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British Council Malta
Cultural Leadership International

Two CLI participants from Malta

In 2009-2010, Toni Attard was selected to participate in the CLI programme. Natasha Borg is participating in 2010-2011.

The cultural landscape

The international cultural sector is growing and in these rapidly changing times plays a unique and vital socio-economic role in all our futures. The British Council is embarking on a programme in response to the urgent need for future cultural leaders to develop and nurture the necessary skills to drive the cultural sector forward.

Cultural Leadership International

Cultural Leadership International (CLI) will help to develop a new generation of cultural leaders. It will create a large network of next generation leaders who will utilise the skills and experience gained in the programme to drive an open, tolerant and integrated society.

CLI will build and support partnerships and collaborations using UK cultural leadership expertise. It will generate opportunities for the exchange of knowledge, experiences and ideas, and create opportunities for people to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations.

First steps

In its first year CLI is undergoing an international research and development phase. We are working with partners across Europe, North America, the Middle East and North Africa on a leadership development programme for a group of selected participants.

The programme offers a varied and tailored programme of activities, for example:

  • work-based placements
  • networking opportunities
  • coaching and mentoring
  • creative collaborations and experiential learning

CLI activity started in spring 2009.

Leadership Development Days in Madrid – May 2009

On 10-13 May 2009, two candidates from each participating country in the region were invited to attend the Leadership Development Days event in Spain.

29 candidates from ten countries took part in the event, which was hosted at the El Matadero arts centre in Madrid. The candidates from Malta were Toni Attard and Natasha Borg.

During the event, participants were introduced to concepts of leadership and different leadership styles. This also provided an excellent opportunity for engagement with a group of international peers. Participants were encouraged to begin work on their Individual Development Plans.

The British Council developed the concept and content of these days in conjunction with the Cultural Leadership Programme.

CLI meeting in London - July 2009

Watch a video of the event

On the 8th and 9th July 2009 26 cultural leaders from the UK, Western Europe, North America, and the Middle East came together in London to develop their skills and professional networks as part of a two day British Council run programme to launch the British Council’s Cultural Leadership International programme.

The two day event provided an opportunity for all of our selected participants to come together as a group and discuss and analyse their Development Plans. The event also marked the formation of the international cultural network. CLI will be the first network of its kind, bringing together a diverse group of cultural leaders and speakers from around the world.

Toni Attard, EU projects co-ordinator at St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, attended from Malta. On his return from London, Toni Attard said: “I am excited to be part of the first Cultural Leadership International programme. I know that it will be a unique opportunity to develop my professional career in the cultural sector. The prospect of working with a mentor of such high calibre through a tailor made training programme, a work placement and the chance to share experiences with my peers from around the globe is something I very much look forward to. I am indebted to the British Council for its investment in my career in the cultural sector that took off with formal training in cultural management and policy through a Chevening Scholarship in 2003. That scholarship was a real eye-opener and I am sure that my project focusing on cultural advocacy and change will be equally exciting. Ultimately, I am determined and committed to ensure that the skills, motivation and experience gained through this six month programme will be beneficial to the leadership and vision of my organization and the cultural sector in Malta.”

Public lecture byJohn Holden, 23 March 2010 at 6.30 pm

John Holden, a UK leading cultural expert, gave a public lecture entitled "The Value of Culture" on Tuesday, 23 March at St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity (Music Room) at 6.30 pm.

Read the text

John Holden is an Associate at the think tank Demos, where he was Head of Culture from 2000-2008, and a Visiting Professor in Cultural Policy and Management at City University, London. He has Masters Degrees in Law and in Design History. He has been involved in numerous major projects in the cultural sector across music, film, theatre, heritage, museums and libraries, dealing with issues of policy, evaluation, leadership, workforce development and learning. He has worked with Governments, funding bodies, trusts and foundations, agencies, and many major cultural organisations, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, the British Museum, the Sage, Gateshead, V&A, and Tate. He is a member of the Strategy Board of the Clore Leadership Programme, a member of the Advisory Board of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the Advisory board of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, Berlin, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. John has delivered many keynote speeches in the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. His publications on cultural policy in the UK and beyond include Democratic Culture, Capturing Cultural Value, Cultural Value and the Crisis of Legitimacy, Culture Online, Creative Reading, Cultural Learning, Hitting the Right Note and Cultural Diplomacy.

Three day residential seminar on Cultural Leadership - March 2011

16 cultural leaders from the public and private cultural sector participated in a three day residential seminar on cultural leadership organised by the Creative Economy Working Group within the Ministry of Finance, the Economy and Investment in collaboration with the British Council.

The sessions were delivered by John Holden and Shelagh Wright who are leading international experts in the field of cultural governance, creative economy and networking. The seminar was designed to help participants develop their leadership skills, identify their potential needs and develop their strengths to foster confidence in building effective relationships.

Participants also had the opportunity to discuss issues on cultural leadership with invited guests from government, the business sector and independent cultural operators.

The project was held in collaboration with the Parliamentary Secretariat for Tourism, Environment and Culture and supported by the British Council and Cultural Contact Point Malta.

"The Power of Creative Culture" (Interview with Nora Amin by Matthew Mirabelli, published in The Times of Malta on 11 April 2011)

Participating Countries

Algeria Jordan Qatar
Bahrain Kuwait Saudi Arabia
Belgium Lebanon Spain
Canada Libya Syria
Egypt Malta Tunisia
France Morocco Yemen
Germany Netherlands UAE
Ireland Oman USA
Italy Portugal

Find out more information about the project

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