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"We have to ensure that the people that we engage are given the resources to develop their projects, their careers, themselves as future leaders. It's really about taking a step to the side and making sure that there are no structures standing in the way for change."
Bo Anders Sundstedt, Unge Viken Teater

In our final panel, we discussed how to achieve sustainable working structures in the arts sector through artist development and the support of future artistic leaders. We were joined by cultural leaders who specialise in artist development, leadership and collective working structures, exploring how this work can contribute to a more open and sustainable cultural sector in the future.

The talk focused on what the future of artistic leadership might look like and how cultural leaders can manage economic growth as well as key development goals such as equality, diversity and sustainable practices. Our final talk asked how we can ensure artistic leadership is open access and supportive of the next generation of artists, and what might need to change to ensure more sustainable leadership in the future.


  • Make space for other voices and emerging leaders

  • Step aside, share and be open about your decision processes

  • Leave an open door, invite people into your office and let them take over

  • Don't stay alone. Join a collective or an association

  • Change the structures so they are not in the way of change

  • Individuals should think about their own context and who they are as leaders, and of one moment where they can move over and create space for others to allow them to take up the leadership role 

  • Embrace kindness for yourself as much as for other people

  • Make your goals achievable

  • Know yourself. Know the people around you. What are they capable of doing? To have achievable aims is sustainable

  • The most important thing is other people, not your ambition

  • Try different models of leadership – try something for a year or two and then you try another one and see how that works for you.

  • Create an environment and culture within that is about sharing different perspectives, and creating an ethos that is open

  • Create an environment which is really reflective and that promotes learning and that welcomes learning and allows people to feel safe in taking risks around their learning and working through things that they're learning 

  • Create an ecosystem where learning and leadership can emerge and take place 

  • Share. Be open about your decision processes  

  • Rethink the purpose of the hierarchy and why is it necessary. It is about making an impact, creating change in whatever cultural art form orspace you work in

"Create an environment which is really reflective and promotes and welcomes learning. Allow people to feel safe in taking risks and work through things that they're learning – create that as an ecosystem where learning and leadership can emerge and take place."  

Kate Atkinson, Clore Leadership
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Kate Atkinson joined Clore Leadership in March 2020 from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, where she worked for 11 years in the Learning & Participation team. As Head of Community & Professional Development, Kate was responsible for leading the conservatoire’s music work with adult learners in the community, professional development for the workforce and support for students.


Clore Leadership is based at Somerset House in London and is the first initiative of its kind in the UK, aimed at developing and strengthening leadership potential across the cultural and creative sectors. Their Cultural Leadership Insights explore a range of the issues and priorities faced by cultural leaders, and their programmes and courses offer unique opportunities for cultural leaders to develop and share skills and experiences. 

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Bo Anders Sundstedt is the artistic director of Unge Viken Teater. Unge Viken Teater is dedicated to working with and for the age group 0-25 and defines themselves as a theatre for children and young people - and the grown ups in their lives.

New writing, new talents and new thinking about theatre and performing arts for a young audience is at the core of everything they do. 

They run the developing programme Ung Tekst [Young Texts], focusing on nurturing and developing new writing by young playwrights. Their programmes focus on supporting the next generation of artists and work as a support system for young playwrights at the beginning of their careers, all the way to their first productions.

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Janne Saarakkala is a Finnish Director, Scriptwriter and Performer who has been working for institutional theatres, free groups, radio theatre and independent productions since 1997. He is one of the founding members of the Reality Research Center (2001-) where he started exploring live art, site specific performances, immersive theatre, journalism and international collaboration. Since 2018 Saarakkala has been working as the Artistic Director of the collective, exploring what leadership means in a collective context. His first book was published in May 2020.

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It can’t be a Cut the Cord event without a little glitter check. At the end of each of our panels, we had a short set from a Nordic musician/band to round off our event.

Small Time Giants is the story about four guys starting out as a high school band in South Greenland, to then go on to be a critically acclaimed band in Denmark and Greenland. Small Time Giants plays highly contrasting emotional indie rock with a passion for creating authentic music about both personal and historic tragedies from Greenland.

You can listen to their music here:


Unga Klara (SE) 

Unga Klara has explored what constitutes dramatic art from the approach that a young audience is naturally entitled to the same high level of artistic quality as an adult audience.





StoneCrabs Theatre Company (UK)

World theatre, Young Directors’ programme and lots of outreach work:





Clore Leadership

Spotlight on: Kate Craddock / GIFT-An important international festival in the North East

GIFT insta:



Good Ancestors Podcast

A podcast series with change-makers & culture-shapers who are exploring what it means to be a good ancestor:


Live Theatre - Elevator programme

Live Theatre’s Elevator programme is an ambitious and open approach to artist development. It is dedicated to increasing the opportunity and support for early career and independent theatre artists in our region of the North East as well as across the UK.

Opportunities like: Live Lab Elevator Festival, 10 Minutes To…, Bursaries etc.





Show Face Festival

Show Face Festival is an ongoing virtual theatre project that aims to explore new ways of showcasing online theatre, to connect creatives across the globe and to create inspiring and innovative work.





The Play List - Royal Court

The Play List is a free event curated by The Royal Court Youth Board that plays with ideas of theatre and party.

The evening featured short plays the length of and inspired by a song which were written, performed and produced by young people aged 16-25. This was a hugely successful and urgent event which saw a diverse set of 7 young writers and 3 young directors work with actors, musicians, comedians, beat boxers and DJs to take over the bar and kitchen downstairs. A large portion of the audience were young people who had never been to the theatre before.

Podcast: And while you are at it - why not have a listen to the Royal Court’s Playwright’s Podcast and listen to the wonderful Simon Stephens talk to some brilliant playwrights?


The Tim Ferris Show

It’s the #1 business podcast! Tim Ferris is a self-experimenter and bestselling author. In this show, he deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas (actors, investing, pro sports etc.), digging deep to find the tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can use.

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