ASTONish Rise: will deliver a more enhanced programme of developing leadership skills

The RISE cohort is designed for cultural entrepreneurs who are ready to build their business to a new level.  You may be returning from a career break, starting afresh after leaving a role or being made redundant, newly promoted to a leadership or management role in an company or organisation or just ready to grow your projects, practice, scale and reach.

Here are the elements of the RISE strand. 


1 x evening Orientation event (required for ALL participants)

All selected applicants will be invited to an evening where they will consider their own objectives and the evaluation team will be able to take “baseline” measurements of the skills, knowledge and attitude levels – so that the impact of the various interventions can then be assessed after the programme. We will strive to do that in a variety of ways that will bring out rich data.  


1 x 4 day Leadership course delivered by Helga Henry and Dean Melbourne

As well as delivering powerful content that empower cultural professionals to grow strong and resilient organisations it enables them to take up leading roles in their respective sectors.  This programme has been delivered in the past to great acclaim and comments-  from the RE:Present cohort- include the following:

The course exceeded all my expectations, it changed the perception of my goals and how to reach them. Training method was very comfortable, challenging enough to keep me up my toes, but not too complicated to loose motivation. There wasn’t not one dull moment throughout all those days.


6 x hours mentoring and guidance delivered by Lara Ratnaraja

4 hours of mentoring from a senior cultural or other sector leader. This strand would include 2 x 1 hour sessions with Lara to undertake a diagnostic which will identify the key mentoring needs, broker an introduction to an appropriate mentor who has achieved significant leadership and, at the end of the programme, identify learnings and create an exit strategy from the programme.  Mentoring will be a mix of 1-2-1 and group based on emergent common themes and needs.

1-2-1 meetings will enable a more detailed discussion about objectives for participating in the programme and from the mentoring. In this way a more nuanced approach to mentoring can be established- so in some cases it will be thematic on areas for professional development such as cross sector innovation, practice led enquiry and in others more personal development in terms of identity such as LGBTQI, ethnicity and gender. 

Mentors to approach would be art form and creative entrepreneurs who are leaders in their fields and specifically those from BAMER backgrounds and other protected characteristics such as Mark Sealey (Autograph), Deirdre Figuereido (Craftspace), Nazia Ali (BMAG), Madani Younis (Bush Theatre), Ammo Talwar (Punch), Clayton Shaw (BCU) DJ Swami

course Dates

2 x 2 day sessions

Wednesday 19th July

Thursday 20th July

Wednesday 13th September 

Thursday 14th September

Sessions will run from 9.30 – 16:30 at Aston Hall


ASTONish Showcasing opporutnity

This programme also gives you the opportunity to put your learning and insights into leadership into application and practice. As a RISE participant you will be able to get creative and art form support from senior staff at Birmingham Hippodrome and other arts organisations and the opportunity to participate in some pilot projects. Dependent on art form a budget may be provided to develop projects to run within Hippodrome programmes (or other venues such as BMAG and mac) and be mentored by an art form lead e.g.

  • Outdoor Arts @ Summer in Southside
  • Music/ Visual arts @ B-Side Festival
  • Dance @ Birmingham Weekender

This is a unique opportunity to develop your network, attract wider audiences for your work and to learn new skills and competencies in live environments.

Dates and commitments for the showcasing opportunity will be tailored your particular time-table.