Our Mission

Birmingham Hippodrome is working in partnership with Lara Ratnaraja, Shekayla Maragh and Rebbecca Hemmings to deliver an inspiring and aspirational programme of training, mentoring and placements to uncover and develop talent in Aston and Newtown.  The theatre delivers a growing body of work off its main stage and has delivered a number of previous programmes designed to cultivate creative and cultural businesses.  The theatre is situated in Birmingham and aims to be a place where Everyone is Welcome.  We will only do this by working with people from all areas of the city, especially those where people know us the least.  The Hippodrome is a large, successful charity – with turnover of nearly £30million.  It can give participants access to an amazing array of shadowing and placement opportunities, and share the power of its network with you.  It can also ensure that admin costs are minimal, which means most of the grant from Birmingham City Council goes towards training, support and placement costs

Less than one in 10 managers within the 2012–15 Arts Council England National portfolio organisations and Major partner museums are from a Black and minority ethnic background.

— 2013 Consilium Report for ACE “Equality and diversity within the arts and cultural sector in England

ASTONish tackles this head on with an integrated and cohesive programme to develop a diverse group of cultural and creative leaders and entrepreneurs who will be able to create high quality art within their community creating both high quality cultural experiences for audiences but equally to create a cultural ecology within Aston and Newtown and link young people who experience the work with opportunities and aspiration.


Focus: Each participant will focus on specific development needs that have been identified in the appraisal process and that projects are developed to act as a focus for development activity.


Research and Networking: The programme encourages the participants to develop relationships and participate in networks regionally, nationally and if appropriate internationally. We will empower the participants to work out how to do this in a way that works for them and fits time and budget constraints.


Showcasing and Producing Opportunities: Working with partners in the city we will give participants a tailored opportunity to work on placement with relevant arts organisations – this will include chances to shadow arts professionals from relevant disciplines,  present or promote activity in Aston/ Newtown OR in Birmingham city centre and beyond – while being supported by industry experts.

Training: The programme will be tailored within a framework of cultural leadership at each cycle and reflect progression, aspiration and ambition and include an evening speaker


Mentoring: Each participant identifies and works closely with an individual mentor who can both inspire their work, provide practical advice and support.


Inspiration: A programme of occasional “inspiring speakers” to speak to the participants and provide a fresh input for reflection and insight.