From ADF Members to Board Shadowing at FIVE leading theatres in Yorkshire
We are proud to officially launch our revolutionary Board Shadowing Programme in Yorkshire, in partnership with Hull Truck Theatre, Leeds Playhouse, Sheffield Theatres, Stephen Joseph Theatre and York Theatre Royal.
This first of its kind initiative, offered 10 ADF Members from a wide range of culturally diverse backgrounds unprecedented access to the boardrooms of five prominent theatres in Yorkshire to empower, advocate and transform ADF members into successful and full rounded leaders.
The ADF Board Shadowing Programme: Yorkshire Edition catapulted eleven extraordinary ADF members, from a wide range of culturally diverse backgrounds and disciplines, into the boardrooms of five iconic theatres to demystify boards and to create a new pathway to governance.
We are delighted to announce the eleven selected ADF Members who participated in the first ADF Board Shadowing: Yorkshire Edition programme: Anthony Almeida, Robert Awosusi, Ebenezer Bamgboye, Anni Domingo, Samantha Girdham, Sandeep Malhi, Ella Phoebe Marchment, Sarudzayi Marufu, Naomi Sumner, Sabrina Richmond and Shelley Williams.
The selected candidates had the opportunity to shadow the board members at all five theatres as well as gain the opportunity to engage with each organisation outside of the boardroom, including one-to-one meetings, attending press nights, subcommittee meetings, open rehearsals and group tours around the building and surrounding areas to understand the ecology of each organisation.
This exclusive programme is designed to empower artists and leaders from culturally diverse backgrounds who will gain access to the board rooms of five of the most prominent theatres in the UK, providing a unique experience to observe an array of different perspectives, operations and approaches to governance.
To support the board shadowing programme, ADF designed a series of training sessions to enable facilitated training and peer learning. The programme began with a pre-board shadowing training session facilitated by ADF Trustee Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh and Co-Artistic Director at Hidden Gems Production, ADF Member, Amanda Huxtable.
The preliminary session provided the eleven shadowees with the necessary insight and strategic thinking to ensure that they get the best out of the board shadowing programme. The programme concluded with a group session called ‘THE BOARDROOM’ whereby all eleven shadowers transform into trustees of a fantasy board to tackle real case scenarios in order to put their learning into practice.
The Board Shadowing Programme is evaluated by Dr. Samina Zahir (FRSA) to assess the learning and development of each participate as well as the partner organisations.
This programme does not guarantee an appointment onto the boards of any theatres involved in this initiative. However, as part of the Artistic Directors of the Future’s mission to redress the balance of diversity at leadership level, we are committed to support and advocate for all participants involved in our board shadowing programme.
Reporting and support structure
The Arts Council England’s published Data Report: Equality, Diversity and the Creative Case for 2016 evidenced the lack of BME representation in board leadership. Annual Survey data for 2015/16 showed that only 9% of NPO Chairs define as BME whilst 80% define as White and 11% prefer not to say. There are currently no BME led theatre buildings and only one theatre building with a BME focus in the North which supports the case that there is a lack of BME representation in leadership positions across the theatre sector. For the first time, ADF will join forces with the Yorkshire 5 theatres to begin to redress the balance of diversity at governance level in theatres in the north.