Venu Dhupa has just completed nearly three years work with Creative Scotland as Director of Creative Development as part of the senior start-up team. Her responsibilities included the Arts, a number of Investment Programmes and International Strategy and Engagement. Prior to working at Creative Scotland she was working as a consultant and had her own publishing company.
Former employment has been: World-wide Director of Arts for the British Council where she led and completed the first international consultation/review in 25 years on the Council's global arts strategy; Director of Creative Innovation at the Southbank Centre, London (Europe's largest cultural centre). The Creative Innovation unit was imagined as a tool for introducing new partners to the organisation as well as an organisational development tool; Fellowship Director at The UK's National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) where she managed a portfolio valued at £13million; Chief Executive at the Nottingham Playhouse; and Producer (Mobile Touring) at the Royal National Theatre.
She was the inaugural Chair of the East Midlands Cultural Consortium appointed by the Secretary of State at the Department of Culture Media and Sport. Her career history has always balanced creative exploration and strategy with implementation and delivery. This has been an important balance in developing a judgement for accountability with risk. Her motivation remains good customer service, good value and positive social change and these continue to drive her as an activist.
She is or has been a Trustee of the Theatres Trust, a Member of University College London's Heritage Committee, the external examiner for UEA MA in Creative Entrepreneurship; a Governor of Guildford Conservatoire, a Council Member of Loughborough University, a Member of the Institute of Ideas and a Member of the European Cultural Parliament. She is a patron of the Asha Foundation. She has been awarded the prestigious National Asian Woman of Achievement Award for her contribution to the Arts and Culture.
Earlier this year I gave the Annual Crichton Carbon Centre Lecture at the Crichton Campus in Dumfries and Galloway (Scotland). The following piece is an 'interview version' of that lecture, carried out by Dame Barbara Kelly.
I've always thought about leadership broadly and related those thoughts to many of the wonderful people that I have worked with and for, and learned from reflecting on their performance and my own. However, for the purposes of this piece I need to thank Dr James Martin for his inspiration.
Creative Scotland came into being in July 2010, created as a Non Departmental Public Body to replace and develop the functions of the former Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen. It is widely recognised as a model of public sector reform and is housed in a dynamic new resource base for the cultural sector in Scotland (Waverley Gate in Edinburgh) with offices in Glasgow.