Arts Development Council; National Lottery Heritage Fund; The Linbury Trust; The National Trust; and Wellcome Trust.