Sheffield Theatres Awarded Change Makers Funding

14th October 2016

Sheffield Theatres has been awarded £150,000 by Arts Council England, as part of its Change Makers programme.

  The funding will enable the theatre to appoint Javaad Alipoor, Artistic Director of Bradford-based Northern Lines, as an artist in residence, as well as increase diversity in all areas of its work, making a real and lasting difference to the organisation and the industry as a whole. Drawing on Javaad's experience, Sheffield Theatres will focus on increasing engagement with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities and artists, creating significant changes in its audiences, its programming, recruitment and integrated casting. Additionally, three new trainee positions will be created to increase diversity within the workforce. Sheffield Theatres' Artistic Director Robert Hastie commented: 'I am thrilled to be welcoming Javaad to Sheffield Theatres to take up the post of Artist in Residence. Arts Council England's Change Makers programme will make a vital difference to organisations across the country as we continue to challenge ourselves to better reflect the places we live in on our stages and in our companies. I am proud that Sheffield Theatres is a part of this fantastic initiative, and incredibly excited to be collaborating with Javaad, whose passion has been inspiring audiences and artists across Yorkshire.' Javaad Alipoor, said: 'Sheffield is a city that means a lot to me.  It is a proud city full of history, passion, ambition and guts, and Sheffield Theatres embodies each of those qualities in the work they do. I'm looking forward to spending some real time in the city, contributing to it and this organisation by making theatre and working within the team. On a more personal level, it is a huge honour to be recognised as part of a generation of diverse artists and leaders who are working to make the leadership of the cultural industries more representative of the country itself. The timing is auspicious too, just as Robert Hastie is moving the theatre into new territory; the experience of working with a director and inspirational leader like this, is going to be invaluable to me.'  Michelle Dickson, Director North, Arts Council England said: 'Our Change Makers programme is part of our commitment to ensuring that arts and culture across England reflects the diversity of our communities. I'm delighted that Sheffield Theatres has been successful in its application and I'm looking forward to seeing how its relationship with Javaad Alipoor develops.'

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