Emerging Futures 2020 Zine

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What will the Arts, Culture and Creative Industries look like in 10 years’ time? Do you have an idea? Will you lead us there? It’s never too early to start thinking about leadership - you don’t need to be managing a team to be a leader and you don’t need to be at the top of a traditional organisational hierarchy. The Emerging Futures 2020 conference was presented online on Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 September by Clore Leadership in partnership with Contact. Supported by Arts Council England, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and ArtFund.

“Travis Alabanza: Artist, Performer, Writer and so much more. When I got asked to introduce Travis as the Keynote speaker for today, honestly, I felt privileged and somewhat overwhelmed, because I thought to myself, where on Earth do I begin. For someone who has not only excelled in their art and their craft but made way for important and vital conversations that included and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community, whilst raising fundamental flaws within our society, and being that face of change. As one of the most prominent queer artists voices, an advocate and change-maker for UK conversation around trans politics and an influencer and creator of trans literature, it is an honour to introduce them to speak here today. It’s no secret that Travis Alabanza is an inspiration to many early career artists and practitioners, or as a matter of fact, just any artist or practitioner, LGBTQIA+ activists, writers and the trans community on a National and Global scale. And with their various publications, interviews, performances and insane artistic work including award winning 5-star performance ‘Burgerz’, consistent expression across all of their work of raw emotion, promotion of political views, risk taking and making a difference to the future to our industry. Travis is actively paving the way in “feeling the fear and leading anyway”: leading the way to a better arts industry, community and society, all of which I know I want to be a part of. Now Travis, over to you.” Zorazelda King

Feel the Fear and Lead Anyway Travis Alabanza “Normally I’d have a very robotic bio that I’d then add some flavour to but I don’t need to add any flavour, everything that I am is now Zorazelda’s introduction.”

“I’m going to be talking about fear and letting go but, I predicted I was going to feel fearful today, I predicted I was going to feel a bit scared about talking to you all. So, one of the things I like to do is not just talk but do and show. Show not always tell. Something I do when I feel fearful is I prepare something. I prepare something from a past time that didn’t feel fearful. It reminds me that emotional states can be temporary. It reminds me that I’m not always going to be in fear.”

“Fear often masks something much more interesting. We fear the things that can help us soar.”

Travis read from their essay ‘‘Resolutions for the Common, Black, Young, Queer Kid (And Anyone Else Who Needs It…)’ from Smashing It: Working Class Artists on Life, Art and Making It Happen

Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk - Using Emotion for Change Keisha Thompson

PROVOCATION: Use emotion to express empathy, self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation and social skills

“When we exhibit emotions in a public space it can be seen as problematic. Our emotions can be interpreted, critiqued or manipulated in a way that’s linked to our class, gender, race, intelligence or mental health. We’ve see this in recent examples of movements such as Black Lives Matter, people accused of being irrational and angry. Another example is the MeToo movement, women being referred to as overly sensitive and emotional.”

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

Keisha shared from and recommended the Crip Camp documentary which is currently on Netflix

What are you going to commit to for yourself when thinking about emotions and leadership?

Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk - Using Emotion for Change Hayley Williams-Hindle Hayley referred to a Swedish study focussed on Mapping Emotions in the Body “Anger, fear, shame, sadness, vulnerability, disappointment, embarrassment…what are your beliefs in sharing these uncomfortable emotions? […] What factors influence your own individual beliefs about those uncomfortable emotions? I want to challenge you to ask yourself what you notice in yourself and others when you don’t acknowledge the breadth of those emotion you feel. I want to offer you the suggestion that if we call those emotions ‘uncomfortable’ instead of ‘negative’ that can be a really useful thing. […] A useful thing you might do is start to notice when you feel a sensation – where it is in your body and to stay with it and to honour that. An emotional sensation lasts for approximately 90 seconds when the chemicals flood through your body, it might come back in waves. If you have a difficult emotion, if you can sit with it for a minute and a half, it’s going to go away. It’s not going to last forever. When we feel difficult emotions, it can feel like it last forever.”

PROVOCATION: As leaders, you are emotional contagion agents, and others will read that from you. How are you going to be a super emotional contagion agent for good?

Embedding Activism into Leadership Victoria Burns

Victoria responded to ‘Letter from Cultural Secretary to DCMS Arm’s Length Bodies on Contested Heritage’

“The government is saying that contested heritage should not be removed but should be displayed showing the good and the bad parts of its past. […] On the face of it, it might not seem unreasonable and it raises some very interesting issues and challenges that relate to our conversation today. […] Aside from whether you think the government should be giving instruction to arm’s length cultural institutions on how they handle their collections, the letter raises some questions and challenges. Particularly, on activism in cultural leadership. My questions are: is it possible to be apolitical and impartial in relation to the networks of power in which we operate? What does avoiding being motivated by activism and politics mean in practice? Is it desirable for cultural leaders to inspire impartiality? What does that mean for emerging leaders seeking authenticity in their leadership?” Victoria is the National Coordinator for Culture Declares and a director of Climate Museum UK.

“Historically, art and culture has had huge power to mobilise change for good.�

Embedding Activism into Leadership Asad Dhunna “The Unmistakables, if you haven’t seen us before are a consultancy that makes diversity everyone’s business. It was born out of a mission that I’ve had throughout my career and, I guess it’s not one I sat down and asked for. It was one that came to light as I became a leader. As I was approaching certain rooms or boards, I realised that I was the only one who looked like me round the table. With that, I started wondering if I was the only one who felt that way. […] When I set this up in 2018, there were lots of things going through my mind as a leader. One was – how can I create and affect the most change? Who can I influence? How am I going to do it? […] When you’re a leader in anything, your role is to think about two things – what is the capability that you’ve got and are building around you? What is the capacity people have and how can you help grow that?”

“You’re not just working from home, you’re living at work.”

Embedding Activism into Leadership Charlotte Holmes “One of the things I think about when thinking about sustaining the energy around change is - what can we do in ten years? We often over-estimate what we can do in one year and underestimate what we can do in ten. I’m reflecting on the changes we’ve seen in heritage, for example breaking our silence. There was a point five years ago where I couldn’t see the discussions we’re having now ever happening. I wondered if staying in the heritage sector was the best way of using my energy to support people of colour and preserving our histories. But, it’s important to allow ourselves joy and think about how different things could be: finding those spaces and people who allow us to be ourselves and dropping the mask.

Charlotte is an Urban and Social History Curator for the National Trust. She is also the Chair of Museum Detox, a network for people of colour who work in museums, galleries, libraries, archives, and the heritage sector.

Be mindful of setting boundaries in terms of time and energy. We need to value ourselves and the change we want to see. Think about who’s going to help you along this journey. Remember to take up the space. We all have a right to be in the space, sometimes our histories and different aspects of the work we do isn’t represented and that isn’t ok. Being the only person of colour in the room can be challenging. But, we need to remind ourselves we have the right to be there and take that space.”

Embedding Activism into Leadership Phil Douglas “Curious Arts came out of a gap in the North East. I wondered – why do all these other big cities across the countries have collective communities of queer folk who are able to be creative and visible and form a cultural programme. We work across the North East with artists, audiences, participants and talent development. Our work celebrates and explores lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer culture through the arts. I’m asking myself now, what does leadership and activism look like in a Covid context world of queer arts and communities? We have to learn to invite conversations instead of being overly challenging or inconveniencing or being the awkward person that everyone makes an eye roll at. It’s about becoming comfortable with being the person that makes everyone makes the eye rolls at in the room but also sense checking and tone checking. Bridges are there to be burnt and rebuilt but that is a lot of work.”

“This is the world we live in. We’re trying to process the world through labels and make space for people who are and are not like us.”

Softly radical and quietly relentless. Softly radical and quietly relentless. Softly radical and quietly relentless. Softly radical and quietly relentless. Softly radical and quietly relentless. Softly radical and quietly relentless. Softly radical and quietly relentless. Softly radical and quietly relentless. Softly radical and quietly relentless. Softly radical and quietly relentless. Softly radical and quietly relentless.

Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk Authentic Leadership Jo Verrent “It took me a long, long time to realise that I’m absolutely okay just as I am. In fact, I am better as a leader because of who I am rather than trying to fit into any kind of mould. It’s who I am, the whole of me that makes me do what I do. When I started out, if there was a decision to be made I looked for the right answer. As I went on, I realised there are no right answers, there are just some answers that are less wrong than others. I learnt to listen to people who have different opinions to mine, I learnt to listen to my gut. Why did it take me so long to realise that exactly who I was, was enough? I think for three reasons – I saw no one else like me out there. Far less people identified publicly as a disabled person in the art sector back then. Secondly, my family weren’t arts people. Thirdly, I never believed that I was good enough.”

Jo is the Senior Producer at Unlimited. Unlimited is an arts commissioning programme that enables new work by disabled artists to reach UK and international audiences.

“My recommendation to you is to resist the temptation to mute your difference in order to blend in. Instead, celebrate that vibrancy. Find ways to empower yourself and those you work with and if you can, take them on that journey with you.”

Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk Authentic Leadership Sara Wajid “The mission that has been the golden thread throughout my career was in a sense much more about equalities and politics than it was about the arts. I’m a storyteller by trade, I was a journalist for many years. What I found when I got into museums was incredibly fertile ground for anti-racism that had not been exploited even remotely. I thought, this is a whole world where they’ve got so much money, big buildings, empty rooms, staff – they’ve got printers (that was exciting to me!).

Sara recommended the book Bullshit Jobs by David Graeber

The golden thread was trying to follow a mission, use what resources I could get my hands on in the cultural sector to do antiracist work. It was through meeting likeminded people through the Museum Detox network, that we realised we could do this across the museum sector and try to be more than the sum of the past. With a lot of support from Clore, other organisations and coaches, I realised that someone who is more interested in anti-racism than art history can aspire to and can be a Museum Director.”

Sara will start as Joint CEO of Birmingham Museums Trust in November 2020 alongside Zak Mensah

Reimagining the Role of Arts and Culture Saad Eddine Said “When asking– ‘what is the future going to look like?’ I just want to paint a quick, realistic picture of where we are today. Today we’re facing major challenges that are complex and nobody came with practical solutions to fix. Those issues are: the environment and how it’s threatening millions of lives around the world; a financial model that is based on capitalism that doesn’t work or respond to the needs we have; finally, we have technology which is taking up more of our daily lives. We can see with the advancement of AI how it is already jeopardising democracy. These are important challenges that are part of the picture. […] The future sounds tricky and not one where the arts will get more support. I do think, ultimately, things will be ok. Through experiences like this with countries all around the world facing change, I know things will get better. When we are in a situation where we are powerless and we can’t make decisions and shape what the future is going to look like - things do have to change. […] Within this pragmatic projection of the future, we have an amazing opportunity to achieve two things – rewrite the narrative behind the role that arts and culture play in society and, instead of losing talent, exporting talent to other industries.”

Saad is the Director of HOME Slough

“We are the dreamers, we are the do-ers, we are the achievers. We make the impossible possible. We need to look at a hopeful future and have a huge vision for what that future will look like.�

Reimagining the Role of Arts and Culture

“Everything we do at Slung Low is focused on the mission that everyone in this country has the right to access the best cultural life. All the things that get in the way of that are our enemies and the things that don’t get in the way of that and can support our mission are our allies and friends. Some days it is that simple and when it is not that simple, that can be an excuse to not change or behave in a different way. We don’t run a foodbank for the same reasons as the Christian foodbank that we took over from, we’re doing it because we’re storytellers. The story we want to tell is that everyone in Holbeck and Beeston won’t go without during this crisis. In order for that story to be true, the simplest way is to become a foodbank. When people ask about our social care and political work, this work belongs in the same sentence as the shows we make. We might not even go back to making those shows, in a way that’s kind of irrelevant. That’s the ego of Alan and whether he’ll get to make a show marked out of five by a national newspaper. I might care but you definitely shouldn’t. That’s the least I can do for my community”

“Looking forward, I think there needs to be a better sense of service in our publicly funded arts organisations.”

Alan Lane

Reimagining the Role of Arts and Culture Jenny Waldman “One of the things we’re all aware of right now is change – ‘be the change, make the change, change is needed’. Well of course, and that has been the case forever. It has been the case for the last several years in a more profound way and now, maybe it’s a moment of resetting. Maybe now, it’s about talking to institutions that have the capacity to make a considerable difference to their communities. […] Arts Fund is a funder that is all carrot and no stick, we don’t do revenue funding, or say you have to tick boxes, but we can encourage change just by supporting it. For instance, through this cataclysmic moment for museums, where their funding model (the entrepreneurial model encouraged by successive governments) has collapsed – we can offer support to help them reimagine their work. We’ve created a ‘Respond and Reimagine’ fund which supports museums to cope right now and think about what they can do next. We started this process with research, there’s a Yougov poll that asked people what they thought about museums and 53% of people said that museums should play a greater role in their local community after Covid. 55% of people in England live within walking distance of at least one museum and over 52% of the UK population goes to a museum more than once a year. That’s 48% of the population who don’t go to museums. That’s a massive opportunity for museums to get more people in."

Jenny Waldman is the Director of Art Fund

“If us as human beings are outputting and delivering work, how can we do that if we ourselves are not feeling good?�

Reimagining the Role of Arts and Culture Olivia Lee “I want to see change and impact. I’m bored of hearing ‘yeah let’s do this, let’s do that, let’s make this change’ then not seeing much action. Now I’m like ‘let’s talk about it, let’s discuss it then let’s get to action’. Can we actually have a reset of arts and culture and the processes we have set up? Can we actually really reimagine things? We all as individuals will see things differently, we have different perspectives. Where is that meet in the middle point and who has the power to decide who is right? […] When we’re looking at resetting arts and culture, there are barriers in the way. One of those is tradition – traditional ways of work, what’s trendy, what sounds and looks good. Another is unconscious bias - specifically here I’m talking about racism – white people feeling more comfortable with white counterparts in comparison to when a black person walks in the room. Bringing those thoughts to the forefront of your minds. That’s not just thinking about race but also sexuality, people with additional needs – all kinds of stuff, unconscious bias affects that. I think ego is another huge barrier, we look at people in power and its predominantly white men. I’m not saying all white men think the same because they don’t but there is a type of white male who thinks in a particular way and at the forefront is his ego. It’s not about that, the work we’re doing isn’t about us. Then there’s power and gatekeeping – what are the people in power doing right now? If the people in power thought like us I assume we wouldn’t have half the problems we have.” Olivia is a Project Manager, Musician and Project Coordinator for The Agency at Contact and Project Coordinator for Young Manchester

“Liv should be leading an organisation!”

Power: Individual, Collective Structural Madani Younis

“Let’s use London as an example, let’s talk about power and culture within the city. Here’s some data pre-covid – 1/3 of all Londoners live in poverty, 1/4 of all young people live in poverty, less than 10% of the cultural workforce are made up of Black and Minority Ethnic people yet, they account for 40% of all young people in the city. Let’s think about what that means for the cultural sector. You have this contradiction in many ways, you have a cultural workforce that does not represent the city. […] In this moment of great change, reflecting on who we are, policies that enable our communities and represent the unheard and marginalised voices in our society- let’s ask ourselves what responsibilities and accountability does the cultural sector have? This moment we’re living in now, we’ve gone back to a form of activism that empowers the people. There’s not a filter between what the people want and being able to talk directly to power. There is no intermediary required – of course the tension between this power continues to test all of us. We are in this moment of change which is seismic. Right now, the questions of power and accountability become key. Let’s look at the movements that have emerged within the cultural and socio-political sectors in the UK, the US and internationally. New forms of power are beginning to emerge – old ideas of hierarchical structures are being questioned. Above all, what are the citizens and stakeholders of our country demanding? They’re demanding accountability from our leaders and this includes our cultural leaders.”

“What are you willing to give up to live in the version of the world you want to live in?�

Emerging Futures By Elmi Ali The personal is political but be aware the mirror As we focus on the individual self The identity politics, let us not forget The collective voice, let us not forget the union Now is a moment of resetting Half formed thoughts are welcome Feast on the options available Brag more, don’t apologise Your shame is your superpower Remember where you came from Emotional states are temporary, They are not top down but bottom up Emotions are equitable Focus on curiosity, rather than mastery Noticing, holding and honouring our emotions People will forget what you said what you did But not how you made them feel We won’t forget the peppermint glasses and stubble The softly spoken northerner who’s a little bit femme The awkward person that everyone makes eye rolls at There’s power in transparency and vulnerability Fear is single-handedly tied to the perception And expectation of the outside gaze. Are we not all winging it? The things we fear are the same things that make us so Leadership is facilitating teams of people at their full selves Why keep yourselves on mute to minimise the background noise? Why doubt who I am? My pronouns are many Everyone places ‘young, Black’ the prefixes before my name in the arts Because I am something they cannot place Because I am something they need to qualify Because I am young, common and Black in your meeting room Please don’t force your doubt on me What we do with this room is the political work The accidental leader

Quietly relentless Comfortable with making others uncomfortable Not a provocateur but an inviter Inviting, not challenging and shaming Let us all be softly radical Let us call out the illusion of inclusion Let’s have room to adjust the asymmetry When someone asks you to curtail yourself Let’s honour and rediscover the art of rhetoric Conversing and expressing opinion To birth the vision that will move us forward Theatres, galleries, cultural institutions are not neutral We are holding them to account for their silences Let us share wealth, Not as an act of radical generosity But an investment into common wealth, common ownership Let us move forward from performative allyship to actual kinship Culture needs a detox It needs to be a place where we can drop our labels and tags Our racialised masks Not a place where we sell ourselves short Each of us, especially in this moment that we are living in, this experience We are experiencing something new, something new to ourselves We need to encounter the group think pervasive in our sector We need to privilege authentic joy Breaching the hierarchy Privilege distributed voices Because distributed voices is how we survive the future Networks give power Nothing about us should be without us Authenticity is the opposite of performativity Catering to difference and preference, Inviting flexibility into the workplace Inviting adapted practice and integrity and neurodiversity Into all levels of hierarchical structure Giving the sector the mechanism to listen and prioritise new voices Dealing with honesty honestly Prioritising the listening Making time and allowing yourselves and the people around you The privilege of engaging with your authentic self

Not as tokenism but as an investment in change In giving leadership space, voices, capabilities and capacities Welcome what is going on in your day to day life into your work Question if our assumptions are fit for purpose Atomise leadership, up down lacks resilience Survival is more important than your museum job More important than a pay step though it can sometimes only be understood through a pay step Culture should be posi-topian Should soberly and carefully investigate all the possibilities of the future Culture takes action Creates space to activate people To see and open creative windows Culture cannot lose the edge It needs to be purposeful in its commitment to change Let us all be comfortable with being uncomfortable We inherit all that is good and all that is bad from our past So we have to know the cloth that we are cut from Before we take the necessary leap of faith into the unknown Into the emerging future.

Elmi is a storyteller invested in the mediums of writing, directing, facilitating, translating, performance and education.

Hosts & Facilitators Feel the Fear and Lead Anyway was hosted by Zorazelda King, Community Practitioner and Theatre Maker Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk – Using Emotion for Change was facilitated by Isabel Mortimer, experienced Personal and Executive Coach Embedding Activism into Leadership was hosted by Philip Flood, Director of Sound Connections Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk – Authentic Leadership was facilitated by Amanda Smethurst, Consultant, Coach and Facilitator Reimagining the Role of Arts and Culture was hosted by David Jubb, Producer Power: Individual, Collective, Structural was hosted by Faidat Ope, Psychology Student, Boxer and Female Empowerment Activist

Further Resources Clore Leadership's Leading from a Distance series Clore Leadership's Leadership in Action resources Latest report on The Agency (which Olivia Lee works on, and Faidat Ope is an alumna) CultureHive on Contact’s governance model and young trustees ACE Contact case study – Young People Taking the Lead

What word would you use to describe your experience over the last two days?

“Real. Thoughtful. Inspiring. Brilliant. Wonderful. Honesty. Activated. Strength. Heartwarming. Sometimes Uncomfortable. Sharing. Honest. Wonderful. Enlightened. Encouraging. Hopeful. Empowering. Rousing. Reenergising. Sharing. Inspiring. Action. Realising. Change. Exciting. Connected. Thought-Provoking. Agitating. Fresh. Awakening. Motivating. Perspicacious. Reset! Honest. Triggered. Affirming. Empowering. Invigorating. Refreshing. So Comfortable. Empowering. Refreshing. Challenging.�

A zine by Rose Sergent