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British Council seeks Programme Manager – Theatre and Dance

Deadline: 11 Jan 2016

Role: Programme Manager: Theatre and Dance

Company: British Council


This role leads on the development of Theatre & Dance programmes across 2-3 regions of the world. The Programme Manager works closely with Arts Managers and other British Council staff overseas to agree programmes and activities which respond appropriately to local opportunity and context, contributing to the British Council’s cultural relations purpose. The Programme Manager provides the connection to the UK sector and is able to draw upon a wide-ranging knowledge of contemporary UK Theatre & Dance practice and network of UK contacts to provide specialist advice, contributing directly to project design, implementation, management and evaluation. The Programme Manager will manage relationships within the UK sector and support the management of finance, contracts, information and evaluation in relation to project delivery.

Role purpose
Provide specialist support to British Council offices overseas to ensure the development, implementation and management of high-quality, strategic Theatre & Dance programmes which meet specific regional requirements and support the British Council’s cultural relations objectives.

Strategic Business Unit overview:
The British Council was founded to create ‘a friendly knowledge and understanding’ between the people of the UK and wider world by making a positive contribution to the countries we work with, and in doing so making a lasting difference to the UK’s international standing, prosperity and security. The programmes we use to do this are wide-ranging and cover the arts, education, English, science and society.

Our UK Arts team works with the British Council’s global network of offices to achieve significant impact and change by finding new ways of connecting and seeing each other through the arts. Our team in the UK has three main groupings: We have six art form teams; three cross-disciplinary teams; and three country-specific teams in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Our aim is to see stronger creative sectors across the world that are better connected with the UK. We believe arts and culture are vital to prosperous, secure societies, and that offering international cultural connections and experiences strengthens their resilience. We are uniquely able to make a difference thanks to our extensive and diverse networks in the UK and internationally, enabling us to respond to the individual context of each place we work in.

In the Theatre & Dance team we use our connections and understanding of the UK contemporary Theatre & Dance sectors to advise and support our international colleagues on working with Theatre & Dance within cultural relations programmes and provide a link to the UK. Together we develop projects to encourage showcasing, collaboration and professional exchange. We work in partnership with Theatre & Dance professionals to build relationships between the performing arts communities in the UK and around the world.
Main opportunities/challenges for this role:
• Working within cross-departmental and multi-location teams to deliver high-quality Theatre & Dance programmes within a large, complex international organisation – assisting colleagues in the British Council’s global arts team to create Theatre and Dance projects that are suitable to their specific local operating contexts and designed to increase the impact of our activities in the UK and overseas

• Working on multiple programmes with different cultural and operational contexts (resources, capacity, infrastructure, market, political) – collaborating with external partners in the UK and overseas to develop projects aligned with current British Council strategic objectives; and where possible finding and exploiting the synergies existing between our work and the British Council’s activities in other areas such as governance, social inclusion and urban regeneration in specific countries

• Creating opportunities for the UK Theatre & Dance sectors that encourage international showcasing, collaboration and professional exchange within a cultural relations context – promoting world-class UK Theatre and Dance through the organisation of activities including tours of new productions, workshop and residency programmes, seminars, conferences and UK study visits for overseas practitioners; and contributing to the planning and delivery of key large-scale British Council projects including the Edinburgh Showcase, international seasons and festivals

• Maintaining expertise in contemporary UK Theatre & Dance – strengthening our relationships with practitioners in these sectors and building profile for the British Council’s Theatre and Dance work across the UK

• Working with the Theatre & Dance team to strengthen the diversity of our programmes – in particular contributing to the international development of emerging practitioners from the UK’s Deaf and disabled, and BAME Theatre and Dance communities.

Main Accountabilities:

• Leads in the development and presentation of specific project or programme proposals, including the Theatre & Dance-related component of wider programmes, to ensure these are soundly based and gain approval

• Oversees and, as necessary, advises on the implementation of approved Theatre & Dance products and/or programmes to ensure these are efficiently and effectively delivered to agreed standards

• Ensures the provision, collation and analysis of participant and stakeholder feedback on all relevant projects and programmes so their quality and effectiveness can be assessed and, recommend improvements

• Advises and works with colleagues to ensure the relevant parts of the British Council’s knowledge management systems, websites and marketing materials are up to date and comprehensive in relation to British Council’s work within the Theatre & Dance team’s specific programmes

• Supports the delivery of programmes through the management of finance, contracts, information systems and evaluation as relevant

Sector/subject expertise

• Actively builds professional networks and information channels that maintain an excellent understanding of relevant developments, stakeholders and opinion formers in the Theatre & Dance sectors (in both the UK and internationally), to support the creation of high quality project and programme proposals

• Provides proactive advice and support to colleagues, particularly overseas, to ensure locally developed and/or implemented projects and programmes are high quality, cost effective and based on a genuine understanding of the key priorities and best practice within Theatre & Dance

Relationship & stakeholder management

• Proactively identifies and cultivates potential/actual partners for project and programme development and delivery, and secures the successful achievement of British Council objectives

• Builds and maintains effective relationships with internal partners and stakeholders, to ensure effective, integrated and joined-up delivery of portfolio goals in a complex matrix environment

Risk & compliance

• Ensures projects and programmes are delivered in line with British Council quality standards and Project Management methodologies, including adherence to all process and procedures, governance requirements and communication procedures

• Uses specialist experience to identify project and programme issues and potential solutions or improved ways of working to address them, escalating where necessary

Commercial, financial & resource management

Using agreed British Council systems and processes, plans and manages the budget for a range of small/medium-sized projects and programmes, and conducts monthly and year-end reporting on income and expenditure, profitability and risk

Leadership & management

• Plans and prioritises own work activities, and those of a wider project team/teams (many of which exist outside the direct management line and may be external to the British Council e.g. artists), to ensure effective delivery of diverse responsibilities and programmes

• May be formal line manager to junior staff, temporary staff or interns

• Provides coaching and mentoring for staff reporting to the role and/or staff in the project teams, as agreed to build capability and capacity within the team and ensure the team receives the support it requires

• Supports the analysis of skills, identifies development needs and contributes to the development of learning and development initiatives from areas of own expertise

• Shares knowledge, expertise and ideas to support senior managers and peers, identifying and/or developing ways in which the Theatre & Dance team can make the most effective impact on the British Council’s cultural relations

Application closing date:

If you are interested and feel you are suitable for the role, please apply before Monday 11th January 2016 at, 23:59 UK time. We aim to interview for this role on 19th January 2016.
Equality of Opportunity (UK)
The British Council is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and is keen to reflect the diversity of UK society at every level within the organisation. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. In line with the British Council’s Child Protection policy, any appointment is contingent on thorough checks. In the UK, and in other countries where appropriate systems exist, these include criminal records checks.