Empowering Women of all Backgrounds to be Leaders in the Arts

Are you interested in the arts? Do you enjoy problem-solving and making things happen? We’re looking for 16 women to take part in a paid leadership programme that includes work placements, mentoring and training.

How to Apply: 

Click the underlined text to download the documents.

1. Read the information pack (click which version you would like to view and download below):


Large Print PDF

British Sign Language video

2. Read through the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

or watch the British Sign Language FAQ video

3. Complete the application form

Please note that you cannot save and return to your application on Google Forms, so we recommend drafting your answers offline first. You can find all application questions here

or Nominate someone else: Complete the nomination form

4. Complete a very short and confidential monitoring form

For video and audio applications, please complete your personal information on the forms above and paste a link to your video or audio file.


What do we mean by leadership?

We think of leaders as people who:

  • enjoy making things happen
  • are creative
  • solve problems
  • care for others
  • motivate, energise and support others
  • take responsibility
  • have ownership of their ideas and projects
  • have skills and ideas they want to share

Leadership takes many shapes and is not always ‘from the top’. We may lead in some scenarios and not others, and at different times in our lives. Leaders, particularly perhaps women leaders, often need help to recognise their leadership qualities.
passionate about arts and culture


What are we looking for?

We are looking for 16 women associates. You may have creative ideas that you want to see happen for yourself or your community. We will invite you to take part in a leadership training programme and support you on a leadership journey.

You will be:

  • over 21 years old
  • based in the South West region; BCP (Bournemouth Christchurch Poole), Plymouth, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, Southampton, Dorset, Devon,
    Cornwall, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Gloucestershire BANES & Bristol) which means that you live and/or work here
  • rooted in your local community
  • interested in developing new skills

You do not need a higher education qualification. You do need to have at least two years’ work experience (this does not have to have been in the arts). We are particularly interested in working with women from groups who are most under-represented at leadership level in the cultural sector including disabled women and women from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.


What can we offer?

  • A relationship with one of the partner arts organisations – to involve you in workplace experiences
  • Mentoring – a learning exchange with women associates and host organisations: The Point (lead partner); Activate Performing ArtsArt Asia Ltd.; Diverse CityKaleiderPavilion Dance South WestSouthampton Business School at the University of SouthamptonStrike a LightThe Arts Development Company. They are based across Dorset, Devon, Hampshire and Gloucestershire.
  • A Living Allowance/training bursary of £12,000 to cover ten months of training, paid in ten monthly instalments (or in line with your bespoke programme)
  • Additional support to meet your individual needs across the whole programme e.g. childcare, BSL interpretation, support worker, travel costs
  • Online and face-to-face training and career development opportunities with Southampton Business School
  • Connection with women from across the world through the WOW Foundation and Jude Kelly who started the organisation.


What will you do?

Together we will design a flexible training programme equivalent to ten months. You will either work intensively over a concentrated period, or you will work less intensively over an extended period.

1. Host organisation programme

You will be paired with one partner organisation who will be your host, but you will have the opportunity to work with the seven other arts organisations where possible. During your time with a host you might:

2. Residencies and international symposium

You will need to attend one three-day and one two-day residency to research and learn about leadership. You will meet the other women leaders of the eight host arts organisations. You will be part of an International Symposium. All of your costs to attend these events are paid for by the programme.

3. Online and face-to-face training with Southampton Business School

You will attend a series of seminars and lectures on topics such as business planning, marketing and income generation. These will be online and face to face and will be timetabled during September 2020 and June 2021.

4. Meetings

You will attend four face-to-face meetings with other women in the cohort (16 women in total across the region).

About You

You can be employed, self-employed or unemployed to take up this opportunity. You cannot be in education. You may need a flexible working agreement with your current employer to take part.

Through this programme you might want to develop your:

• understanding of how things work in the arts
• understanding of leadership behaviours
• network of people to support you
• self-awareness and confidence
• creative and critical thinking
• skills as well as empathy
• entrepreneurial skills (particularly social entrepreneurial skills)
• practical knowledge and understanding e.g. social enterprise, business models, management, new ventures, marketing
• future direction and next steps