Dedicated to creating change where it matters the most, at leadership level
ADF is an arts leadership training & membership organisation for individuals and organisations.
Our mission is to increase leadership representation and progress the careers of theatre practitioners who are Black, Asian or ethnically diverse through our core services of leadership development and consultancy.
WHAT WE DO
ADF works in partnership with leading theatre organisations to deliver a bespoke programme of workshops, events and professional development initiatives that demystify the roles of leadership positions, generate access to positions of authority and cultivate career development opportunities. We aim to increase the representation of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse arts professionals in decision-making roles that have an influence over business trajectory, company vision, recruitment, curation, and artistic programming. These positions include but are not limited to Chairs & Trustees, Artistic Directors, Executive Directors, General Managers, and Producers.
We aim to:
- create and influence transparent and fairer pathways into leadership positions
- review and dismantle practices that restrict progression
- create new generations of Black, Asian or ethnically diverse leaders within existing organisations
- increase the number of new organisations led by Black, Asian or ethnically diverse leaders
- We support Black, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latino, Pacific Islander, Hawaiian, Indigenous and Mixed-race performing arts professionals, creatives, artists and career changers at any stage in their leadership career.
- We train, develop, prepare, support and inspire the next generation of artistic leaders giving them the leverage they need to progress to the next step in their career.
- We support established and newly appointed leaders.
- We provide networking opportunities with members and the decision makers at leading organisations.
- We partner with leading theatre organisations (all live performance venues and companies) to broaden their networks and improve their engagement, recruitment, onboarding and retention practices for people of colour.
- We deliver interactive training conferences
Our Members, Friends & Partners
- Collaboration: we foster healthy relationships with all theatre organisations and culturally diverse artists. We believe that the evolution of training and development should never end for both our company members and theatre organisations.
- Company: we believe that our industry should be truly reflective of the society in which it exists and fight for equitable and inclusive artistic leadership.
- Connectivity: we believe that artists learn from practical and genuine support, as well as support from each other and therefore create sustainable, dynamic, supportive and creatively charged environments where we rely on our fellow company members and partners to work together with trust, respect and cooperation.
- Development and Advocacy: we believe in the nurturing and promotion of culturally diverse individuals to find their artistic voice as future leaders.
- Excellence: we strive to provide high quality, practical and genuine experiences, expecting excellence from all our company members.
- Learning: we believe in offering company members the richest possible learning experiences within producing theatres to support their trajectory in becoming future artistic leaders.
- Inclusion: we believe in the inclusion of a diversity of people, ideas and cultures enriches both our relationships with each other and the organisations we collaborate with.
Artistic Directors of the Future began as a provocation proposed by Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway in 2014. Under Simeilia’s leadership the company was registered as a charity in 2016 and flourished into an organisation that has made a significant impact on the theatre landscape. Simeilia stepped down as CEO and Artistic Director in March 2021.
In 2015 Artistic Directors of the Future held a Who’s Next Conference hosted by the Young Vic Theatre to discuss the lack of People of Colour in Artistic Director positions and to discuss pathways into these roles. Over the last three years ADF has expanded its offerings into all leadership and senior positions including; executive directors, trustees, and general managers.
Meet our ADF Family! We are proud to have a dynamic team of diverse leaders who strive to create equality and inclusion in the arts.
Meet the Respected Board at Artistic Directors of the Future. They have led us to achieve phenomenal results and surpassing records, on our path to excellence.