Sue Kay

Sue has worked in the UK cultural sector for thirty years. She started out in performing arts as Administrator of the national Puppet Centre, before moving on to posts at Strode Theatre, Street in Somerset (Manager), Cockpit Theatre and Arts Centre, London (Head of Theatre Events) and the Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton, Somerset (Director). She also spent three years as Strategic Planning Officer at South West Arts (now Arts Council England), six years as Subject Director: Arts Management at Dartington College of Arts, and a further three years as Executive Director of Culture South West (the erstwhile regional cultural consortium). Since 2006, she has operated as a freelance consultant and trainer in cultural policy and management. An early board member of the European Network of Cultural Administration Training Centres, she teaches abroad on a regular basis – particularly in Central and Eastern Europe.

Sue has an MA in Arts Management and Cultural Policy from City University and a BA (Hons) in French from King’s College, London.

Sue’s research interests focus on management and leadership in the cultural sector. She hopes to add conceptual insight to the field through an investigation of ‘what cultural managers do’ in small scale theatre organisations in the South West, using both a sensemaking and devising perspective.

Her recent writing includes pieces for the Treasury-funded Cultural Leadership Programme (2006-2011):

Kay, S. (2011) Grand Narratives and Small Stories: learning leadership in the cultural sector, London, Cultural Leadership Programme.

Kay, S. and Venner, K. with Burns, S. and Schwarz, M. (eds.) (2010), A Cultural Leadership Reader, London, Cultural Leadership Programme.

Sue is supervised by Professor Annie Pye and Dr David Roesner (Senior Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Studies at the University of Kent).

Address: Centre for Leadership Studies,
University of Exeter,
Streatham Court 1-50
Reenes Drive,

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