Clore Leadership Programme

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The Clore Leadership Programme is the first initiative of its kind in the UK aimed at developing and strengthening leadership across the cultural and creative sectors. The Programme was initiated in 2003 by the Clore Duffield Foundation and is sustained by a partnership between private philanthropy and public funding. The organisation invests in individuals, drawing on their creative potential to raising the game in the arts and creative sectors.

The Programme awards its flagship Clore Fellowships annually to exceptional individuals drawn from across the UK and beyond, and runs a choice of programmes tailored to the leadership needs of arts professionals at different stages of their career.[1] The participants are drawn from a range of specialisms including the visual and performing arts, film and digital media, libraries, museums, archives and heritage, and cultural policy. In the last 10 years, over 250 fellowships have been awarded and nearly 1000 leaders have attended the Short Courses, enabling the participants to form a well-networked and connected arts leadership sector. Graduates of the scheme dot the salient points of the cultural landscape.[2]

The Programme has inspired other initiatives in the UK and beyond, in particular the Clore Social Leadership Programme.


Initiated by the Clore Duffield Foundation, and sustained by the Foundation's generous support, the Programme is the UK's first cross-disciplinary leadership programme for the cultural and creative sector. It was established as an independent organisation in 2004, after Dame Vivien Duffield had instigated research into the need for leadership training in the cultural programme.[3] That research discovered that leadership development was often a question of accident rather than design, and that – without getting in the way of serendipity – it was time to put some of the design in place.[4]

Inspired by the vision of its Founding Director Chris Smith, the Programme focused initially on the Fellowship Programme, aimed at shaping creative leaders through in-depth learning, and tailored as far as possible to the needs, aspirations and circumstances of between 20 and 30 individuals a year. The structure of the Fellowship programme is based on recommendations which were made to the Clore Duffield Foundation by John Holden and Robert Hewison, (see their report, and the Executive Summary). The course is unique outside the US, and includes workshops and residential courses, an extended placement, individually-selected training, mentoring and coaching, as well as opportunities for research and the development of skills.[5]

Since it was first established, the Clore Leadership Programme has been a pioneer in leadership development, a source of expert advice and an inspirational example for other initiatives in the UK and beyond, including the Clore Social Leadership Programme.

Developments in the Programme since 2004 have included:

• Intensive fortnight-long residential Short Courses

• A Board Development programme, to strengthen governance in the cultural sector

• The extension of the Fellowships to a small number of international participants

• One- and two-day follow-up courses (Clore Plus)

• An association with the University of Hong Kong to create Asia’s first Advanced Cultural Leadership Programme

• One-week courses for Emerging Leaders

• The creation of consortia of large-scale national cultural organisations, to support the Fellowship programme

• The introduction of leadership development days, run in partnership with other organisations


The founding Director of the Clore Leadership Programme was Chris Smith, who from 1997–2001 had been Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. In July 2008 he stepped down and was succeeded as Director by Sue Hoyle. The current Chair is Sandy Nairne, former Director of the National Portrait Gallery.


From freelancers, entrepreneurs to heads of established institutions, the Clore Leadership Programme nurtures dynamic and diverse leaders. Each year, the Programme awards fellowships and designs programmes tailored to the varied leadership needs of arts professionals at different stages of their career. These include awarding the Clore Fellowship (annually), and running four residential Short Courses (each runs for a fortnight), an Emerging Leaders’ Course (a week’s residential programme) and a number of Clore Plus days (follow-up courses for those who have been through the various programmes at Clore). The Programme also works in partnership with others to deliver leadership development days.

The Clore Fellowship Programme[edit]

The flagship Clore Fellowship is offered to arts and creative industries’ practitioners drawn primarily from the UK. The Fellowship spans a year of intense activity, and includes residential courses, group workshops, projects, and a customised programme of personal and professional development. Each Fellow embarks on a programme of tuition, research, training and secondment, tailored to their specific cultural sector, interests and aspirations.[6] One of the main features that distinguishes Clore from other leadership programmes is the cross-cultural element. People doing the programme are drawn from the arts and culture sector in its widest sense, and Fellows are seconded to other cultural organisations rather than other libraries or organizations similar to their own.[7]

The Clore Leadership Programme offers a number of International Fellowships to exceptional individuals from prioritised countries outside the UK. These include Chevening Scholarships on the Clore Leadership Programme funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office in countries such as India, China, Jordan and Egypt, and the Hong Kong Scholarships on the Clore Leadership Programme funded by the Home Affairs Bureau of the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

The Clore Duffield Foundation supports the core costs of the Fellowship programme. Individual fellowships are supported by a range of public funders, philanthropic foundations, Consortia partners and international partners, and are awarded to 25 and individual participants every year. The Programme also occasionally accepts self-funded Fellowships.

Short Course on Cultural Leadership[edit]

Short Courses offer numerous opportunities every year for ambitious and creative individuals to undergo a two-week intensive residential training course structured to deliver essential knowledge and skills required by cultural leaders today. The Short Course Programme is supported by Arts Council England, through a three-year commissioned grant to develop resilient leadership.[8]

Emerging Leaders’ Course[edit]

The Emerging Leaders Programme is a 5-day residential course aimed at people in the early stages of their career. This Programme is funded by Arts Council England through a commissioned grant to develop resilient leadership.


The work of the Clore Leadership Programme would not have been possible without the extensive support it receives from its funding partners drawn from the public, private and cultural sectors. The principal funders of the Programme are the Clore Duffield Foundation and Arts Council England. The Programme is also supported by an mix of International Funders, Consortia Partners and Funders from UK and Ireland. Aside from these bodies, the Clore Leadership Programme has been given in-kind support by a range of partners drawn from the cultural and educational sectors, including international government bodies such as the European Commission.

Funders of International Fellowships[edit]

Funders are governmental and cultural bodies that generously contribute to the International Fellowships. These include the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Chevening Scholarships), the Hong Kong Arts Development Council and the National Art Gallery, Singapore.

Consortia Partners[edit]

Consortia Partners consist of 17 major cultural institutions that support the leadership development of exceptional individuals from within their organisations. These include Heritage, Museums, Archives, Performing Arts and Theatre sectors, and National Archives Institutions.

The Heritage Consortium[edit]

English Heritage, Heritage Lottery Fund and National Trust

The Museums Consortium[edit]

British Museum, Imperial War Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum

The National Archives Institutions Consortium[edit]

National Archives, National Archives of Scotland and Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

The Performing Arts Consortium[edit]

Southbank Centre, National Theatre and Royal Opera House

The Theatre Consortium[edit]

Ambassador Theatre Group, Cameron Mackintosh Ltd. and Royal Shakespeare Company

The Archives Consortium[edit]

National Archives, British Library and London Metropolitan Archives

Funders from the UK and Ireland[edit]

The funders from the UK and Ireland are the principal funders – the Clore Duffield Foundation and Arts Council England – and all other funders in the region that aren't Consortium partners or International Funders. These include Arts Council of Wales, Arts Council Ireland, Creative Scotland, Arts and Humanities Research Council, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Wellcome Trust, Gatsby Charitable Foundation, Linbury Trust.

Supporting Partners[edit]

The Clore Leadership Programme receives in-kind support from a range of partners drawn from the cultural, educational and public sectors, who provide discounted training, workshops, hosting visits, and even honorary Fellowships. This eclectic support group includes the Royal Society for the Arts, Ashridge Business School, [Common Purpose], Cranfield University School of Management, the European Commission, University of Hong Kong, Henley Business School, Windsor Leadership Trust and Wolff Olins.

Past Funders[edit]

In previous years, the Clore Leadership Programme has been funded by the following: Advantage West Midlands, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Balli Group plc, British Council, Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust, Creative and Cultural Skills, Creative Partnerships, Culture East Midlands, Culture North West, Cultural Leadership Programme, Dancers’ Career Development, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, East of England Development Agency, East of England Regional Assembly, East Midlands Development Agency, England’s Northwest (NWDA), Garfield Weston Foundation, Getty Foundation, Hong Kong Academy of the Performing Arts, King’s Fund, The Laser Foundation, Living East, London Development Agency, Goethe Institute (Max Mueller Bhavan), The Mercers’ Company, MLA, National Assembly of Wales, Nesta, Northern Rock Foundation, Paul Lee, Renaissance North West, Screen East, SEEDA, Sing Up, Skillset, Tate, UK Film Council, Yorkshire Culture, Yorkshire Forward, Youth Music. Self funded Fellowships: Mark Dusseault and Ferenc Csák.

Impact and Alumni[edit]

The Clore Fellows and course participants have gone from strength to strength, steering new projects, establishing innovative arts organisations, enabling higher growth and assuming key leadership positions in the arts sectors all over the world. The results have been extraordinarily successful — Clore graduates are now in top jobs at the likes of the Royal Academy and the Arts Council.[9] Innumerable cultural leaders from the UK and abroad have walked through its doors and on to better jobs, including Gavin Reid, previously a trumpet player, who since undertaking the programme is now Director of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.[10] The programme is rooted in the belief that organisations which deliberately foster leadership and support their future leaders, do better.[11]

Other luminaries include Axel Rüger, formerly Curator of Dutch Paintings for the National Gallery, who has made the leap to Director of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam while Moira Sinclair, previously Director of Vital Arts, an arts and health initiative, is now Executive Director, Arts Council London.[12] It is predicted that their expertise will play a major role in helping the arts weather the stormy years ahead.[13]

The Clore Leadership Programme draws on the creative potential of leaders to raise the game in the arts and creative sectors. The idea behind initiating the Programme was to transform the cultural sector as a whole through the actions of emerging leaders and the work they do, both individually and collaboratively. As Nick Merriman, Director, Manchester Museum, University of Manchester, said: “It (Clore Leadership Programme) has helped everyone take investment in leadership much more seriously and to think realistically about succession planning.” [14] Alongside leadership development, the Programme has also had a positive impact on the sustainability of the entire sector and is seen to have been a key player in “a silent revolution in the arts in Britain, where they are now incomparably better managed than they’ve ever been before.” [15] “Thirty years ago, when faced with severe cuts, the sector almost collapsed. This is not the case now and that reflects the quality of the leadership we have. Clore has been a key part of that," said Mark Taylor, Director of the Museums Association.[16]

The Clore Leadership Programme has not only succeeded in creating a cadre of creative and cultural leaders,[17] but has stimulated investment in leadership on the part of governments, agencies, foundations and charities. The Programme has inspired other initiatives in the UK and beyond, including the Clore Social Leadership Programme for leaders from the social sector, Asia’s first Advanced Cultural Leadership Programme in Hong Kong, and a capacity-building course for arts managers in South Asia (ARThink South Asia Fellowship) created by a graduate of the Clore Programme.

Fellows and Course Participants Former/Current Position Clore Year/ Course
Tom Andrews Role when Applying: Chief Executive, Music for Change

Now: People United, Chief Executive

Fellow #Clore1 – 2004-05
Mark Ball Role when Applying: Director, Fierce Earth Ltd

Now: Artistic Director, London International Festival of Theatre

Fellow #Clore3 – 2006-07
Richard Beecham Role when Applying: Freelance Theatre Director

Now: Founding Artistic Director of Threshold Theatre

Fellow #Clore4 – 2007-08
Jessamy Carlson Role When Applying: Casework Advisor and Liaison Officer for Wales, The National Archives

Now: Senior Advisor to the 20 Years Programme, The National Archives

Participant #CloreShortCourse – 2010
Neil Darlison Role when Applying: Deputy Director Warwick Arts Centre

Now: Director - Theatre, Arts Council England

Fellow #Clore3 – 2006-07
Ciara Eastell Role when Applying: Principal Assistant Librarian for Somerset County Council

Now: Head of Libraries, Culture and Heritage, Devon County Council and President-Elect of Society of Chief Librarians

Fellow #Clore1 – 2004-05
Alice King-Farlow Role When Applying: Freelance consultant

Now: Director of Learning, National Theatre

Fellow #Clore3 – 2006-07
Gill Hart Role when Applying: Outreach and Access Officer, Fitzwilliam Museum

Now: Head of Adult Learning, National Gallery London

Fellow #Clore6 – 2009-10
Jonathan Lloyd Role when Applying: Associate Director, Soho Theatre

Now: Artistic Director/CEO, Pegasus Theatre

Fellow #Clore2 – 2005-06
Dr Nick Merriman Role when Applying: Director of Museums & Collections, University College London

Now: Director, Manchester Museum, University of Manchester

Fellow #Clore1 – 2004-05
Tonya Nelson Role When Applying: Museum Manager, UCL, Petrie Museum

Now: University College London, Head of Museums & Collections

Fellow #Clore8 – 2011-12
Toby Norman Wright Role when Applying: Freelance Dance Artist and former Birmingham Royal Ballet Dancer

Now: Relationship Manager, Dance, Arts Council England - West Midlands

Fellow #Clore4 – 2007-08
Julia Potts Role when Applying: Head of Education, Ambassador Theatre Group

Now: Executive Director of the Almeida Theatre

Fellow #Clore3 – 2006-07
Gavin Reid Role When Applying: General Manager Manchester Camerata

Now: Director of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

Fellow #Clore1 – 2004-05
Annie Rigby Role when Applying: Resident Director, Northern Stage

Now: Founder, Unfolding Theatre

Fellow #Clore4 – 2007-08
Roxana Silbert Role When Applying: Associate Director, RSC

Now: Artistic Director of the Birmingham Rep

Fellow #Clore6 – 2009-10
Moira Sinclair Role When Applying: Director, Vital Arts

Now: Executive Director, London, Arts Council England

Fellow #Clore1 – 2004-05
Pooja Sood Role When Applying: Director, KHOJ

Now: Director, Khoj and Programme Director, ARThink South Asia Arts Management Fellowship

Fellow #Clore6 – 2009-10
Chris Stafford Role When Applying: Projects and Development Manager, Shakespeare's Globe

Now: Executive Producer, Curve Theatre

Fellow #Clore6 – 2009-10
Emma Stenning Role when Applying: Executive Director, Battersea Arts Centre

Now: Joint Chief Executive & Executive Director, Bristol Old Vic

Fellow #Clore2 – 2005-06
Kenneth Tharp Role when Applying: Freelance performer, teacher, choreographer, director

Now: Chief Executive, The Place

Fellow #Clore2 – 2005-06
Despina Tsatsas Role when Applying: Associate Producer, Mark Rubinstein Ltd

Now: Executive Producer, Frantic Assembly

Fellow #Clore9 – 2012-13
Neil Webb Role when Applying: Director Arts, mainland China and Hong Kong, British Council

Now: Director of Dance and Drama at the British Council

Fellow #Clore3 – 2006-07
Willie White Role when Applying: Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Project Arts Centre

Now: Chief Executive and Artistic Director, Dublin Theatre Festival

Fellow #Clore5 – 2008-09
Sheena Wrigley Role when Applying: Head of Theatre, Arts & Festivals- City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

Now: Chief Executive, West Yorkshire Playhouse

Fellow #Clore4 – 2007-08
Erica Whyman Role when Applying: Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Gate Theatre

Now: Deputy Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company

Fellow #Clore1 - 2004-05


2014: Survey on Leadership Development: Commissioned by Clore Leadership Programme and Arts Council England; produced by Trends Business Research (TBR). A full copy of the report is here.

2002: Task Force Report: An investment in the rising generation of cultural leaders is necessary and timely. Commissioned by Clore Duffield Foundation. Produced by John Holden and Robert Hewison

See also[edit]

  • Clore Duffield Foundation: The Foundation is a grant-making charity which concentrates its support on cultural learning, creating learning spaces within arts and heritage organisations, leadership training for the cultural and social sectors, social care, and enhancing Jewish life. The Foundation is chaired by Dame Vivien Duffield DBE.
  • Clore Social Leadership Programme (CSLP): The CSLP develops leaders in the social sector so that they can transform their communities, organisations and the world around them.
  • Cultural Learning Alliance (CLA): CLA is a collective voice working to ensure that all children and young people have meaningful access to culture.
  • Clore Learning Spaces: The Clore Duffield Foundation has funded museum, gallery, heritage and performing arts learning spaces across the UK for over 15 years, ranging from £2.5m Clore learning centres in national museums, to donations of less than £5,000 for single rooms in local history heritage buildings.
  • Clore Prize Fund: To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the Clore Duffield Foundation Foundation is making a £500,000 anniversary Prize Fund available to all Clore Fellows.


External links[edit]