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Touring Diverse Work

11 February @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

— Building audiences as production companies or receiving venues

What is it about?

This webinar explores joined up approaches to programming and marketing for work that features BME talent and culture.

“Marketing for diversity is both different and the same. We’re seeking wider audiences, not aliens”.

Marketing officer turned producer John Simmit has over 25 years’ experience of touring his own events into UK theatres and arts centres, as well as regularly providing marketing services for a number of touring companies, venues and Festivals.

During this workshop John will use conversational style to draw upon his experience of marketing productions and events featuring BME talent and culture plus his years of success in attracting and maintaining diverse audiences into mainstream venues to explore ‘joined up’ approaches to programming and marketing.

What will I gain?

— Best practice for maintaining long-term relationships for BME work that tours as a one-off or regularly

— Insights into unconscious bias in this specific context

— Tips on building networks

Who is it for?

Those at the start of their marketing career who need to develop sustainable campaigns for BME work.

How do I take part?

We will be using an online training platform called WebEx for this event. Before booking, please complete our online training checklist to ensure you get the most out of this training.


  • AMA member rate: £55 + VAT
  • Arts Council England NPO: £55 + VAT
  • Non-Member: £115 + VAT


John Simmit | Founder, Producer | Upfront Comedy

Since completing an Arts Council Marketing Traineeship in the early 1990s, arts marketer turned producer John Simmit has worked continuously for a variety of venues, festivals and organisations nationally and internationally, marketing, programming, producing and providing media services. 

His many and wide ranging freelance roles include Head of Marketing for the Birmingham Film & TV Festival, Press Officer for Birmingham Rep, and producer of the See Off The Summer arts festival. 

John produced his first show on a whim at Birmingham’s Alexandra Theatre, after being turned down for inclusion by a Festival, and believing in his idea … attracting an audience of 996 people, and leading to the Festival approaching him to produce and market and event for them. 

Since then he has marketed tours for companies including The Posse, The Bibi Crew, Adzido Dance, Badejo Arts, and Midlands Actors Theatre, and worked regularly as a marketing consultant for a number of theatres including Birmingham Hippodrome and Symphony Hall.  

Under the banner of his own Upfront Productions, John  has produced 11 national tours for performers such as Gina Yashere, Angie Le Mar and the late Felix Dexter, and produced internationally in the USA at the National Black Theater Festival in North Carolina and at the New York Fringe Festival, as well as  twice in London’s west end theatres.  

After 25+ years John continues to programme, produce and market with a range of theatres, including Birmingham Rep, London’s Kiln Theatre (formerly The Tricycle), Leeds Playhouse and Nottingham Playhouse among a number of client venues with relationships now past the 20 year mark.  

Image courtesy of Westminster Abby – Children enjoying a performance of classical Indian dance during a Commonwealth-themed family day at Westminster Abbey


11 February
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


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