A group of smiling adults
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”
Amelia Earhart, Aviator. First female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic.
This is the second in a series of blogs exploring the creation and development of our Leadership programme for learning and engagement professionals in the Arts and Cultural Sector.  Read the 3rd post here. 

What Happened Next?
Over a period of three months a programme was co-designed by Munira Thobani, a leadership and management development consultant and myself, Susan Goodwin, Arts Connect’s Associate Director Cultural Sector Partnerships. The focus of the programme was on supporting learning and engagement professionals to have a stronger sense of their personal leadership and developing their skills to influence effectively their own organisations, as well as fostering partnerships and networks in their region that would add value to their work.

The Key Criteria of Learning and Engagement Professionals
In order to ensure that the right people were targeted, applied for and attended the course Arts Connect had key criteria that identified the group:

  • As a professional group, learning and engagement professionals are highly qualified academically, usually to Masters Level and many of them have substantial experience of a range of roles in the arts, culture and educational sectors.
  • They generally identify as having a shared belief, vision and mission to deliver high quality engagement in terms of being authentic to and inspired by the artistic or historical content and the context of the organisations with whom they work. Whether they work for an organisation like Birmingham Museums Trust, The REP Theatre, a small arts organisation or as an individual artist, they are driven by the opportunities they can give to young people to learn new skills, to express themselves, to build self-confidence and to be motivated to access more experiences of arts and culture.

Arts Connect was keen to attract participants with a diverse range of backgrounds and experience and the website text advertising the opportunity was carefully crafted to help learning and engagement professionals recognise their leadership activities and to know that Arts Connect defined what they do as ‘leading’.

We defined leaders in this context as people who:

  • Influence the direction of the work they and others provide for children and young people.
  • Create ideas and motivate others to join in and commit to their project.
  • Devise learning programmes for children and young people.

The course was promoted on our website and via our network of contacts in the arts and cultural sector.

Blogs by:  Susan Goodwin:  Associate Director of Culture at Arts Connect, West Midlands ( in partnership with Munira Thobani: Leadership Development & Organisational Change Consultant and Executive Coach.)


Find out more
If you are interested in joining our 2018 cohort you will find more details of this programme here.