TRAINING School of Maria '04
The career of the new director of Tate took a powerful new turn after becoming one of the first fellows on the Clore Leadership Programme, now interviewing for its 14th intake
The Clore Leadership Programme began 13 years ago, the brainwave of Dame Vivien Duffield who was appalled at the lack of homegrown leaders in the British cultural fabric, with the main institutions, National Gallery, British Museum, Royal Opera House, circulating the same faces between them.
This course, with its fellows nominated from the arts community, would take the talent that abounded in the lower echelons and prepare it for the top.
One of that first intake of 2004 was the slight, shy 34-year-old director of Creative Partnerships Birmingham who had expected her career to be in academia. Her mentor then, coincidentally, was the programme’s current chair, the former director of the National Portrait Gallery Sandy Nairne.
She went on to a museum career which has brought her the most glittering of prizes in the sector, as director of Tate.
But although Dr Maria Balshaw CBE is the highest flying of Clore Leadership Programme fellows so far, she
comes from a cohort whose talents have brought them to the forefront of their professions.
Sue Hoyle., who is to stand down as director in the summer, has run the programme from the start, first as deputy director under Chris Smith and since 2008 as his successor. “The kind of leadership we’re looking for now” she told AI then “is not just focussed on one person; what we’re doing is encouraging, inspiring and supporting individuals to reach their potential, and therefore organisations to reach their potential, and I feel that’s really what motivates me”.
The programme has built and evolved since then, but the first intake, says Hoyle as she sifts applications for the 2017-18 intake, helped to mould it: “They were real pioneers, in a way they shared in the experiment with us. They were innovators who put themselves forward with a strong statement of intent and they were willing to go with it, and they had a sense or respect for the programme. They still come back as mentors, as secondment hosts or speakers”.
The programme has evolved as requirements have changed. It includes modules on press relations and presentation, on fundraising, on advocacy, on lobbying and, since 2011, on governance and boards. The Clore has developed partnerships, takes fellows from overseas institutes now, liaising closely with the Foreign Office, and works with consortia of organisations such as the British Museum and the South Bank Centre. In fact, it’s working with a group of trusts and foundations on a strategic review of governance which will publish its report in April.
The course is now one year instead of two to make them less disruptive to parent organisations, and there have been over 300 fellows (there are 27 on the current programme). The are ten times as many applications as there are places. There are also short two week courses - the 50th runs this month - while there is also a one week course for young emerging leaders.
The Clore has become the blueprint for leadership courses around the world. “Judging by the number of people applying the need is still very great” says Hoyle. “Leaders are more vital than ever now”.
fellows of the
class of ’04…
Susanna Eastburn was running the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and went on to become director of music at the Arts Council. Now she is chief executive of Sound and Music which champions new music.
Teo Greenstreet had already founded Circus Space in 2004, and now heads a consultancy helping performing arts organisations develop – “not ticking boxes but gaining value”.
Ellie Maxwell had already founded Firefly International fostering multi-ethnic youth projects in Bosnia and other troublespots, but she was unable to fulfill her enormous potential. She died of cancer five years
after doing the course, aged 32.
Ciara Eastell was an assistant county librarian in Somerset and is now CEO of Libraries Unlimited in Devon. A former
president of the Society of Chief Librarians, she was awarded an OBE last year.
Nick Merriman was a reader at University College London in 2004, and is now
director of the Manchester Museum. He is married to Maria Balshaw whom he met on the Clore programme.
Stephen Escritt was an antiques dealer turned journalist and lecturer who runs Counterculture, which helps cultural, educational, heritage, creative organisations and individuals “to plan, manage and thrive”.
Katrina Newell was a youth arts worker in north Belfast, and is now head of Ashton Community Trust and New Lodge Arts Project in Co Down.
Eddie Nixon was a freelance dancer with New Adventures, The Featherstonehaughs and DV 8 and is now director of theatre and artist development at The Place.
Matthew Peacock founded Streetwise Opera for homeless performers, and since 2004 has taken the company to be a major part of two Olympic opening events, creating a worldwide movement.
Gavin Reid was a freelance trumpet player at the time of his fellowship, and last year he was appointed chief executive of the
Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
Jacqueline Riding was the director of the small Handel House Museum in 2004, and has since become a prolific historian whose latest book, A New History of the ’45 Rebellion, was published last year.
Axel Ruger was curator of Dutch paintings for the National Gallery when he did the leadership course, and is now director of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
Erica Whyman was artistic director of the Gate Theatre when she joined the programme, went on to be chief executive
of Northern Stage in Newcastle and is now deputy artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Nii Sackey founded Bigga Fish, which provides youth education through music, multimedia and entertainment, when he was 21. It now serves communities across the UK.
Moira Sinclair ran an agency providing arts projects for hospital patients and staff. Via running Arts Council London she is now chief executive of the Paul Hamlyn Trust.
Kathleen Soriano was head of exhibitions and collections management at the National Portrait Gallery who went on to be director of exhibitions at the Royal Academy. She is the new chair of the Liverpool Biennial.
Julia Twomlow was running the Acorn Theatre in Penzance in 2004, and has just been appointed the new chief executive of the Rothsay Pavilion.