Cultural Leadership Community Yearbook 2017/18

This Yearbook highlights the discussions, questions, activity and perspective generated by A New Direction’s 2017-18 Cultural Leadership Community

Delivered by award-winning arts and learning company Nimble Fish, the Cultural Leadership Community (CLC) in 2017-18 brought together 22 middle and senior arts leaders from across London, representing primary, secondary and special educational needs and disability (SEND) settings.

The CLC programme aims to help participants:

  • better understand key issues in arts/cultural education on a local, London-wide, and national level
  • grow the arts and culture offer in their own school and learn how to better support others to do the same
  • effectively contribute to the debate about the impact and importance of the arts and culture on teaching, learning and society
  • cultivate and develop meaningful involvement with existing, and new, partnerships and networks.
Our working definition of ‘cultural learning’ and ‘cultural leadership’ encompasses the arts as well as museums, libraries and heritage sites. In the classroom, it includes traditional arts education and the use of the arts and culture to animate and support broader teaching and learning objectives.

How to use the CLC Yearbook

This Yearbook is in sections according to our four CPD sessions, which covered the following topics:

In each section you’ll find:

  • A summary of what we explored and why
  • Links to external resources
  • Summaries of CLC final projects that were inspired by or reflected particular CPD session themes

More about the programme

This year’s CLC programme launched with a full CPD day followed by three half-day sessions and a final project presentation, each held at a London cultural venue. Host venues for 2017-18 were:

Experiential learning is a big part of the CLC programme, and participants were asked to develop a specific arts/culture project that would develop their capabilities as a leader and support arts and culture in their school (examples of which you will find throughout the Yearbook). Borrowing from the tech world, we invited teachers to use the Lean Startup method, a ‘bare-bones’ approach to building, testing and adjusting ideas quickly.

These projects were presented at our final session in pecha kucha (www.pechakucha.org) form. Images from these presentations can be found throughout this Yearbook, as a way of illustrating ideas and projects.

In exploring issues and ideas in arts and education, we sought answers first in our own experience, and then amplified our knowledge with outside expertise and perspectives. This resulted in a strong degree of collaboration between participants, enhanced by the active use of a closed social media platform called Basecamp.