Facebook - Birmingham Business Twitter - Birmingham Business Instagram - Birmingham Business
https://www.anthonycollins.com/who-we-help/individuals/ https://bruntwood.co.uk/scitech/business-support/programmes/e4f/

Deborah Kermode

Deborah Kermode is the CEO and artistic director of Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) and has been in her role since August 2016. Before that she was deputy director at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, and she has also worked as director of Bright Space, an arts education charity that delivered the Creative Partnerships programme for Birmingham that aimed to improve the skills of children and young people through cultural opportunities.

EXPLAIN A TYPICAL WEEK IN YOUR WORKING LIFE: Every working week is so varied but often consists of experiencing the wonderful work taking place as part of our programme, preparing for board meetings, and creating new project proposals. A large part of my week also includes meetings, whether that be internal meetings to ensure our venue and programme runs smoothly to external meetings with funders, artists, and partner organisations.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FACING YOUR INDUSTRY RIGHT NOW? We’re finding that our biggest challenge is recruitment. Due to the effects of last year, it has been extremely difficult to recruit new members of the team, particularly in the catering department.

AND WHAT ARE THE BIG OPPORTUNITIES? The big opportunities are to work closely with the public. In doing so, we can monitor their booking behaviours and ensure we are creating an artist-led approach. I think it’s also about understanding what makes the art relevant to people’s lives, especially as we enter a post COVID-19 world where people are looking for experiences.

I also think there is currently a lot of opportunity around current affairs and staying relevant – even if that means shaking it up a little. Focusing on working with technology has led us to recognise the digital opportunities available. Staying relevant to our communities, also means that we’re able to recognise what they want to connect with and facilitate that within our programme.

HOW DO YOU GET THE BEST OUT OF YOUR STAFF? I think you must always offer positive feedback and support, whilst also ensuring that they feel part of the vision – knowing that they are contributing to the journey and growth of a company is meaningful at every level of the business.

HOW MANY EMAILS DO YOU GET IN A DAY, AND HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU HAVE TO READ THEM? Too many! However, I always make time to read them all.

DO YOU ANSWER WORK CALLS OR EMAILS AT HOME? WHAT’S THE RIGHT WORK-LIFE BALANCE? In the arts, because it’s such a gorgeous industry, I find that everything blurs between work and life. Due to our staff and artists having such passion for the arts, it quite often blends between both. Running a charity means work/life balance seems to sometimes become one - you form great friendships.

HOW DO YOU HOPE YOUR COLLEAGUES WOULD DESCRIBE YOU? Feisty, high energy, supportive, good listener.

HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR? My time at MAC has been a highlight for sure! I am so passionate about collaboration and working with and for people, and that’s exactly why my role here at MAC is such a good fit. The deeper connection with our communities and helping them to make sense of the world around them is something that MAC does so beautifully – I am so pleased to be working at such a collaborative space and place of activism.

IF YOU COULD GO BACK AND GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF SOME WISE ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? I would tell myself to look back at the successful things, but also don’t doubt that the future won’t be as successful as the past. Why wouldn’t the future be the same?

HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM WORK? You’ll find me dancing, with a gin!

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS SPECIAL ABOUT THE BIRMINGHAM BUSINESS COMMUNITY? There is so much to say about the Birmingham business community, but for me, I think what stands out is the collaboration and passion, as well as the inter-connectivity throughout the city, especially within the arts sector.