Derby Theatre – Dan Whitehouse announced as new Creative Producer for Producing Hubs
Derby Theatre is thrilled to announce that Dan Whitehouse will join the organisation in the new role of Creative Producer, a role that will specifically focus and lead on Producing Hubs, an Arts Council England funded project to support and strengthen the performing arts sector in the local area.
Arts Council England recently announced two pilot Performing Arts Producing Hubs, groups of theatres, arts organisations, social enterprises, community groups and other organisations who will work to support arts in the respective regions.
Derby Theatre was one of only two venues selected, along with other partners in the city, to receive the Arts Council England funding, coming from the National Lottery, and was awarded £1.5 million over three years to become a Producing Hub. Dan is the first person to be appointed with a specific focus on the scheme and he will lead this innovative project on behalf of the Derby Creative Arts Network (Derby CAN).
Dan has over 10 years creative producing and project management experience, working across a range of art forms and engaging with a wide variety of audiences from different creative and cultural backgrounds.
His previous work includes developing a talent development initiative at the Manchester International Festival during 2017 and six and a half years as the Next Generation Producer at mac birmingham, where he successfully built and developed a nationally recognised programme for young people and emerging artists. Prior to that he has taught in Further and Higher Education, programmed the EXPO festival (festival of emerging Live Art) in Nottingham in 2015, and managed a number of community projects and initiatives across the UK. Dan is currently providing consultancy for a new Arts and Culture strategy for the new Midlands Met hospital due to open in 2022, and is also Part Time Combined Arts Manager at Arts Council in the Midlands, which he will be leaving to take up the role in Derby.
Led by Dan, and working closely with the Theatre’s Chief Executive and Artistic Director, Sarah Brigham, Derby Theatre will use the funding to create new work with audiences and communities at its heart, working closely with partners from the city and beyond to deliver the various strands of the project. The exciting consortium of companies who will help to support, deliver and develop the Producing Hubs model in Derby include: Baby People, China Plate, Crying Out Loud, Déda, Derby City Council, Derby County Community Trust, In Good Company,
Maison Foo, Milk Presents, Not Too Tame, QUAD, University of Derby and Wild Rumpus. This combination of artist-led organisations, National Portfolio Organisations, the football club, university and the local authority means that we as a collective can genuinely reach out into new parts of the city and think about creating theatre in new ways.
As a Producing Hub, Dan will lead on a programme of work in community settings across the city; produce new small-scale productions that will tour into these hubs and beyond; produce new mid-scale work which will play on the Derby Theatre main stage and produce new outdoor work which will play at festivals like Festé and across the city. It will also provide artists with opportunities to work on research and development together and deliver community and artist development opportunities.
Dan’s main areas of responsibility includes: developing clear, creative and strategic directions for Derby CAN; overseeing a full needs analysis with the community and working with the Artistic Director and steering group to translate the information into a programme of activity, overseeing the programme of work, working with Derby Theatre’s core team to ensure the programme links to and influences the Theatre’s overall artistic programme, developing community hub venues, recruit and manage project staff, overseeing the marketing and publicity for the related projects, offering exciting opportunities for artists to collaborate and engage with the scheme and to create and develop new partnerships to extend the life of the work produced.
Sarah Brigham (Chief Executive and Artistic Director, Derby Theatre) said: “I’m delighted to welcome Dan to lead this exciting project on behalf of the Derby Creative Arts Network (Derby CAN). This is an exciting project, which we hope will transform the way we make theatre in Derby and engage audiences and communities in exciting new ways with cultural organisations. Daniel has extensive experience of producing and supporting artists at organisations such as MAC Birmingham, Manchester International Festival and ACE and I’m certain he will be an excellent addition to the team.”
Dan Whitehouse said: “The role has come at the perfect time for me in my career and it will be a fantastic opportunity to work with a plethora of amazing organisations across Derby and beyond.
As the lead Creative Producer for the programme, I look forward to guiding and supporting the consortium members in developing a range of new performing arts commissioning opportunities, which seek to test out how a collaborative and independently minded producing hub model might operate outside of London.
Through this, we have an ambition to develop new and innovative cultural initiatives and thought provoking artistic interventions, which place civic unity at its heart. At the same time, we aim to provide bespoke talent development opportunities for the people of Derby, create a stronger equity within the performing arts sector, and add gravitas to Derby as a dynamic and creative city”
Dan takes up his new role, based at Derby Theatre, on Wednesday 9 October.