Lead: Transforming Leadership

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In January 2020, Access All Areas partnering with Disability Arts Online and Manchester Met University began developing ‘Lead’ – a bespoke career development program and coaching culture for potential learning disabled leaders. Our aim is to radically challenge ideas about who can lead across the Arts and demonstrate the significant impact learning disabled leaders can have in driving greater accessibility in the sector.

We will work in partnership with leading theatre venues to develop placements for our aspiring leaders which will in turn challenge inaccessible practice and bring vital new perspectives to the Arts and leadership.

Trish Wheatley, CEO of Disability Arts Online, said:

“Everyone at Disability Arts Online is so excited about this project. It will help us to fulfill our long-term ambition of supporting learning disabled people in the arts and cultural sector to have a voice, tell their story and be part of the conversation about arts and culture and the role it has in shaping society. We’re really looking forward to working with our partners Access All Areas, Lucy Burke (University of Manchester) and experienced leadership coach Sarah Pickthall.”

Deen Hallissey is one of eight aspiring leaders who were chosen for a range of part-time training roles (sign up to Access All Areas mailing list to hear more about the other leaders). Deen is now Disability Arts Online’s Digital Influencer, working part-time with us until the end of 2021 using his creative talent and social media skills to help support our aim to create greater accessibility and audience reach.

Despite the limitations of working solely online through video chat rooms, we have been moving forwards with Deen Hallissey, to produce content despite the limitations of working solely online through video chat rooms, unable to work at the Battersea Arts Centre as was intended before lockdown curtailed opportunities to travel.