From Imposter to Impact: Arts Leadership in the 21st Century




How can you begin to lead when you aren’t quite sure what leadership means?

This curiosity sets Farhana Shaikh to explore what cultural leadership looks like and what it takes to lead an arts organisation. 

As Farhana embarks on her personal leadership journey she meets arts leaders, CEOs and artists whose responsibility it is to lead, influence and envision a bold future for themselves, their organisations and the arts sector. 

Showcasing leadership in practice, From Imposter to Impact is both insightful and honest, uncovering hidden truths about what it means to be a leader in the arts and asking deeper questions about how we can all unlock our leadership potential.


  • Justine Themen - Diversity in the Arts
  • Farooq Chaudhry - Artistic Vision and Ambition
  • Prue Skene - Pathways in Cultural Leadership
  • Clare Connor - Transition and Disruption
  • Marcus Romer - The Impact of Brexit on the Arts
  • Chris Stafford - Abundance in the Age of Austerity
  • Jenny Coombes - Arts and Business: Love or Lust?
  • Fiona Allan - Audience Development
  • Sarah Weir - Authentic Leadership


Farhana Shaikh is a writer and publisher born in Leicester. She is the founding editor of The Asian Writer, and established Dahlia Publishing to publish regional and diverse writing. She took part in pilot Curve Theatre’s Cultural Leadership Programme.

Farhana leads The Middle Way Mentoring Project. In 2017, she won the Penguin/Travelex Next Great Travel Writer competition. In 2018, she was longlisted for the Thresholds International Short Fiction Feature Writing Competition and the Spread the Word Life Writing Prize. She is currently developing a play on domestic abuse with the Kali Theatre Discovery programme.

Farhana lives in Leicester but can be found on Twitter talking about books and publishing @farhanashaikh.

ISBN: 9780995634473

PUBLICATION DATE:  25 January 2019

PRICE: £15