creative leadership



If you’re looking to build on the skills and knowledge you already have, or define and achieve long or short term goals, then mentoring is for you!

Mentoring is a supportive relationship between someone with specialist skills and experience and someone who wants to learn from these insights. A mentor can be a sounding board, providing an alternate perspective on your creative leadership journey, and gently challenge you to think and act differently in order to achieve your goals.




There are 20 mentoring places in total. Ten of the places are being nominated by a range of different cultural organisations within the Plymouth ‘Travel to Work’ area, so we can reach people who may not consider what they are doing as creative leadership.

For this call out there are 10 mentoring places available and each mentoring package consists of:

  • 5 x one hour online mentoring sessions with an established leader in your creative field of interest. Plymouth Culture will work with you to match you to a suitable mentor.
  • 2 x in person facilitated meet ups with other participants in the Creative Leadership programme (travel costs available for those traveling from outside Plymouth).
  • Invitation to be involved (as a participant and/or co-organiser) in two Creative Leadership Programme public events.
  • Email updates on other creative leadership training and learning opportunities around the country.
  • Social media highlight of you and your work.


The mentoring will take place between April and September 2024. The exact dates and times of the mentoring will be decided between the mentoring pairs.

The first Creative Leadership Programme public event will take place on 24 April 2024 (morning) at a venue in Plymouth (to be confirmed). The second event will be at the beginning of October 2024 (date and time to be confirmed).

The Creative Leadership Programme participants In Person Meet ups will happen in April and July 2024, and will be facilitated by Sophie Mellor, the Creative Leadership Programme Coordinator. The date and time will be decided by the programme participants, once everyone has been recruited.


Research has shown us that D/deaf/Disabled people and people from the Global Majority are particularly under represented in Plymouths’ cultural leadership. At least two mentoring places (out of 20 places) will be for D/deaf/Disabled applicants. And at least two mentoring places (out of 20 places) will be for applicants from the Global Majority.


We will contact all successful applicants to discuss how we might best support any access needs so participants can fully engage with the mentoring and the networking events.



1. Applicants must live in the Plymouth ‘Travel to Work’ area which includes Plymouth, Torbay, Exeter, Tiverton, Launceston, Bude, Liskeard, and places in between.

>> Click here to see a map of the Plymouth ‘Travel to Work’ area.

2. The mentoring is aimed at people who are leading a one-off project, an organisation, a team witnin an organisation, in arts and culture:

– Visual Art
– Theatre
– Dance
– Music
– Writing (poetry, plays, novels, non fiction etc)
– Performance
– Film making
– Craft
– Design (including graphic design and illustration)
– Animation
– Libraries
– Museums
– Cultural education
Cultural Management/Cultural Development
– Heritage

You can be working voluntarily, freelance or in a salaried role.

If you’re unsure if you can apply, please contact Sophie Mellor for a friendly chat –

can you apply for mentoring, action learning and the bursaries?

You can apply for both the Mentoring and Action Learning opportunities, which are being advertised at the same time.

But you cannot be awarded a place for Mentoring AND Action Learning. So have a think about which opportunity would suit you best. If you’re not sure, email Sophie Mellor for a friendly chat before the application deadline.

Mentoring applicants/participants and Action Learning applicants/participants can also apply for the Bursaries. The call out for the Bursaries will be in mid February and mid April 2024.


Deadline for applications is Tuesday 27 February 2024 at 5pm.

selection panel

The selection panel for the Mentoring will be Dulcie Fenton (ReBels Coordinator, Barbican Theatre), Joe Lyward (artist and curator) and Sabrina Candido (Sector Development Officer, Plymouth Culture). Dulcie and Joe are part of the Focus Group for the Creative Leadership Programme, and you can read more about them by clicking here. 


Sophie Mellor, the Creative Leadership Programme Coordinator, will be running two online informations sessions about the Creative Leadership Programme and how to apply. These sessions will be on:
– Thursday 8 February 2024, 1pm to 2pm
– Thursday 15 February 2024, 6pm to 7pm

If you would like to come along to one of these sessions and ask questions etc, please email and she will send you the zoom link.

You can also book a one-to-one session with Sophie for support on writing your application. This can be on zoom or by phone.

This may include reading through your application; help turning your notes into an application; chatting more about what Mentoring is; helping you decide whether to apply for the Mentoring or the Action Learning.

She will be running a set number of these one to one sessions, between 1 February and 22 February 2024. Get in touch as soon as you can to book your support session before they get booked up! One session per applicant.
Contact Sophie on
(Sophie will not be on the selection panel).