Cultural leadership and the place of the artist

Traditional Sicilian puppets at Rustico's restaurant, AberdeenOn The Edge has secured a new £100,000 international project to develop professional engagement with its research into artistic and cultural leadership at Gray’s School of Art. Establishing new relationships with the Clore Leadership Programme, Creative Scotland and ENCATC (the European network of cultural management and cultural policy education), the work will generate events and discussions with the cultural sector in London, Edinburgh and Brussels. New publications will be produced and the project aims to inform new developments in cultural leadership training, theory and practice.

The year-long initiative is funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) with further support from the three partners. It builds on the longstanding ‘Artist as Leader’ research as well as Jonathan Price’s Ph.D research into ‘Discourses of Cultural Leadership’ (2012-2015).  Price will co-ordinate the new project while Professor Anne Douglas and Chris Fremantle, the co-authors of the Artist as Leader report, will be Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator respectively.  Douglas said: ‘This AHRC award and the support of our cultural sector partners is welcome recognition of the quality of the research at Gray’s and its significance in the professional field. This opportunity allows us to build on our earlier work and on recent doctoral research in the School, shaping debates in the UK and Europe.’

The Clore Leadership Programme has pioneered leadership training for the creative and cultural sectors in the UK since 2004. Providing up to 30 intensive fellowships for exceptional cultural professionals every year, the programme also delivers a huge range of shorter courses and advises on leadership development internationally. Director Sue Hoyle, commented: ‘Cultural leadership is a hugely important topic for the sector at home and abroad and On The Edge has already started to make a vital contribution to its understanding. We’re delighted to be working with Gray’s and partners on this new development.’

Creative Scotland, the public body supporting the arts, screen and creative industries across Scotland, will help to host a planned event in Edinburgh. Janet Archer, Chief Executive of Creative Scotland, welcomed the project: ‘Relevant and excellent research is hugely important to the understanding and future development of a complex creative sector. It’s vital for Creative Scotland to be part of this process and we’re looking forward to exchanging experience with colleagues around the UK and internationally.’

European partner ENCATC has over 130 members in more than 40 countries and is part of an international partnership working towards establishing a European Cultural Leadership Programme. ENCATC President, Professor Annick Schramme from the University of Antwerp/Antwerp Management School in Belgium, explained: ‘This topic is central to the cultural professions and a key concern for our membership. Thanks to this project, ENCATC will connect research to the sector across Europe and this will no doubt influence the direction of education and research’. ENCATC will attend all project events, hosting one in Brussels during 2016.  The European Cultural Leadership Programme is being developed by ENCATC with partner organisations Nätverkstan Kultur, Trans Europe Halles, Olivearte Limited and expert Sue Kay.

The research project, ‘Cultural leadership and the place of the artist’, runs for one year from October 2015.


  1. Reblogged this on CHRIS FREMANTLE and commented:

    Really excited to be working on a new phase of artists and leadership

  2. Congratulations on another big step forward – look forward to seeing what comes out of it.

  3. Thanks Francois, much appreciated. We’ll keep you posted!

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