Dedicated to creating change where it matters the most, at leadership level
ADF is an international leadership training and development organisation for the theatre sector, including dance, music, and opera. We are a membership organisation for Black, Asian and People of Colour and organisations of all sizes
We are dedicated to improving the representation of people of colour in leadership positions within the theatre and the creative sector across the globe.
WHAT WE DO
ADF works in partnership with leading organisations to deliver a bespoke programme of workshops, events and development initiatives that demystify the roles of leadership positions, generate access to positions of authority and cultivate artistic opportunities for creatives. We inspire individuals to apply for senior positions at leading organisations and we provide support to creatives interested in launching their own performing arts company.
- We support Black, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin/Hispanic, Pacific Islander, Hawaiin, Indigenous and Mixed-race performing arts professionals, creatives and artists.
- We train emerging leaders (students, graduates and career changers) to 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 develop mid-career and established leaders to strengthen their management and entrepreneurial skills. Through consultancy, we serve as a sounding board for strategic and artistic ideas and act as career coach for personal development and support during transitional or challenging periods.
- We partner with leading theatres, opera, dance, music venues, arts buildings, drama schools, and museums on development programmes that broaden their networks and improve their engagement, recruitment, boarding and retention practices for people of colour.
- We deliver interactive training conferences
- We provide a tailored consultancy service for board and senior role recruitment, onboarding and organisation development
Our focus for representation is on 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 and Trustee
- Artistic Directors
- Executive Directors
- General Managers
- Project Managers
- Literary Managers
- 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.