Who we are
Sydenham Arts is a registered charity providing arts activities, programmes and events all year round. Our mission is to ‘provide, promote and advance the arts for the benefit of the public, in particular people who live, work and are educated in Sydenham and surrounding areas’. We see the arts as a cultural and social driver, which not only provide a source of entertainment, but can educate and enlighten communities, bringing them together to celebrate, to rally to cultural causes, to enjoy new experiences, and to appreciate the diversity and cultural vibrancy that surrounds us.
We are committed to providing a platform for emerging, local artists as well as bringing in high quality, established artists to the area. Between 2009 and 2018 we staged annual festivals in July, embracing every art form (as Sydenham Arts Festival). In 2018 we moved from running an annual festival to year-round programming, and in 2019 delivered 38 multi-arts events, including outreach in schools, care homes and hospices.
In 2020, Sydenham Arts appointed a new Managing Director, James Hodgson, to steer the charity towards further sustainability and innovative programming. Sydenham Arts is now looking to build on the groundwork already established, and emerge from the Covid-19 crisis in a strong position, with newly invigorated digital outputs and programming to support the return of events with live audiences.
Our vision for future programming will look to promote further diversity and equality across all aspects of the arts, both in the artists we work with and our audiences, respond to key moments of universal significance including the Climate Crisis, and support the diverse communities of Sydenham and South East London across the arts. Sydenham Arts will look to be a driving force locally, responding the Arts Council’s Creative Case for Diversity and Let’s Create strategy, and Lewisham’s upcoming year as London Borough of Culture 2021 (now 2022).
Thank you for your interest in becoming a member of the Board of Trustees of Sydenham Arts. This pack will provide you with all the information you need to know about Sydenham Arts and the role of becoming a Board Member, plus information about our application process.
We are looking to strengthen our Board of Trustees and are looking for enthusiastic candidates with a diverse range of skills and experience, particularly in these areas:
● Digital Media
● Income Generation/Fundraising
● PR & Marketing
● Business, Commerce and Financial Skills
● Legal & Professional
Sydenham Arts are currently in the process of reviewing our diversity and equality policy, our commitment to improving the diversity, inclusion and representation of our Leadership (Board) and staff team. We are an equal opportunities employer and particularly encourage applications from candidates with protected characteristics.
 As outlined by the Equality Act 2010, Protected Characteristics are defined as: age, gender reassignment, being married or in a civil partnership, being pregnant or on maternity leave, disability, race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.
By joining our Board, you will be part of a dedicated team which is actively involved in guiding the charity to promote the arts and culture throughout Lewisham, and supporting the arts sector on a wider scale. You will be committed to contributing to the leadership of the charity, helping to promote sustainability, and developing strategies to support Sydenham Arts’ work in providing the arts for the benefit of our community.
We are committed to providing Board Members with the advice, support and training they need to carry out their role to the best of their ability.
We are also happy to have a conversation with potential applicants in advance of submitting an application, if you are unsure whether the role is right for you. You can contact us using the details in the role description below.
Salary: Voluntary, Unpaid (Reasonable expenses as appropriate, reimbursed)
Commitment: 4-6 Meetings/Year incl. Away Day, plus additional meetings if necessary
Length of Service: Trustees are appointed for an initial term of 3 Years. Board Members can be re-appointed for 3 consecutive terms, up to a maximum of 9 years.
Main Purpose of the Role
As a Board Member, you will be expected to carry out the following duties:
● To make sure that Sydenham Arts complies with its Articles of Association, and that it pursues only the objects which are defined in it.
● To make sure that Sydenham Arts complies with charity law, employment law and other relevant legislation or regulations.
● To make sure that Sydenham Arts remains financially viable, scrutinising and approving accounts with the Board of Trustees.
● To contribute to the Board’s role in giving firm strategic direction and setting overall policy.
● To make sure that the Board is defining goals and setting targets for the organisation, and that performance is evaluated against these targets with due diligence.
● To promote the work of Sydenham Arts and protect its high standing in the community.
● To make sure that operational, management and administrative processes are effective and efficient.
● To appoint the Managing Director / other senior staff as relevant, monitor progress, and provide strategic support in areas of expertise.
● To sit on appraisal, recruitment and disciplinary panels as required.
Board Members are also expected to extend their access to specialist knowledge and expertise in their possession which can help to further the aims and objectives of Sydenham Arts and its work.
Essential Attributes, Skills and Experience
● A Commitment to Sydenham Arts, its work, and values
● A desire to support the charity to grow and thrive
● A willingness to commit the time to support Sydenham Arts as per this role description
● A commitment to the Nolan Principles underpinning public life: Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty and Leadership
● A commitment to equality and diversity in all aspects
Desirable Skills and Experience:
● Strategic Planning and Vision
● Sound and independent judgement
● A knowledge of the combined arts/arts sectors
● A knowledge of the charity and non-profit sector/transferable knowledge
● An understanding of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of charity trusteeship.
● Leadership and management skills
Trustees will be expected to have skills / experience in some (but not all) of:
● Setting targets, monitoring and evaluating performance and progress
● Commissioning and delivering sustainable services
● Marketing, digital and new media, IT
● Employment and training (including HR)
● High quality artistic practice
● Legal, including Charity Law
● Networking & alliances / brokering partnerships
● Enhanced knowledge/expertise in Diversity and Equality practice
We are investigating the introduction of subcommittees. These subcommittees will meet on specific, focussed issues to report to main Board meetings. As a Board Member, you will be expected to sit on committees as appropriate. These may include:
The Programme and Development Sub-Committee: to discuss, scrutinise and develop the core artistic programme and day-to-day front-facing operations of the charity. The committee will also be responsible for discussing and assessing fundraising and development opportunities for the charity.
The Administrative and Finance Sub-Committee: to examine Sydenham Arts financial position, including annual reconciliation and preparation of accounts. The committee will also focus on issues surrounding HR business-related issues and legal responsibilities.
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