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e-bulletin November 09


What's here this month?

Ohhh there’s a lot to tell you this month. You might even want to put the kettle on, print this out, and take a few minutes to read it through in detail!

a kettle 'steaming' a cloud of images

So what’s new?

• We’ve confirmed some of our Sync Introductions sessions –Leads into Leading – see below for dates, times, and how to get involved

• Remember Sync 20 – our programme to give a select band of Sync members face-to-face training and coaching opportunities? It's back – this time called Sync Intensives – more below

• And next month, placements will be launched too – a real opportunity to test out your leadership skills with some of the capital’s leading arts organisations and projects.

• New content added to the website this week include a new case study with Simon McKeown, creator of Motion Disabled, and an article which questions if there is a disabled leadership style.

To go straight to the Sync website

Leads into Leading

...a chance to find out more about leadership theories from a disability perspective...

Photo of Tom Doughty

There are some chances coming up for you to meet up face-to-face with Sync over the next few months:

Sync and DaDa: Disability & Deaf Arts are holding an Introduction to Leadership session in Liverpool on Friday 4th December 2009, 1pm – 4.30pm in The Bluecoat, School Lane Liverpool, L1 3BX as part of DaDaFest. It’s open to all disabled people working or wanting to work in the arts. Access support will be provided. Places are free, but limited to 15 disabled people, so please book ASAP by emailing

There is a special offer on too. Participants signing up for the programme can also receive a free ticket to the DaDaFest09 performance by Tom Doughty – singer/songwriter and guitarist. Let us know if you want a ticket when you book.

In January and February we are also hoping to hold similar sessions in Manchester and Bristol if people are interested . If you want to know more, email us direct to be kept in the loop -

And finally, Sync is also holding an informal evening gathering in central London on the evening of 12th January. We’ve not chosen a venue yet, but we do know it will be very relaxed! This is an opportunity for people to find out more about Sync – but if you are already in the programme, do feel free to pop along and join in!

Sync Intensives

I found Sync 20 an incredibly useful experience for a number of reasons, but predominantly it was a great networking opportunity to build working relationships with my peers, and I found the coaching invaluable, giving me real tactics to work with to consolidate my own professional approach and ultimately developing a much more “confident” me. Esther Appleyard – Joint Director, Accentuate

A photo of Esther Appleyard

In 2008, we ran a programme called Sync 20, which gave 20 Sync members the chance to have one-to-one coaching, practical training days and opportunities for in-depth discussion. This time, we’ve refined this programme which will be running from March 2010 to October 2010.

Interested? Want to find out more? You can get further information and a simple word application form from

You need to apply by the end of February 2010 and we’ll be letting people know who made it into the programme in early March.

Is it for you? This is what Jo Paul, Scenographer, made of Sync 20 - a good, supportive kick up the 'proverbial'! Is that what you need?


I know, I know, we promised last month to bring you details of how you can apply for placements linked to Sync....

The admin wheels are grinding slowly on this one and it's taking more time than we expected to get all the 'i's dotted and the 't's crossed.

There will be two 'Leading in London' placements, for disabled and deaf leaders. These are being delivered by CLP, funded by Arts Council England - London and supported by Sync. Both opportunities are for three months (or equivalent part time). We do want to give you news of these as soon as we can - watch out here and at the CLP website in early December for full details.

These placements present a chance to really shift gear and gain on the job knowledge and experience of leadership roles. If you want to go on the waiting list to get the information as soon as we have it, just email with 'placement' in the subject line.

Really sorry for the delay with these - if it's any help, we are as excited and frustrated as you are!

Simon McKeown

I want to question our view of normality. If just one person realises that it's ok to have a disabled child, a child with short arms and legs, for example, as a result of having seen the work, then it will have worked. Simon McKeown

Photo of Simon McKeown in Korea

Our case study this month is on Simon McKeown, the creator of Motion Disabled. Simon’s work has become extremely well known recently, with his exhibition gaining coverage in the Times, as well as touring as far afield as Korea. Within the case study he is asked what influence he wanted Motion Disabled to have? His answer above is deceptively simple – to change people’s perceptions about disability.

Simon is pushed further – why does he make work that asks such questions, that pose such moral questions? Again, Simon’s response is down to earth:

I thought what was the point in having all this experience and not telling people? … I want to make the world different … I suppose basically it comes down to making a mark. My art teacher once gave me a great piece of advice when I was about 17: do something interesting before you die. I’m just trying to live up to that!

You can read the whole case study on the Sync website. Follow the link below to go straight there.

To go straight to the Simon's case study

Is there a disabled leadership style?

Sign post saying leadership

When people join Sync, we ask them what they think about leading. Well, this month’s article looks at this and asks: Does being a disabled person mean we lead differently?

Sync is, of course, about different views, so it's no surprise that we don’t all have the same take on this. Some people think there are profound differences, others believe there are no differences at all.

Some people think that as disabled people we are better at being ‘chameleons’ – fitting into different situations and altering our behaviour accordingly; others that we are better at working with difference, after all, we have had plenty of experience of being different ourselves.

Often our ‘take’ on leadership is down to confidence – the confidence to be who we really are, rather than spending time trying to be what we are not.

Have a read through and see what you think – and don’t be afraid to comment! Do you think there is a specific ‘disabled leadership style’?

Follow this link to read the whole article

Other opportunities…

women to watch logo

Women to Watch

The Cultural Leadership Programme wanted us to pass on information about their new campaign – 'Women to Watch'. In their search for the sector’s top 50 future female leaders, they are inviting established leaders (director level figures and senior independent consultants) from across the UK to nominate women who have already made a noticeable impact within the sector, and have the potential to rise to the top. These women will be included on the Cultural Leadership Programme’s inaugural ‘Women to Watch’ list for 2010...

For more information, please go to


The Cultural Leadership programme has also got a ‘navigator’ on its site - a handy guide to the wide range of leadership development opportunities offered through the Cultural Leadership programme. By answering five simple questions, the online Navigator will:

  • Present you with the full range of opportunities provided through the Cultural Leadership Programme

  • Identify and prioritise the opportunities you are likely to want to know more about based upon your own interests and needs

  • Provide you with information on any eligibility criteria

  • Allow you to click through directly for more detailed information and next steps.

Why not give it a try?

To go straight to the CLP Navigator

That’s it for now, hope you’ve survived the wind, rain, floods and other weather-based chaos of November!

Keep in touch.

Jo Verrent

Sync Project Manager

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