Advance Network

Through our Advance Network we are working with a cohort of 17 leading dance, opera and theatre organisations from across England.


Advance Network

Between May 2018 and April 2022 (the length of the participating organisations’ current Arts Council England funding period) staff members from 17 performing arts organisations are collaborating with us and with one another on a programme designed to support them across all their work on equality, diversity and inclusion.

Advance Network Member Organisations

Advance Programme

The forerunner to the Advance Network was Tonic’s ground-breaking Advance programme, which brought together cohorts of leading performing arts organisations to work in combination with one another to catalyse sector-wide as well as local change. Advance supported them to understand the root causes behind gender imbalances within their own companies and art forms, and provide them with the tools by which they could achieve meaningful change here as well as more broadly by working in combination with one another. The programme ran in 2014 and 2016 and much of the work done through it was archived on the Advance website:

We are proud of how Advance pioneered a methodology for driving sector-wide change that we now see adopted by organisations that are seeking to create change across the performing arts.

An update on what has been achieved by the companies at the end of 2020 is accounted for in a report by academic partners at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and can be found here.

“One of the most empowering and significant exercises in looking at equality that I have experienced”
– Erica Whyman, Royal Shakespeare Company Deputy Artistic Director

“It could transform the theatrical landscape forever”
– Lyn Gardner, writing in the Guardian

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