7 Oct 2021 – 17 March 2022

Heads Up is for anyone who works with audiences directly or indirectly, and uses digital in their role.

This is not digital training like you’ve known before… The programme is a mix of digital transformation, inclusivity and soft skills. Join the first cohort of curious, playful, rigorous individuals ready to experiment and embrace change. 

Heads Up unites elements of AMA’s landmark Digital Lab and Audience Diversity Academy. Participants will develop tailored approaches focused on:

  • Challenging the way your organisation uses digital tools to transform audience-focused relationships
  • Better ways to engage specific audience groups. Share the stories (historic values, ethics, creative intelligence) of your organisation’s assets. Think how, in the “new normal”, these assets work to uphold or compete against age-old systemic norms.

During this programme, you’ll:

  • Explore personal preferences and implicit biases. Looking at the digital platforms you use, the narratives you build, and the content you share.
  • Investigate what and who has shaped standards and best practices in digital media use.
  • Explore assumptions and influences behind your work to engage audiences. Look at intention, who was included, and who was excluded, elevated, absent, or erased .
  • Experiment with your approach to digital media. Crafting content from an unapologetic, radical intentions to connect, relate, and engage.
  • Develop strategies for retaining learning and practices. Embrace experimentation with digital media and work proactively on audience engagement.

You’ll take part in:

  • 4 x 1-hour mentoring to support and challenge you as you expand your knowledge.
  • 6 x webinars tailored to shape your learning.
  • 3 x peer sessions where details of experiments are shared and discussed.  These experiments will provide you with opportunities to test your ideas based on the knowledge gained within the programme. 
  • 1 x graduation ceremony to celebrate what you have achieved.

Why Heads Up?

Heads Up brings a responsibility for social justice into your role in the digital sphere and beyond. Social justice has four key principles: equity, access, participation and rights. The arts and heritage sector in which we work has largely struggled to deliver on these principles.

Heads Up helps further your understanding of the inclusion and inclusivity conversation. It helps raise awareness of the context you’re working in and helps you identify how your work can contribute towards making the change our society – and your audience – needs.

Heads Up — bookings closed

Heads Up is part of AMAculturehive, funded by Arts Council England. As such the rates are subsidised for participants.

Cost to participate is £175 + VAT

The Programme


  • 4 x 1 hour online sessions with mentors selected by AMA for their individual styles in executive coaching. They will support and enable you to be rigorous in your thinking and in rising to the challenges. 


  • Cultural language and hashtags in the new normal
  • Audiences – resonating and engaging online
  • A dialogue on social media
  • PR and company culture
  • Podcasts to tell stories and document
  • Learning cycles and iteration


You’ll engage in three experiments—each exploring how your considerations and use of digital tools impact audience engagement and development.

These fun and informative activities can immediately become part of your organisation’s marketing schemes. They will help to centre your audiences (current and future!) and build relationships with them as collaborators and partners. 

  •  Experiment 1 – Structures: Selfie status and bias – Testing the strength of your social media hashtags; understanding how bias types (especially ‘omission bias’) impacts structural practice that affect our roles.
  • Experiment 2 – Origin Story: How storytelling can shape your mindset. Journey to discovering the truth of your audience using an organisational asset. You’ll use this to create a new way of including your audiences.
  • Experiment 3 – Community Inquiry: Using what you gained in experiments 1 and 2, you’ll plan how to build relevance hyperlocally. You’ll work to bridge the gap – whether in audience, in behaviours or psychologically – and reach audiences with identities you’re currently missing out on.

Blogs and vlogs 

As part of the programme you’ll produce blogs/vlogs to capture and share your learning. 


All activity takes place online. Mentoring sessions will take place in October, November, January and February with dates to be agreed between mentors and mentees. Blogs/vlogs are due in November, January and February.

7 Oct2pm — 4pm
Launch event and Experiment 1 — Structures

14 Oct, 2pm — 4pm
Webinar 1: Cultural language and hashtags in the new normal

4 Nov, 3pm — 5pm
Webinar 2: Audiences — resonating and engaging online  

11 Nov – Experiment 2: Origin Story  

18 Nov, 2pm — 3.30pm
Webinar 3: A dialogue on social media

02 Dec, 10am — 12pm
Webinar 4: PR and company culture

13 Jan – Experiment 3: Community Inquiry  

20 Jan, 2pm — 4pm
Webinar 5: Podcasts to tell stories and document  

10 Feb, Time TBC
Webinar 6: Learning cycles and iteration  

17 Mar – Graduation event

Trainers & Mentors

Heads Up will get you thinking about your audiences, your organisation, and your use of digital tools from new perspectives. You’ll understand and explore the legacy hidden within the systems of your organisation and its digital identities. You’ll become a better communicator and a more confident agent of change, ready to head up the work, whatever your role. 


Rinkoo Barpaga Headshot

Rinkoo Barpaga

Rinkoo is British born and he is Deaf.  He’s a British and urban sign language user.  Throughout his 15-year career he has been involved in media creation and has worked for the BBC, ITV, MTV and on independent media productions.   

Camille Selvon Abrahams Headshot

Camille Selvon Abrahams 

Camille Selvon Abrahams is the Programme Coordinator for Animation Studies at the University of Trinidad and Tobago. Here she spearheaded the creation of the Diploma in Animation Studies syllabus which has now evolved into a BFA in Digital Media Arts with specialisation in Animation, Game Design or Music Technology.

Sarah Ellis Headshot

Sarah Ellis  

Sarah Ellis is an award-winning producer currently working as Director of Digital Development for the Royal Shakespeare Company to explore new artistic initiatives and partnerships.

Photo of Mel Larsen

Mel Larsen

Mel is a Business Growth Coach & Consultant helping freelancers, entrepreneurs and cultural organizations to have a vision and strategies that get results. Her work has taken her across the world including across the Caribbean, across Russia, Australia, Eastern Europe and South Africa.

Her clients have included Arts Council England, Australian Arts Council and The British Council. She is author of ‘A Guide to working with Arts Ambassadors’ and co-author of ‘Open Up: museums for everyone’

Kym Oliver Headshot

Kym Oliver 

Kym is a multifaceted creative, thinker, writer, speaker and consultant, committed to creating an equitable future for those within the margins of the margins, through ideological and structural transformation. She is the ‘Official Goddess’ for The Triple Cripples — a platform dedicated to highlighting the narratives and increasing the visibility of Black, & non-Black Melanated People, living with Disability (BBC, Vogue, Al Jazeera+, British Library, University of Oxford, LSE, Metro).


Rachel Grossman Headshot

Rachel Grossman

Rachel (she/hers) is a theatre artist, audience engagement strategist, and an antiracism/anti-oppression activist working in the U.S. theatre for two decades.

Devon Smith Headshot

Devon Smith 

Devon is the co-founder of Measure Creative, a 2-person digital studio based in Portland, Oregon that helps non-profit organisations understand their audiences and become better storytellers. She believes in balancing human-centred thinking with data-driven insights.

Evadney Campbell Headshot

Evadney Campbell

Evadney Campbell MBE is a veteran journalist with almost 30 years’ experience working for the world’s largest news organisation, the BBC.  During her long career, she has worked in a variety of roles including radio and TV presenting and news reporting. 

Tom Beardshaw Headshot

Tom Beardshaw

Tom is an Executive Coach who has experience working within the arts consulting on digital communications, productivity and management. As a coach, he works with senior executives and entrepreneurs going through transitions in their lives and looking to streamline their productivity and effectiveness. 

Cass Denton Headshot

Cass Denton

Cass is an Audio Producer helping speech radio presenters and podcasters bring their content to life.