Decoding Cultural Leadership is a podcast that explores the intersection between the arts, culture and society and interrogates what it means to be a cultural leader in the 21st century.

In each episode, host Sam Cairnduff talks with some of the most influential organisational leaders, creators, policy-makers and thought leaders, building an understanding of their approach to shifting the dial in a complex, constantly changing world.

What is cultural leadership?

In simplest terms, cultural leadership is the act of leading arts and cultural organisations. But the true meaning of cultural leadership goes much deeper…

  • It encompasses how organisations relate to their environments, their communities, and their audiences.
  • How do they intersect with issues of broad social change on a local, national or international level?
  • How do they support and grow their communities, elevating them and acting as platforms for public conversions, debate and education?
  • How do they support their communities in times of crisis?

These are all questions we explore in the podcast.

Season 1 guests include:

  • Louise Herron AM (Sydney Opera House)
  • Fiona Allan (Opera Australia)
  • Paul Grabowsky AO, Monash Performing Arts Centre
  • Benjamin Northey (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Principal Conductor in Residence)
  • Greg Barns SC (Acclaimed lawyer and advocate)
  • Claire Spencer AM, Barbican Centre
  • Yarmila Alfonzetti (Queensland Symphony Orchestra)
  • Richard Evans AM (Australian Chamber Orchestra, Live Performance Australia)
  • Michael Lynch AO CBE (Southbank Centre, West Kowloon Cultural District, Sydney Opera House)
  • Simon Woods (League of American Symphony Orchestras)
  • Simon Webb (Head of BBC Orchestras)

And many more…

Follow Sam’s Substack to read weekly content about the podcast, and other thought leadership articles and discussions.

Decoding Cultural Leadership is a production of the Institute of Cultural Leadership
Creative Director: Niloofar Pashmforoosh

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