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Creative Engagement

Creative Engagement

Playhouse Connect

Building connections across the city region throughout lockdown

Join us for a brand-new series of creative workshops and projects this Spring.

We’re building on the Playhouse Connect work already carried out aiming to address 4 specific areas which are particularly critical at this moment in time:  Isolation and Loneliness, Mental Health and Well Being, Reconnection and Recovery and Skills and Training for Young People.   There are lots of activities coming up, working with those we already engage with and lots of space for new participants and audiences, so watch this space for the next set of projects being announced.

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Creative Associates

  • Find out more about our Creative Associate programme

    We want to redefine our relationship with our current freelancers and expand our reach by offering support to a whole new group of creative facilitators as part of our new Creative Associate programme.

    The pandemic has highlighted the important role freelancers play in the creative sector. Sadly, it has also underlined the fragility of their work.

    Leeds Playhouse was founded 50 years ago by the people, for the people, and we remain steadfastly committed to our home city and the creatives who live here.

    Our new Creative Associate programme, led by our award-winning Creative Engagement team, aims to set out a clear road map for freelancers – both old friends and new – highlighting our commitment to developing an even more mutually beneficial relationship through:

    • Clear lines of communication
    • Consistent support, information and reassurance
    • Development, sharing and training
    • Early notification of recruitment opportunities

    It’s important to note that the scheme does not represent a guaranteed offer of freelance work, and is not a way of engaging new or existing participants in our Creative Engagement programme. It is also not a place to develop new work – it’s solely about helping creative facilitators develop their practice.

    Should membership result in paid work with the Playhouse on a programme that requires a DBS check, associates will be expected to comply.

    Who is it aimed at?

    All Leeds-based freelancers who have an interest in delivering work that creatively engages with diverse communities. This includes all the freelancers currently working on our engagement programmes.

    While this programme is aimed at freelance artists, we are also changing the nature of our relationship with our support workers as they take up casual employment status. We understand, however, that some support workers also identify as freelance artists and, as such, will be entitled to join the Creative Associate scheme.

    What is the offer?

    Our Creative Engagement programme comprises a wide variety of projects and events. Examples of where we are eager to expand our freelance team include: Community Outreach Workshops; Youth Theatre and other youth programmes; in-school facilitating and other education programmes; and many more.

    We want to offer freelancers an evolving year-long programme of events, training and networking.

    This will include:

    • An introduction to our Creative Engagement programme
    • An introduction to our Furnace artist development programme
    • Membership of our Furnace Social Club (including events, workshops and £5 ticket offers)
    • Monthly Tea & Talk sessions hosted by members of the Creative Engagement team
    • Two in-house training sessions a year on topics as wide-ranging as safeguarding and Dementia Friends
    • Two artist networking events
    • Autumn and summer social events
    • A Q&A event with Leeds Playhouse Artistic Director James Brining and the Senior Management Team
    • ‘Fancy a brew?’ informal chats with members of the Playhouse team
    • Invites to season launches
    • An optional skill-sharing with the wider network three times a year
    • Free WiFi in the Playhouse building and access to co-working space
    • A Playhouse lanyard for all creative delivery
    • References (on completion of a project with the Playhouse)

    When will it happen?

    We are aiming to run the pilot Creative Associate programme from September 2021 to August 2022. We will then review the pool each year and adapt the offer accordingly.

    How do I register my interest?

    Please complete the short application form below so we can get to know you a little better. You can either download the form and fill in it or video your answers. Then just email your submission to by midnight on Wednesday 6 October.

    Once you have registered your interest, you may be invited to share some of your practice or complete a short exercise in a small workshop group. You may also be asked to stay for an informal follow-up chat with one of our Creative Engagement team after the workshop.

    After all submissions have been considered, the programme is scheduled to start in November.

    If you would like to find out more before registering your interest, we are running an optional information session via zoom on Tuesday 21 September 5.30–6.30pm. To book a place, please email

    As with all Playhouse programmes, freelancers from diverse backgrounds and people with disabilities are actively encouraged to apply.


Download BrochureAutumn / Winter 21
Download BrochureAutumn / Winter 21
Major funders
Arts Council England Leeds City Council The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation
Principal Capital and Families Partner
Caddick Developments
Principal Capital and Access Partner
Irwin Mitchell Solicitors