Tue 27 Sep 2016

Ahead of their conference 40 Years On: The Arts Britain Ignores and Diversity in British Theatre examining cultural diversity in UK theatre, Curve are delighted to announce the Curve Cultural Leadership Programme for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnicity cultural managers, artists and early career leaders in Leicester and Leicestershire.

The two-year programme supported by Arts Council England will be delivered in association with De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) and will build on Curve’s existing work to support the Creative Case for Diversity. The programme will combine classroom-based study with hands-on professional development and each participant will receive a bespoke plan to enable them to develop the necessary skills and competencies required of the 21st Century cultural leader.

The programme will strengthen cultural leadership in Leicestershire and eight early-career BAME leaders will benefit free-of-charge thanks to the support from ACE.

Curve Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster said in a joint statement:

“Commissioning, producing and programming work which truly reflects our diverse communities is at the heart of everything we do at Curve. We are passionate about developing the next generation of arts leaders and the Curve Cultural Leadership Programme will enable us to support the professional development of 8 BAME arts managers across our region, free of charge. Working in partnership with DMU, we are excited about the role we can play in strengthening cultural leadership across Leicestershire that will, we hope, have national impact for years to come. We are indebted to ACE for supporting this pilot programme”.

Barbara Matthews, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Arts, Design and Humanities at DMU, said:

“We are very pleased to be associated with this forward-thinking programme, further marking our ongoing commitment to equality and diversity. Our continued partnership with Curve has wonderful benefits for students from a real range of academic backgrounds, giving them the opportunity to work with some of the finest theatre professionals. This is a shining example of how DMU goes further than just preparing students to go into the world – we put them right at the heart of that world, both locally and globally.”

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England, said:

“One of the Arts Council’s goals is to ensure that people working in the arts and cultural sector have the opportunities they need to develop, which is why we’re pleased to be supporting this leadership programme, co-ordinated and led from Curve. It’s vital that the diversity of Leicestershire’s communities is reflected in the sector’s workforce, and in turn in the artistic work being produced for people to enjoy. Curve are working with De Montfort University on this programme and it will be great to see emerging leaders making their mark on the region’s thriving creative sector.”  

The announcement follows a record year of success at Curve whose Equality Action Plan, which focussed on developing BME audiences and encouraging Youth engagement, resulted in a programme of activities that saw 34 performances of work specifically for, or by, BAME communities and 46% of ticket buyers across all of Curve’s produced work coming from BAME backgrounds. The plan also saw Curve give free space for 281 rehearsal sessions to 3 Affiliate Community Companies, all of whom are BAME focussed.

Those interested in applying should visit


Curve is run by Leicester Theatre Trust Limited, a registered charity (no. 230708). We gratefully acknowledge and welcome the continued support of and partnership with the above organisations. Curve is the proud recipient of the 2015 Promotion of Diversity Award from the UK Theatre Awards.

For further information contact [email protected].