Introducing Serious…

Serious is one of the UK’s leading producers and curators of live jazz, international and new music. Our work ranges from major concerts, festivals, national and international tours through to learning and participation programmes, conferences and specially commissioned bespoke events. We are committed to ensuring that music is accessible to all, and that artists have opportunities needed to reach their full potential. Our charity Serious Trust is crucial in enabling this ambition through supporting our talent development, learning and participation and commissioning programmes.

Our Change Creation Plan

In a time of rapid change and decreasing public resources, we want to maintain the quality and ambition of our artistic programme and place it at the heart of the organisation to ensure that Serious produces the best possible work, with quality, diversity, innovation and best practice at its core.

In a divided society we know we have the skills to bring communities together and create a national reach. But we must build greater financial resilience to maximise the contribution we can make. We want to establish clear criteria for our work so that our imperatives are transparent to all in the organisation and outside it. We need to retain our entrepreneurial qualities, not taking on every opportunity, but concentrating on what we know we do best. We need to re-examine our funding models and make sure they are supporting the art, the organisation and employees to make it resilient for the next 25 years and beyond. We need to plan further ahead and create clear fundraising priorities and parameters in order to maximise potential income.

We are also hoping to make a shift in terms of culture and working practice. Better systems, strategic planning, information flow and capture, all need to be established. We would like the Directors to feel able to delegate and empower their Heads of Departments to take decisions in key areas. We want to improve the working environment, establishing more training and better evaluation and feedback, to retain and motivate our talented staff.

Claire Whitaker, OBE

Claire is a Director with over 25 years experience at Senior Management and Board Level. Claire is one of three Directors at Serious, and is responsible for the conception and production of high profile events, all aspects of the Learning and Participation programme together with Talent Development programmes for artists and young people. Claire also leads on the creation and implementation of the company’s strategy, business plan, positioning and growth, together with the establishment and development of national and international high level partnerships in the public, private and third sectors.

You can read Claire’s Change Leadership profile here

Fran Bryant

Fran has recently taken up the newly-created position of Head of Operations at Serious, with a remit to review and refresh organisational systems and working practice across the company. Fran is a senior manager with a background in larger multi-disciplinary organisations, having led the artistic hires and partnerships teams at the Barbican and then the Southbank Centre.  During her time there she instigated and managed high profile partner relationships across a range of resident companies, associate artists, commercial clients and promoters.