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Arts managers from across Australia are this week participating in a five-day workshop to further develop their strategic leadership skills.

An Australia Council for the Arts initiative, the Emerging Leaders Development Program is aimed at leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to the arts and want to take their career to the next level.

The 22 participants will examine a range of issues relevant to arts leaders, such as governance, problem solving, strategic thinking, mentoring and risk management.

Australia Council Chief Executive Officer Tony Grybowski said the program was established four years ago after a gap was identified in arts leadership development across the country.

There has been a high turnover in managerial positions in small to medium arts organisations due to burnout, a lack of support and recognition of these managers’ commitment and achievements, as well as little assistance for their career development, Mr Grybowski said.

This program aims to address these issues as well as giving participants the skills required to lead large organisations in an increasingly dynamic and complex social and business environment.

Following the workshop, participants will receive mentoring and coaching from successful arts leaders.

Mr Grybowski and Australia Council Chair Rupert Myer AM will meet the participants during the workshop and share their experiences of running a large organisation and working with a board.

Other leaders scheduled to speak to the participants include Sydney Opera House Programming Director Jonathan Bielski, Carriageworks Director Lisa Havilah, Institute of Modern Art Co-director Aileen Burns and Creative Partnerships Australia Chief Executive Officer Fiona Menzies.

The Emerging Leaders Development Program is part of the Australia Council’s Capacity Development Program, which includes a number of mentoring initiatives to develop arts leaders’ skills.

Its programs build on existing skills through scholarships, development grants and partnerships with other organisations and mentoring.

The Australia Council recently announced the recipients of a number of grants, including the Artistic Leadership and Executive Leadership initiatives and the Philanthropic Mentoring program.

Recipients of the Executive Leadership grant include Arts Access Australia Chief Executive Officer Emma Bennison (Tas), Symphony Services International Chief Executive Officer Kate Lidbetter (NSW) and The Desert Aboriginal Arts and Cultural Centre Working Group (NSW).

Recipients of the Artistic Leadership grants include South Australia Writers’ Centre Director Sarah Tooth (SA), 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art Director Aaron Seeto (NSW), Melbourne Writers’ Festival Director/Chief Executive Officer Lisa Dempster (Vic) and artist Nancy Mauro-Flude (Tas).

All recipients are selected through a competitive application process.

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