A pair of trailblazing women have been selected to become Associates at The Point Eastleigh as part of a pioneering arts leadership programme.
Women Leaders South West (WLSW), which aims to address the gender imbalance in the arts and cultural sector, has chosen 16 incredible Associates from over 350 applications for a training opportunity at eight arts organisations in South West England including The Point.
The venue will welcome Fee Hudson Francis and Amber Weyman over the next eighteen months, supported by social entrepreneurship and business training from Southampton Business School and mentoring from Jude Kelly and The WOW (Women of the World) Foundation. The programme is funded by the Arts Council’s Transforming Leadership scheme.
Fee Hudson Francis is an event and project manager based in Southampton. Originally from Leicester, she grew up in the theatre as a performer, facilitator and director before attending the University of Winchester and graduating with a first-class honours degree in Drama and Event Management. She currently works as project co-ordinator for Zoielogic Dance Theatre in Southampton.
Amber Weyman is a solo dance artist, creative activist, and advocate based in Southampton. They make work and cultivate conversations around their experiences with being queer, neurodiverse, and managing chronic mental illnesses. They are passionate about altering the landscape of the arts to authentically represent our communities and aim to inspire a sense of belonging in those who often feel sidelined and isolated by society.
Louisa Milburn, Business Manager at The Point Eastleigh, said: “We are delighted to welcome Amber and Fee to our organisation as part of this important project.
“Women Leaders South West is a key step towards not only ensuring that we are striving for equality in leadership roles in arts, but to ensure we as a sector recognise how multiple barriers can stop women from taking up these roles.”
Councillor Tina Campbell, Eastleigh Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Policy, said: “It is important that the under-representation of women from all backgrounds is tackled, and these training placements offer an excellent opportunity to create a new generation of talented female leaders in the creative sector.
“Women occupy the senior roles in the Council’s arts and culture team, and we are pleased to support this scheme offering similar opportunities to women arts leaders of the future. The Point’s central role in this project reflects its status as an important arts centre in the region and we look forward to seeing the project progress.”
Jude Kelly CBE, Founder and Director of The WOW Foundation, said: “This is an impressive, ambitious and ethically driven project that understands the need for home grown talent to develop commitment and loyalty to place. The South West region dreams big and The WOW Foundation is excited to be bringing the international dimension to the table.”
Image: Fee Hudson Francis (left) and Amber Weyman (right) with WLSW logo.
Find out more about the first group of WLSW Women Leaders