The Place appoints new Chief Executive

The UK’s leading organisation for dance training, creation and performance, The Place, has announced the appointment of its new Chief Executive Clare Connor.

Clare is currently heading up the strategic business development of the UK’s largest arts hub, Southbank Centre. Her previous roles include co-founding the national network Future Arts Centres and working as Director of Stratford Circus Arts Centre, from 2005-2014, where she led the re-imagining of the organisation to create a new charitable body to run it in 2012.

With a longstanding background in dance and performance, Clare trained at London Contemporary Dance School before embarking on a successful performing career with Phoenix Dance. She then worked as a teacher-artist in both further and higher education and collaboratively produced performing arts programmes for the University of East London, as well as supporting the validation of new arts programmes in several universities.

In 2014, Clare joined the team at Southbank Centre taking the lead on innovative large-scale capital fundraising programmes, including Let the Light In; supporting the refurbishment of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery. She has also been a driving force for this year’s year-long international collaboration with eight Nordic nations, Nordic Matters. This programme saw Southbank Centre beat competition from 17 countries to secure the largest international collaboration in its history, enabling cultural exchange for generations to come.

The Place’s Chairman Thomas Lynch said of the appointment: “Throughout the recruitment process it was obvious that Clare had an in-depth understanding of The Place and her passion for the organisation shone through. She has an exemplary track record and I am sure that the combination of her experience, both in the arts and in Higher Education, her incredible vision and her unique range of skills will bring a positive new dynamism to take The Place forward.”

Clare Connor said: “At the heart of The Place I believe that the student, artist and audience experience is the foremost consideration. The opportunity to drive the next era of growth and innovation for dance at The Place is genuinely exciting and I am especially thrilled to lead the organisation into its 50th anniversary year and beyond.”

Southbank Centre’s Artistic Director, Jude Kelly, said: “Clare Connor is a woman of immense integrity and intelligence, with a genuine commitment to providing world class artistic education for everyone. She’s strategic, value driven with a great sense of humour. She will be a great asset to The Place with its wonderful history of artist development.”

Clare begins at The Place in September 2017, following a three-month recruitment process.