• Industry

Metal Hiring Now: Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer

The Backstage Centre

are delighted to present

an inspirational opportunity for an experienced Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer (£50-60k) for


“Metal is everything you hope an arts organisation could be. It’s welcoming, engaging and nourishing for both the community it sits within and the artists it works with.”

– Artist Feedback


Thank you for your interest in joining Metal.

Metal is one of the foremost catalyst art organisations in the UK with a reputation for ambitious change-making through their creative work with artists and communities. This is an incredibly exciting time to be joining Metal. You will be part of an impactful arts organisation at a pivotal moment in the history of the cultural sector. Having effectively weathered the COVID-19 storm thus far, we are taking this moment as an opportunity to reinvigorate and consolidate our practice, re-doubling our commitment to creative justice and to artistic relevance.

2022 will be Metal’s 20th anniversary. It’s an important moment to take stock of our achievements and look to the future. What does the sector need from us in these challenging times? What do artists and creative communities need from us? How can we bring our unique model to support artists and the creative industries in the drive for a just and green recovery?

We are looking for an exceptional and dynamic individual to lead us on this journey.


Metal was founded in London in 2002 by Jude Kelly CBE, working with current Artistic Director, Colette Bailey since its inception. We have been active in Liverpool since 2004, in Southend-on-Sea since 2007 and in Peterborough since 2012. In each place, we work from buildings of historic significance that we have transformed from empty or derelict spaces into vibrant cultural community hubs. From these bases, we work to provide the catalyst that can transform the potential of people and places through great art and inspiring ideas. We aim to shift perceptions, working in bold, unexpected and innovative ways, engaging with audiences who might not otherwise encounter new artistic work.

We support artists from the UK and overseas, working in all disciplines, at all career levels. We provide opportunities for emerging artists, host local, national, international and remote artists-in-residence programmes. We deliver intensive, week-long Culture LABs for peer-to-peer learning and exchange. Alongside this we build large-scale, ambitious projects that respond to the places where we work, taking inspiration from community, history and heritage, local stories and landscape.

We believe that artists can affect change in our society. Our central aim is to provide the environment and support to encourage artists to make confident new works that stretch their practice. We emphasise freedom to experiment and explore without pre- prescribed outcomes whilst encouraging conversation, collaboration and a sharing of knowledge across disciplines, communities and sectors. We work to ensure that this investment in artists and their ideas makes a real and lasting contribution to the wider social, political, educational, environmental and economic issues of the towns and cities where we work.

We believe the Metal Model and methodology is unique in the cultural landscape of the UK, offering a nimble, responsive, relatively low resource model that can provide the catalyst for artist- led, cultural development in places that are currently underserved by the arts. In these places our methodology can build engaging ideas from the starting point of the people and place itself. We have been practising and refining this model for nearly 20 years. Our model relies on strong and strategic partnerships including direct support and collaboration with our local authorities.


We put the development of artists and their ideas at the heart of our buildings and at the top of our agenda.

Our buildings are deliberately domestic in feel, flexible in their use and can be public or private as programme and activity demand.

Our public programme is far ranging and can happen in any place/space. We take work to audiences, rather than expecting audiences to always come to us.

Our relationship with our stakeholders is multi-faceted. Creativity, ideas and expertise are found across all walks of life and at all ages. The most impactful and relevant work comes from building strong connections and exchange across all the different parts of our communities and place.

The Metal model has a relatively low resource level and overhead – yet it creates high impact, mass participation and visibility in the neighbourhoods, towns and cities where we work.

After nearly 20 years of operating and developing this model, we have tried and tested transportable methodologies – and a growing set of case studies and evidence base.

We work towards our vision by:

Supporting artists, strengthening their practice and amplifying their voice

Bringing creative thinkers from all sectors together

Offering local and global perspectives through creative projects to stimulate curiosity and opportunities to learn

Showcasing, developing, delivering and disseminating successful projects and events

“It won’t be an exaggeration to say that the residency was a life-changing experience for me. Kindly put in a place where all I had to care about was my craft. I’ve found the courage to explore new techniques that took me somewhere I’ve never been before artistically.”

“This journey with Metal has been profound. Being given space to develop my voice and experiment with my practice in a supportive and nurturing environment has impacted on my sense of how I want to work and exist in the arts in the future.”

– Artist Feedback


The Artistic Director & CEO will lead the organisation, and set the strategic direction, working alongside the programme teams in Southend-on-Sea, Peterborough and Liverpool. This role will lead the artistic and creative strategy for the organisation and turn that vision into resources. They will oversee the creation of business and development plans to deliver the strategy. The AD/CEO is responsible for ensuring that the organisational structure, skill-sets, processes and responsibilities all work together to deliver our overall vision.

The AD/CEO reports to the Board and is the lead relationship manager for Metal engagement with funders and stakeholders, including Local Government and Arts Council England. They will set the strategic vision and direction for Metal, in partnership with the regional programme directors. The postholder also oversees the day-to-day management of human, financial, administrative and capital resources, and holds overall responsibility for ensuring the long-term sustainability of the organisation. In collaboration with the regional directors, the AD/CEO implements the organisation’s artistic vision and programme and together they ensure that Metal maintains and develops its position as a centre of excellence committed to the development of artists, audiences and places.

The role is also responsible for ensuring effective communication, internally and externally, providing a focus for the articulation of Metal’s mission in the context of a changing cultural landscape. The role will lead the organisational planning and application for the next period of NPO funding responding to the new Arts Council’s ‘Let’s Create’ strategy; and make the case for sustained investment from our local authority partners.

The successful candidate will be a dynamic, entrepreneurial and creative individual, with the drive, experience and excitement to lead a multi-site organisation of this scale and calibre, maintaining and building its reputation and key role in the arts sector.

Metal is committed to the dismantling and eradication of institutional and societal racism, as well as the wider inequalities experienced by marginalised groups. We are looking for candidates who reflect the diversity of the country today to help us shape our work to make it more relevant. We therefore strongly welcome applications from those currently under-represented in the sector including those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, D/deaf, disabled, neurodivergent, working class and LGBTQI+ people.

To download the full recruitment pack, click on the following link:

Artistic Director & CEO Recruitment – Metal (metalculture.com)