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Luton Borough Council

12/05/2021 - Inaugural Creative Leaders for Luton announced

Luton Council and Revoluton Arts are thrilled to announce that ten local people have been selected for the town’s inaugural Creative Leadership programme.

Funded by Arts Council England and part of the council’s Luton 2020-2040 vision for Luton to be a place where everyone can thrive, the Luton Creative Leaders programme will address the key barriers to accessing careers in the creative industries and enable diversity in local arts leadership. It offers a paid opportunity for ten people to help shape local arts and culture and improve the representation of culturally and ethnically diverse and disadvantaged people in the local arts sector.

The ten local people were chosen from a very competitive field of applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds. They represent the town’s black, Asian, Eastern European, mixed-race and white British communities and include representation from people identifying as LGBTQI, economically disadvantaged and disabled. Between them, they represent the performing arts, visual arts, craft, textiles, music and publishing sectors.

Cllr Sian Timoney, Deputy Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Transformation said: ‘Arts and culture will be a major factor in Luton’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The arts generate significant inward investment, bring communities together and will help children to thrive following this disruptive time in their education. We are proud of the excellent range of cultural activity on offer in Luton; from our International Carnival, to our world-class Hat Factory arts programme and our vibrant music scene. We are proud to welcome the ten Creative Leaders to be a part of the council’s work to support the sector to grow and be more representative of Luton’s residents’.

The ten Creative Leaders will inform projects led by the council, Revoluton Arts and other key arts organisations, as well as leading projects of their own, in areas that need specific focus such as the night time economy, outdoor events and creative education.

Haleema Ali, one of the ten Creative Leaders said: ‘I'm excited to be a part of the Creative Leaders programme, to help shape the cultural landscape in Luton and be part of a group of pioneers pushing for diversity within the arts and culture sector nationally. We live in a thriving multicultural hubbub, filled with diverse creative talent, yet much of this is untapped. I look forward to using this platform as a springboard to enable better representation, particularly for marginalised groups, so we can provide an inclusive space for artists to flourish’.

Jenny Williams, Director, Revoluton Arts said: ‘Revoluton is delighted to be working in partnership with Luton Council towards this shared ambition to diversify the creative leadership of Luton and beyond. I am particularly proud of how the programme attracted applications from a range of people truly representative of the full diversity of Luton’s communities. It was immensely hard to select only ten from the pool of applicants and we look forward to supporting them to lead change in their communities’.

Another of the chosen leaders is Aaron Spendelow who specialises in creating theatre by, with and for children. Upon being told he has been selected he said: ‘Luton is a diverse town and the people are the celebration of what’s makes it extra special. As a Lutonian, born and bred, I feel responsible and enthusiastic to contribute to strategic decision making, shaping strategic projects and supporting other artists develop in their field to make the town a brighter and better place to be’.

The programme supports the council’s Luton 2020-2040 vision for Luton to be a place where everyone can thrive, helps achieve the Inclusive Economy Strategy ‘Transforming Lives through Arts, Culture and Heritage’ priority and aligns to the 2040 commitment for Luton to be a town built on fairness and social justice. Funded by Arts Council England, it also helps achieve their Creative People and Cultural Communities outcomes of the national ‘Let’s Create’ strategy.

To view the full list of the ten Creative Leaders and to find out how you can get involved, visit the Luton Creative Leaders programme​ page on our website.
© 2021 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ