No more hand holding, No more short lived schemes, No more waiting for permission, No more waiting for a revolution. You’re UP NEXT: take the keys, take the budgets, take the space and change the game.
- Artistic Directors of the Future, Bush Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre join forces to launch a new theatre leadership programme for culturally diverse artists and leaders
- Arts Council England awards £295,000 towards the initiative through the Sustained Theatre Fund
- Ten artists will take on creative roles and produce a season of new work at the Bush Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre
- Up Next is designed to hand over power and resources to visionary BAMER leaders and artists. It will change the theatres that participate in the programme forever and feed in to the succession of their leadership.
Over the course of the next two years, seven members of Artistic Directors of the Future will gain hands-on experience across a range of disciplines - including artistic direction, producing, programming, fundraising, marketing and production. They will also receive support through networking, mentoring and leadership development. Collectively, the group will have the opportunity to create and lead a two-month takeover season of new work at both the Bush Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre.
Designed by the Artistic Directors of the Future alongside Bush Theatre and in a partnership with Battersea Arts Centre, UP NEXT aims to drive positive change for culturally diverse artists, to introduce new artists and approaches to the British theatre scene, to explore and implement new approaches to organisational change, and to encourage more UK theatres to take on their own UP NEXT programme in future years.
Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway, Founder & Managing Director of Artistic Directors of the Future, said: “UP NEXT is a significant and vital extension to the work we carry out at Artistic Directors of the Future. We have outstanding culturally diverse leaders in our community and, through our partnership with the Bush Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre, we will be able to showcase and empower these individuals by providing a unique hands-on leadership opportunity across two of the UK’s most iconic producing theatres. This project will not only support the career development of our members but it will also challenge the status quo, increase the visibility of the UK’s culturally diverse leaders and introduce a new model to create positive change for generations to come. We are thrilled to be working with the Bush Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre to redress the balance of culturally diverse leadership in producing theatres across the UK.”
Madani Younis, Bush Theatre Artistic Director, said: “UP NEXT is based on a shared understanding that a generation of BAMER development projects have struggled to deliver their intended impact across our sector. We needed to go bigger: No more hand holding; no more short-lived schemes; no more waiting for permission. UP NEXT will give BAMER artists the opportunity to take the keys, take the budgets, take the space and change the game at the core of our artistic institutions. It is designed to change our theatres and feed in to the succession of their leadership – and I can’t wait to see the results.”
David Jubb, Battersea Arts Centre Artistic Director & CEO, said:"Development schemes for BAMER artists and leaders can play an important role, but unless cultural organisations provide meaningful opportunities for significant risk-taking and unless they are prepared to be changed by those collaborations, then the progress towards a more diverse sector will continue to be painfully slow. We're really excited to have codeveloped UP NEXT with Artistic Directors of the Future and the Bush Theatre and look forward to seeing if we can test a model that could be adopted and adapted more widely."
Watch this space for more information.