School of Creative

Shivani Talesara

Shivani Talesara

MA Arts and Cultural Leadership
2020 — 2021

Shivani has over a decade of experience in change management, digital transformation, data analytics and organisation development in matrix structures, start-ups as well as culturally diverse organisations. She has worked across India, Europe and the UK with companies like RMSI, Cyient, NewsCorp, Actis Technologies and is also an NLP Certified Coach. Possessing a cross-functional knowledge of arts and management, Shivani pursued an MA in Arts and Cultural Leadership at LASALLE College of the Arts while working as a freelance change and transformation consultant (MBA-HR). Her final research subject examined future leadership competencies for the theatre industry in Singapore.


Research interests
Organisation management/structures, policies benchmarking, creative project management, sustainability, digitalisation in the arts, creative talent development, audience engagement

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Thesis abstract

Leadership competencies for theatre companies in Singapore

Singapore’s arts development has been greatly shaped by government policies over the past 30 years. There is a base of professional companies receiving the Major Company grant from the National Arts Council. The NAC’s Our SG Arts Plan 2018 – 2022 points out the need to address skills gaps among arts practitioners, with the performing arts section of the plan identifying some weak areas that included professionalism in arts management and instruction, succession planning, support for freelance practitioners, and lack of adoption of technology. Since there are limited studies focused on the competency needs for leaders, isolated from the trends in the Singapore art sector, this research will address the role of leaders and capture the skills and competencies required to develop future leaders. In particular, it will study the leadership roles in selected theatre companies under the Major Company Scheme. The dissertation has the following research questions: what are the changing trends that affect the skills required of arts leaders, what is the practice of the present arts leaders, what has been their journey and what their challenges are, how they developed skills and competencies over the years to take up their current roles, whether their organisations have a succession plan, and what are the essential skills required for future leaders. The findings led the researcher to conclude that a value-based skill model is best suited for Singapore theatre leaders which will (a) help to address leaders at all levels (b) engage common goals and will enable to negotiate with government bodies and (c) which will enable senior leaders to have a more strategic succession plan.

Work experience

Mar 2021 – present
Singapore Drama Educators Association (SDEA)
Arts Management Associate

Jul 2020 – present
Halogen Foundation, Singapore
Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Volunteer

Jan 2021
Voice of Asia, Singapore
Mentor & Content Creation Volunteer

Jan – Sep 2020
Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore
Visitor Service Officer (Part-time)