Sue Kay is a UK-based freelance cultural sector researcher, trainer and consultant with over thirty years’ experience in arts management and cultural administration – within performing arts organisations, funding bodies, development agencies and higher education. She has worked as an artistic director, producer, programmer, venue manager, planner, project coordinator, and senior lecturer (Subject Director: Cultural Management, Dartington College of Arts, Devon, UK). Her most recent substantive post (Executive Director, Culture South West) enabled her to focus on regional cultural development, networking, advocacy and capacity building. Sue has a particular interest in cross-sectoral working, organisational development and cultural leadership and is currently completing a doctoral thesis at the University of Exeter. Formerly a board member of the European Network of Cultural Administration Training Centres, she teaches abroad on a regular basis, mainly in Nordic-Baltic countries and in Central and Eastern Europe.
Under the auspices of the UK Treasury-funded (£22m) Cultural Leadership Programme (CLP) (2006-2011) Sue co-directed Culture Leadership South West (a cross-sectoral professional development programme for cultural leaders in South West England) and served on a CLP advisory panel (‘Meeting the Challenge’). She also co-edited A Cultural Leadership Reader (2010) http://ccskills.org.uk/supporters/employer-advice/article/a-cultural-leadership-reader; and wrote an evaluative piece on CLP as a whole – Grand Narratives and Small Stories: learning leadership in the cultural sector (2011).
Other publications on cultural leadership include:
Kay, S. ‘Travels with a rucksack: an exploration of contemporary cultural leadership in the UK’ in Kulturens Studia Generalia 2008 (Helsinki: Svenska Kulturfonden 2009)
Kay, S. ‘Not Drowning but Waving: Leadership and learning in the UK cultural sector’, in Birnkraut. G. and Wolf, K. (Eds.) Kulturmanagement Konkret: An Anatomy of Arts Management (Hamburg: Institut fur Kulturkonzepte, 2008)
Kay, S. ‘Leadership in the cultural sector’ in What is Leadership Development: Content and Contexts (Exeter: Leadership South West/University of Exeter, 2006)
Sue has led workshops on cultural leadership for the Centre for Cultural Management (L’viv, Ukraine); the Eastern area Partnership Culture Programme (Alushta, Ukraine); Kedja, the Nordic Baltic Dance Platform (Tallinn, Estonia); the Goethe Institut: as part of capacity-building programmes for cultural managers from English and French speaking Sub-Saharan African countries, and from Germany and China (Hamburg and Berlin); KulturKraft, SITE and Transit (Stockholm, Sweden); Natverkstan and Trappan (Goteborg, Sweden).
Her PhD thesis (submission summer 2014) entitled Talking the walk: a study of cultural managers in micro-scale theatre organisations in South West England is supervised by Annie Pye (Professor of Leadership Studies, Exeter University Business School) and Dr David Roesner (Senior Lecturer in Theatre Studies at the University of Kent).