About the programme

Our award-winning ADF Board Shadowing Programme is a first of its kind initiative, taking place in arts organisations across the UK. This unique programme offers our ADF Members the exclusive opportunity to shadow a consortium of arts boards. 

The programme won ADF the Innovation Award for The Stage Awards 2020.

Innovation Award - Web

The ADF Board Shadowing programme is designed to demystify the roles and responsibilities of the board, broker relationships with aspiring trustees and create an even playing field for near-future opportunities.

We recognise that every board varies in capacity, operation and style, therefore, our nine-month programme provides 8-10 Black, Asian, or Ethnically Diverse individuals with tangible experience at up to 6 arts venues/organisations to examine what type of board is right for them.

We partner with 3-10 theatre and live performance organisations across the UK, both members and non-members. The programme is open to any arts organisation interested in expanding their networks or diversifying their board.

What the Alumni say

“I dropped everything I was doing when I heard about Artistic Directors of the Future’s Board Shadowing opportunity. This will be a great chance to see the impact of strategic thinking within theatre. I look forward to going on this journey with the amazing companies opening up their doors, Complicité, ETT and Punchdrunk, as well as the fab team at ADF.”

– Eileen Bellot, ADF Member & Theatre Director

Watch interviews, read testimonials and see who made the board

Who is it for?

Mid-career creatives (arts and non-arts professionals i.e. career changers).

Closing date for applications

15th November 2021

Start with a Briefing Day

This is an opportunity to ask questions about the programme and your project proposal. It does not inform the decision-making process and attendance is optional. If you can’t make it, you can send any questions to the team.

Ready to apply?

Apply as an individual

This programme is exclusive for Black, Asian and ethnically diverse professionals with at least 3 years experience working in a creative role or management role within or outside of the arts. Equally someone with extensive experience working with communities is equally welcome. Fill in and upload the application form with your CV and profile picture to apply.

Become a Member

*This project is exclusive to Silver and Gold members. Join now or upgrade.

Apply as an organisation

If you are ready to sign up as a hosting organisation for the 2021-2022 Board Shadowing Programme please download and return the completed signup form. We will then be in contact within 5 working days with a copy of the contract.

If you are unable to attend one of the briefing days please request the recording as it is important to fully understand the commitment beforehand. Once the hosting partners have returned their contracts they will be invited to a meeting in October to discuss the next steps in more detail.

If you have any questions please contact us.


Access provision and reasonable adjustments will be made. We can provide Closed Captions for online activities with 2 working days’ notice and British Sign Language for online and in person activities with 3 weeks’ notice.

The booking form will give you the opportunity to describe any access needs you have. 

Please email or call us with any questions. 


Not a member yet?

We’d love you to be! We have so many resources that you would find useful if you’re an artistic leader or aspiring to be one.