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Amplifying Unexpected Leaders’ voices


This year, we have been amplifying Unexpected Leaders’ voices through Connecting Communities, a proactive and optimistic response to the isolation of the past year. We’ve been working with community groups across the UK to create shared, digital creative experiences and performance. Connecting Communities is also about amplifying participants’ voices through our successful Unexpected Leaders programme. Through the programme, we give people who would not usually be seen in positions of power coaching as well as opportunities to develop their skills. This is one of the ways in which Diverse City builds lasting change.

Meet Unexpected Leaders Jess, Harry and Berni

Jess and Harry are two Unexpected Leaders on the programme working with Extraordinary Bodies Young Artists in Poole. We listened to what they both had to say about their ambitions as young artists. They also told us about what Connecting Communities has brought them. Meet Jess and Harry in the two videos below (captioned and audio described):

Harry Bassett – musician, tutor and Unexpected Leader
Jess Skelton – dancer, choreographer and Unexpected Leader

Along the other side of the coast, in Plymouth, Berni is part of Funky Llama and also a Connecting Communities Unexpected Leader. Berni has experience in radio and when we asked her if she would like to host a podcast, she was on board from the get go. She sat down with Claire, our Co-Artistic Director, and a cuppa to talk about what it’s meant to be a woman in lockdown.

What’s next?

So far, we’ve worked with Theatre Royal Plymouth‘s Funky Llama and Our Space, Extraordinary Bodies Young Artists in Poole as well as Skylight in Rochdale. Working with these four groups is just the start. Next up, we will reflect on the work done so far and also gather feedback from the people we worked with to prepare a second round of the project. Stay tuned to hear where we take Connecting Communities next.

Like the sound of Connecting Communities and Unexpected Leaders?

We’re #WorldBuilding through leadership work in the arts on other levels too. Click here to find out about our work with Women Leaders South West.

Connecting Communities is led by Extraordinary Bodies and its two mother companies, Diverse City and Cirque Bijou. Thank you to the National Lottery and to all ticket buyers – you are all part of a movement to make the world more fair as it gets back on its feet.

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Diverse City is an award winning organisation committed to diversity and equality in the arts. We are an engine of artistic and social change.

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