Arterial Network has partnered with the Creatives Garage (www.creativesgarage.org ) of Kenya to pilot the African Women in Cultural Leadership (AWCL) mentorship project. With seed funding support from Africalia, the call out for participating mentees will be published in March 2016.
In a sector usually characterized by strong participation from women, women’s career progression often stalls before ascending to senior management and leadership levels in the Arts. The African Women in Cultural Leadership (AWCL) programme aims to identify and address the structural, economic, social and cultural barriers that discourage women from taking up leadership positions within Africa’s cultural industry.
In March 2015, the East African AWCL Symposium in Nairobi gathered 17 participants from 8 countries to debate the issues and the potential future of an AWCL programme. It was agreed that a mentorship programme “by women, for women” should be the initial approach to address the specific needs of women in the arts sector and to convert opportunities into viable career trajectories.
In developing this programme, Arterial Network takes as its point of departure a notion espoused by many leading development experts, that ‘Leadership is a choice’, that a leader must show and inspire others to do with a unique vision and an efficient plan for the future. In order to contribute in the making of women cultural leaders for tomorrow, AWCL considers that a certain set of skills that defines “good leadership” must be addressed in all its activities. The methodology is still at a developmental stage and shall grow considerably after the first pilot year in 2016.
The aims of the programme are to:
In this spirit, a conversation with women in the arts on the “Challenges faced by Women in the Arts & Culture Sector” will be held in Cape Town on the 9th of March in collaboration with Arterial Network South Africa as part of the series of events taking place across the continent celebrating the 9th anniversary of Arterial Network.
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