Pyramid of Arts is a Leeds-based arts collective and registered charity. Pyramid’s mission is to invest in people with learning disabilities (LD) through the discovery, development and disruption of the arts. Pyramid runs weekly collaborative arts groups for people with and without learning disabilities, including a programme for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities. It also provides 1:1 tuition and facilitates group work in a wide variety of art forms.
Pyramid came to Pilotlight because the organisation needed a new strategic plan, and the team, led by Director James Hill, were keen to be more ambitious in their vision of Pyramid’s future. James was keenly aware that in Leeds there are many LD individuals who are totally unaware of the possibility of joining Pyramid and was enthusiastic to change this.
What we did
As the Pilotlighter team developed an in-depth understanding of Pyramid, it became clear that along with creating a new strategic plan, Pyramid’s board of trustees needed support to work more effectively together and support James.
The team kicked off the Pilotlight Programme by considering big strategic questions such as “How can Pyramid be an example of best practice in the LD art arena?” and “Should there be a shift in how Pyramid articulates the work it does with LD artists, both internally and externally?” James led this strategic planning process and an ambitious plan started to take shape.
In order to get buy-in from the board, Pilotlight led a full staff and board away day, which allowed the Pyramid team to consider how they can support the implementation of the new strategic plan, with a specific focus on the board’s role in the implementation. The Pilotlighters attended to support the facilitation of the day and share their own reflections having worked so closely with Pyramid for eight months. Leanne Buchan, one of Pyramid’s newest trustees, explained that the day was of great value, and it challenged “what our idea of a trustee is, which has been a useful thing to do.”
After working with Pilotlight I feel like a more effective charity leader.
Director, Pyramid of Arts
Through the Pilotlight Programme, Pyramid has a new, much more ambitious strategic plan in place, including a series of metrics which the board can use in order to ensure Pyramid is meeting its objectives. Other processes introduced to support the board have included a governance plan for 2019 and modified papers to ensure meetings are more productive.
James and the Pilotlighters also considered how Pyramid can diversify its income streams further. In later sessions the team looked into how to create a marketing strategy and introduced tools needed to fundraise effectively from corporate businesses.
James explained that the project exceeded his expectations; he did not expect the Pilotlighters to learn about Pyramid in such granular detail. In terms of his own role, the project has enabled him to “feel like a more effective charity leader.”