‘Diversifying Leadership’ – Debate #1, 15th January 2018


Please Sir, can I be “A Leader”?

The intentionally provocative title and imagery for this event aimed to elicit a lively, honest debate on whether we need or should take action to support a more diverse base of leaders in Brighton & Hove’s cultural sector, and if so, how best to do it. And perhaps for those that have no wish to be ‘leaders’, how can leaders innovate to ensure that historically under-represented communities and people can better influence and therefore nurture a more inclusive cultural ecology in Brighton & Hove?

We gathered a small panel to kick off the conversation. It was a chance to dust off your opinions and have a no-holds-barred discussion. Those attending were encourage to come prepared to speak their mind! The event was introduced by Adam Joolia, CEO of AudioActive and chaired by Elijah, Associate Artistic Director of Lighthouse and head of influential Grime label Butterz. Lara Ratnaraja and Helga Henry from Birmingham, Europe’s second most diverse city, shared their experience of delivering the Re:Present and ASTONish cultural leadership programme in Birmingham. Promising young artist, campaigner, promoter & creative activist Elijah Peart a.k.a Nelson Navarro also performed a spoken word piece, written for this event, which was hosted by the University of Brighton and is part of a programme led by the city’s Arts & Creative Industries Commission, to support the development of a new framework for culture.