The UK Hip Hop Leadership Movement awarded two years of Transforming Leadership funding

Image: Tobias Jackman, Rugged Estate by Camilla Greenwell

We are thrilled to be leading a consortium that has been awarded an Arts Council England Transforming Leadership grant. Transforming Leadership aims to ensure arts and cultural leaders are appropriately skilled and from diverse backgrounds to support the continued growth and long-term sustainability of the sector.

The UK Hip Hop Leadership Movement is a two year programme that will reveal, inspire, support and champion current and next generation leaders from the hip hop dance community who are passionate about making change. It will bring together existing leaders to share and learn from each other, alongside learning from other sectors. Action research will be embedded to support live learning and evaluate impact.

The UK Hip Hop Leadership Movement is led by a consortium of leading dance organisations: Artists4Artists, Avant Garde Dance, Boy Blue, Breakiní Convention, East London Dance, Impact Dance, Uchenna Dance, University of East London, and ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company. 

Polly Risbridger, Chief Executive & Artistic Director, East London Dance, said:

“We are delighted to be awarded a Transforming Leadership Award. As a consortium we recognise the huge tide of change and recognition that hip hop dance theatre is currently riding, with three hip hop companies joining the ACE National Portfolio last year; demand from audiences, participants & programmers; new buildings on the horizon that will offer space and a gathering point for the hip hop community; and a wealth of new talent hungry for opportunities.

This award will ensure we can invest in the leadership needed to maximise this investment and demand and build a sustainable, innovative and representative infrastructure for hip hop, alongside influencing decision making within the wider cultural sector. Although consortium members have a long history of collaboration in many different ways, this is the first time we have all sat down together to take positive collective action and marks a seminal moment for the future of UK Hip Hop Dance Theatre.” 

Hakeem Onibudo, Artistic Director, Impact Dance, said:

“Receiving this Transforming Leadership Award represents a commitment from the Arts Council to fully support a genre that has been competing to put itself on the map for the last two decades, so that it can stand equally alongside dances of the classical and contemporary forms and be taken seriously as an artform that engages young people and produces quality artists in this industry.”

Sri Sarker, Executive Director, ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company, said:

“ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company is thrilled that Arts Council England is investing in the UK Hip Hop Leadership Movement Consortium. This support and recognition is instrumental to the Hip Hop sector and will provide critical time, resources and support to allow us to create meaningful leadership pathways and encourage more and more people with Hip Hop expertise to seek out leadership positions across the wider sector.

The consortium formalises many individual and ad hoc conversations we have all had over many years about how we can enrich and strengthen leadership for the benefit of the Hip Hop and wider arts sector.  It is our hope that collectively we, the UK Hip Hop Leadership Movement Consortium, can ride the wave of recognition and strength our sector is currently experiencing and design a significant programme that will support leaders who can imagine and deliver the future the sector deserves.”  

Joyce Wilson, London Area Director, Arts Council England, said:

This fund aims to ensure that leadership across the sector is diverse, entrepreneurial and future facing. Arts Council England is supporting the UK Hip Hop Leadership Movement, a consortium of leading hip hop and dance organisations, to inspire, support and promote change and leadership across the dance sector, and I am pleased to see that so many organisations have come together to support this programme.”