Participation manager

Participation manager
Employer: Arcola Theatre
Salary: £25-£30K p/a
Location: London

Arcola Theatre is recruiting for a new Participation Manager. Could it be you?


About Arcola Theatre

Arcola produces daring, high-quality theatre in the heart of East London and beyond.

We CREATE trailblazing theatre for all.

In our two performance spaces (capacity 200 and 100), Arcola commissions and premieres exciting, original works alongside rare gems of world drama and bold new productions of classics.

Our socially-engaged, international programme champions diversity, challenges the status quo, and attracts tens of thousands of people to our building each year.

Ticket prices are some of the most affordable in London, and our long-running Pay What You Can scheme ensures there is no financial barrier to accessing the theatre.

“Arcola Theatre brings the very best of the world’s performing and visual arts to the people of the world living and working in London.” —The Guardian

“Arcola is one of the great success stories of the British Theatre.” – The Stage


We ENABLE new and diverse talent.

Arcola finds, nurtures and empowers the next generation in theatre.

Since opening in 2000, we have supported thousands of people to develop their skills and careers.

Our annual Grimeborn Festival unlocks opera for everybody. We give young and diverse companies a platform to embark on bold artistic ventures. Contemporary stagings and affordable ticket prices make opera accessible for the many.

Arcola’s Playwrought scheme provides opportunities for writers to develop new scripts for production, while Arcola Academy empowers young people to build their futures within the arts.

Through Arcola Lab, we offer 26 weeks of free rehearsal space every year to BAME and refugee artists. In 2017, we won the UK Theatre Award for Promotion of Diversity.

“Arcola’s ethos and welcome lets BAMER artists know this theatre is for everyone, not just the privileged few.” —Cathy Tyson, Pitchlake Productions, Arcola Lab participant


We EXPAND opportunities for everyone to make theatre.

Arcola Participation creates over 13,500 creative opportunities every year for the people of Hackney and beyond – including through our youth theatres, courses, and pioneering Queer, Womens’, 50+, Turkish and Mental Health community theatre companies. Every year, we showcase original productions by these companies in our Creative Disruption Festival. In 2017 we won the Adiaha Antigha Award for Most Imaginative Approach to Outreach.

“Arcola has changed my life for the better.” – Frank, Arcola Youth Theatre Member


We IMAGINE and build a sustainable future.

Arcola aims to be the world’s first carbon-neutral theatre. Our environmental sustainability initiatives, developed with our sister company Arcola Energy, are internationally renowned. In 2018 we won The Stage Sustainability Award in recognition of our ongoing attempts to reduce carbon emissions and raise awareness of climate emergency.

“Arcola’s plans set the gold standard to which all venues should aspire.”
– Mark Watts, Sustainability Advisor to the Mayor of London


The near future

This is a hugely exciting time to join Arcola.
We have recently transitioned to producing or co-producing all of our productions in-house, enabling longer-term planning and closer collaborations.
Our year-long, 20th anniversary season features new works from major playwrights and celebrates Arcola’s creative community.
In the last year we have worked with a wide range of other theatre companies including the the Royal Shakespeare Company, Graeae and the Traverse Theatre.

This is also an exciting time to join Arcola’s Participation department, as we seek to develop new ways to engage the community with our in-house programming, and to form a new business plan and strategy ahead of the next Arts Council funding round.




Who we are looking for

Arcola aims to be a theatre involving and inspiring everyone in our diverse community. In the heart of East London, we stage a wide range of socially-engaged and international stories. Our tickets are some of the most affordable in London.

We’re looking for a creative, proactive Participation Manager to play a vital role in that mission:
1. Widening engagement with our building and programme - leading initiatives and forging partnerships to involve young people, schools, community organisations and underrepresented groups;
2. Deepening engagement with our building and programme - creating opportunities and materials for people to learn and respond;
3. Facilitating community theatre groups - enabling non-professionals to make theatre too, with regular classes and performances involving hundreds of participants. Currently our groups are: Arcola Youth Theatre (13-15 year olds), Young AYT (9-12 year olds), Arcola Queer Collective, Arcola Mental Health Theatre Group, Arcola 50+ Group, Arcola Ala-Turka, Arcola Women’s Group. All of these groups stage performances in an annual festival of Participation shows.

The successful candidate will be responsible for strategy, budgeting and fundraising, delivery and evaluation - ensuring that Arcola’s Participation programmes are effective, sustainable and can grow.

They will be passionate and ambitious about supporting the talents and interests of all people – mostly not those with already-established connections to the UK theatre industry.

They will report to the Deputy Artistic Director, and work closely with
⁃ Senior Management, aiding the mission and growth of Arcola Theatre and creating reports as required;
⁃ the Producing team, identifying opportunities and scheduling projects around the professional programme;
⁃ the Communications and Marketing team, supporting audience development and public engagement;
⁃ the Front of House and Access team, helping to make Arcola a welcoming and inclusive space for all people;
⁃ the wider Arcola staff team.

They will have responsibility for recruiting and managing freelance workshop leaders and facilitators.
They will act as Safeguarding Lead for Arcola Theatre, implementing and overseeing the system of pastoral care for all young people and vulnerable adults who take part in Arcola activities.



Person Specification

Essential
• Significant experience (minimum 3 years) developing and leading public engagement, community development and/or creative learning projects in the performing arts.
• A proven track record of devising and delivering complex projects with young people; members of the community; and artists.
• Experience of fundraising.
• A passion for the performing arts.
• A passion for the work and mission of Arcola Theatre.
• Knowledge of a broad range of cultures and traditions, and ability to work with people from a wide range of backgrounds.
• A proven knowledge of contemporary arts education or community development practice, or equivalent transferable experience.
• An understanding of and commitment to Safeguarding best practice.
• The proven ability to communicate clearly, confidently and creatively both in writing and in person.
• Experience of setting and managing budgets.
• Experience of project management, monitoring, evaluation and report writing.
• Experience of managing freelance staff.
• The ability to work under pressure.
• The ability to work as part of a team and on own initiative.
• Fluent IT skills including knowledge of Word, Excel, Outlook.
• Experience of theatre administration or production.

Desirable
• Experience of work in a producing theatre.
• Knowledge of trusts and foundations.
• Knowledge of the local community and demographics of Hackney.


Job Summary

- Salary: £25,000 to £30,000 per annum, depending on experience.
- Contract: Permanent (1 year fixed-term, with intention to extend).
- Hours: Full Time. 40 hours per week. Evening or weekend work may be required. All Arcola staff are expected to attend performances and to be a part of the artistic life of the organisation.
- Holiday: 28 days per annum, including public holidays.
- Overtime: No overtime payments; we operate a Time Off In Lieu (TOIL) system.
- Pension: Arcola operates a pension scheme with the NEST Ethical Fund. You may opt to contribute 5% of basic pay and Arcola will make a matching contribution.
- Benefits include: Complimentary tickets for performances; staff discount at Arcola Bar and Café.
- Probation period: 3 months.
- Notice period: 1 month.
- Location: Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London, E8 3DL. The theatre is fully wheelchair accessible.

Learn more about this position

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