Inclusive Cultures

Inclusive Cultures is part of our Inclusive Leadership delivery for Arts Council England’s Transforming Leadership programme, prioritising activities to address existing gaps in diversity in the leadership of culture.

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About Inclusive Cultures

Inclusive Cultures is a six-month disabled-led professional development programme for cultural leaders who are taking steps towards systemic change, who are ready to deepen and broaden their approach, competence and courage to contribute to and lead in inclusive culture-making and transformation. The programme draws on Inclusive Leadership theories and practice and the lived experiences of D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people and communities and uses coaching techniques to inform thinking and action.  

Inclusive Cultures will work with a group of 30 cultural leaders, who, at the application stage, share their vision for working more equitably. Working as a collective, the programme will support those taking part to challenge themselves as well as persistently inaccessible and stagnant systems, bias and discrimination, with a mindset committed to an inclusive pandemic recovery and finding better ways of working for our sector.

We are living in a time where we must adjust the way we lead in the face of collective cultural shifts, virtual and hybrid working styles and different degrees and experiences of inequality and trauma. This work is paramount and is not only for disabled people’s inclusion, it also relies on the unique insight that disabled people bring to inform empowering and empowered disabled-led leadership practices for our uncertain futures. We are all responsible for achieving inclusive leadership.

This programme is for leaders who are:

  • Working in an organisation or are freelance
  • Trying to achieve inclusive change in and through a project, organisation or the cultural sector
  • Working with people and communities that experience, or identify as someone experiencing, exclusion, bias or discrimination (e.g. D/deaf/disabled/neurodivergent, BIPOC/negatively racialised, queer/trans or socially/economically excluded people)
  • Want to work with peers to ask better questions and achieve personal, organisational and sector transformation for D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people and for the benefit of all excluded people and communities
  • Ready to learn from disabled leaders and a group of peers with diverse professional and lived experience
  • Ready to commit fully to the programme

Inclusive Cultures will run from June 2022 to October 2022 and is led by 6 disabled professional artists and coaches. The programme was originally devised in 2021 by Diverse City and Clore Leadership's Diversity Associate, Sarah Pickthall and a team of disabled coaches, and is now in its second iteration.

Seminar Sessions will explore and share:

  • the latest research in shaping fearless, psychologically safe practice for people, their organisations and projects
  • the Social Model as a tool, for now, the colonial roots and implications of ableism/disablism and interpellation
  • spaces, places and intersectional perspectives, hierarchies of need and claiming, sharing, distributing or relinquishing power
  • solutions from our 30 leaders – shaping the way forward in dynamic ways in an inclusive leadership frame.

Coaching Conversation sessions will:

  • pair our 30 leaders in groups with a coach to consider the seminar content
  • work with action learning fundamentals and best practices to drive individual and collective solution-focused aspects of the programme

BLOGS: Those participating will join others in reflecting on the programme by creating blogs in different formats, sharing their insights and refreshed perspectives and ways forward and informing the wider conversation about culture change.