Theatre in Wales

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SGRIPT CYMRU DIRECTOR WINS CULTURE FELLOWSHIP     

On Monday, September 5th, Simon Harris, founder and artistic director of Sgript Cymru, will embark on a year-long fellowship sponsored by The Arts Council of Wales and the Assembly Government. He is the first Welsh recipient of a prized Clore fellowship promoting leadership in the arts.

Simon Harris, aged 43, is a former playwright and theatre producer, now heading up Sgript Cymru, the drama company that specialises in new writing by Welsh and Wales-based playwrights.

He has been awarded a year-long fellowship with the prestigious Clore Leadership Programme and an intensive two-week course in Bore Place, Kent will be his first real opportunity to work closely with the other 26 fellows from all over the UK.

The Clore Leadership Programme has received £35,000 funding from a combination of the Welsh Assembly Government and ACW.

ACW’s Chief Executive, Peter Tyndall, said: It is crucially important that Wales invests in the development of its future cultural leaders. We are very pleased to be supporting - in partnership with the Assembly Government - a fellowship for Wales within the Clore Leadership Programme.

"The Clore Fellowship is a great opportunity to develop and nurture future leaders for Wales’s vibrant and active cultural sector. By investing in our cultural leaders, the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of the whole sector will be improved.

“We are very grateful to the Welsh Assembly Government for supporting this initiative.”

Alun Pugh, Minister for Culture, Welsh Language and Sport, said: "This is a remarkable opportunity for outstanding individuals from Wales to develop their leadership skills, talent and confidence within the cultural sector. The development of leadership in the cultural sector will be crucial to its future success.“

Over the course of the year, 43-year-old Simon Harris will receive professional development as a cultural leader in Wales through mentoring, tuition and group learning and two intensive two-week residential courses. He will undertake an in-depth research project, supervised by a Higher Education Institution; and be seconded to an organisation very different from Sgript Cymru, where he will have experience of managing a high level project.

“The Fellowship will provide me with the opportunity to learn from the best in the field while developing my leadership skills through a personalised programme of training, practical experience and research”, he said.

“Although I’m sure it will help me to realise my own potential as a leader, the real winners will be the people I work with because I’ll be better able to help them realise their potential too.”

“Both my parents come from a very working class part of Swansea. But they are both aspirational. My dad became head teacher of a primary school. And I take very strongly from him his definition of leadership being about what you can give back.

Rt Honourable Lord Smith of Finsbury, Director of the Clore Leadership Programme said: “Our hope is that at the end of their year's Fellowship, recipients will be of greater value to their existing place of work, and will also be in a position to take on bigger and more demanding roles in future.

“By helping exceptional individuals to make a step-change in their skills and career potential, we aim to bring substantial benefit to the cultural field as a whole.”
 
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