Royal & Derngate ARTS LEADERS is a voluntary opportunity for young people aged 13-24 to shape arts projects and really make a difference to how their local community engages with the theatre.

Our ARTS LEADERS projects involve members working with Royal & Derngate to research, develop, plan and deliver arts-based social action projects that engages local people in arts activities. This is an amazing opportunity to learn how to design projects, share ideas and collaborate with professionals on creating events that highlight how the arts are for everyone. Great for your CV, arts management experience, confidence and creativity. Being an ARTS LEADER also contributes towards gaining Arts Award qualifications and Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

The ARTS LEADERS have been nominated for The Mighty Creatives Partnership Working Award and the Northamptonshire Community Foundation Trailblazer Award for their Mothertongue Tales story book and education project that saw 75 young people with origins from 16 different countries coming together to perform the stories on our Royal stage.

Other recent projects have included:

Meeting Sir Ian McKellen which was a huge highlight for the Arts Leaders this year and he not only generously took time out of his production schedule to hear about the work that they do, but also included a special rainbow scarf the Arts Leaders made for him in his one-man show on the Royal stage the same evening.

True Colours LGBTQ+ event that saw local organisations and young people come together to promote being proud of who you are. This project also involved the Kinky Boots cast meeting the Arts Leaders and designing their own boots celebrating diversity and unity.

Give a Smile for Christmas project where the Arts Leaders decided to make a real difference to local struggling families with their where they designed and sold Christmas cards and raised money to make food hampers and present sacks for 30 families. This project was the epitome of what Arts Leaders can do and was really rewarding for everyone concerned.

National Theatre Connections Festival involving Arts Leaders who worked with the Creative Learning team to help plan and deliver a week long festival of new writing for young people in the UK’s largest NT: Connections Festival at Royal & Derngate. They have also been involved in two script development workshops for the National Theatre, providing valuable insight and responses to new writing for young people.

Shoulder to Shoulder #Vote100 project brought together theatre groups from across Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire in a creative celebration of the anniversary of some women gaining the right to vote. Arts Leaders helped to support groups on the festival, making them feel welcome at Royal & Derngate.

Shakespeare Schools Festival involves two evenings of Shakespeare performances by local schools on our Royal stage and Arts Leaders supported the young cast members backstage during rehearsals and performances.

Fun Palaces events have also been supported by Arts Leaders either leading on or supporting activities that engage the local community in fun and creative ways.

Creative Collaborations involving Arts Leaders and other youth arts organisations have really build a sense of shared creativity with joint involvement in this year’s Devoted & Disgruntled  and Educating Northants conferences alongside Silhouette Youth Theatre, supporting productions at Northampton International Academy and attending arts festivals with NMPAT and Warts and All Theatre.

Northants Cultural Education Partnership is a new initiative aimed at unlocking access to high quality arts and education opportunities across Northamptonshire and our Arts Leaders have worked with the partner organisations to help develop the brand and logo design, providing a valuable youth voice in the early stages of the NCEP.

Speeches and Presentations are a regular part of the Arts Leaders activities ranging from special afternoon tea celebration events for local people and funders, talking to other young people about leadership and skills opportunities at local arts and careers events, and sharing stories of how Arts Leaders and Royal & Derngate has impacted on their lives at Gala Dinner events.

ARTS LEADERS are currently planning an exciting Environment Art project that they hope will raise awareness of the importance of reducing the use of plastics and increase recycling, and will involve local schools and artists in creating recycled waste tree sculptures. Watch this space for more details in the Autumn.

As an ARTS LEADER, responsibilities include:

  • Meeting weekly on a Friday 5.30pm-7.30pm to discuss events and plan projects
  • Acting as an ambassador for Royal & Derngate’s Creative Learning provision and work with young people
  • Taking ownership for project management of projects and liaising with professional arts practitioners to deliver projects with the local community
  • Being passionate about inclusion, collaboration and making arts fun!

Benefits of being an ARTS LEADER include:

  • Gaining a Bronze, Silver or Gold Arts Award qualification
  • Working with professional artists and experts to develop leadership skills, confidence and project management experience
  • Having a voice in shaping Royal & Derngate’s Creative Learning work with young people
  • VIP invites to selected Made In Northampton events
  • Occasionally receiving complimentary tickets to shows (in the Royal, Derngate, Northampton Filmhouse & The Core at Corby Core)
  • Receiving an exclusive Arts Leader t-shirt and hoodie

If you are 13-24 years old and interested in being an ARTS LEADER, download the application form and return it to Trudy Bell, Creative Learning Director or send to Trudy Bell, Royal & Derngate, 19-21 Guildhall Road, Northampton NN1 1DP. You can also drop applications into Box Office.

Please note, Arts Leaders sessions are not currently taking place.

Click here for ARTS LEADERS Application Form 


Have a voice.  Make a difference.  Get Involved.