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Chair of Trustees

Streetwise Opera
This is an unpaid role but reasonable out-of-pocket expenses will be paid.
Closing date
27 Nov 2020
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Streetwise Opera, the award-winning performing arts charity and opera company for people affected by homelessness, is looking for a new Chair of Trustees to help lead the organisation as it embarks on its new long-term strategic plan.

Singing and creativity can inspire, energise and empower people affected by homelessness. We run singing and creative workshops in homeless centres and arts venues across England and stage critically-acclaimed productions where we work in partnership with professional artists and leading arts organisations. Our robust evaluation framework has consistently shown that participation in our work leads to improved wellbeing and social inclusion.

With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Streetwise Opera has seized the opportunity to experiment with new ways of collaborative working, introducing our participants to artists, directors, composers and other instrumentalists via well-attended daily workshops online.

This new way of working has laid the foundations for innovative digital projects which will complement our face-to-face workshops in the future.

“At the time that I have nothing, I still have my artistry. I still have my creativity. I still have my talent. And if that’s going to get me from homelessness to where I need to be, then I’m going to hone that, and Streetwise Opera is the perfect place for that.”
— Streetwise Opera performer

Our annual budget varies between £650K and £850K. We are an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation (2018-23) and we receive income from performance fees and box office; and the majority of our income (c. 80%) is fundraised from philanthropic sources.

Streetwise Opera is looking for someone who has:

  • Experience and a successful track record as a leader in business, charity/homelessness/social impact sectors, fundraising or grant-giving, education, local or national government, arts, broadcasting or media organisations;

and who can demonstrate:

  • An understanding of and commitment to the vision and values of Streetwise Opera and its contribution to the arts and homelessness movement;
  • Inter-personal skills and the ability to communicate with third parties on an impromptu basis on any matter relevant to Streetwise Opera;
  • An understanding of funding and grants environment in the UK;
  • A willingness to work closely with the Executive and fundraising team to introduce new networks to support fundraising success, and contribute to the charity’s fundraising efforts, for example by attending supporter events, meetings with donors, etc.
  • The ability to listen to all voices with differing experience and opinions and guide the Board to the best decision that can be accepted by all;
  • An experience of engaging with high net worth donors and key UK funders;

 and who will:

  • Support and contribute to the charity’s long-term strategy and business plans.

Trustee meetings take place four times a year in central London (in 2020 on Zoom), usually in the early evening. A strategic planning evening also takes place annually.

Streetwise Opera is an equal opportunity employer. Our organisation champions diversity and gives an equal platform to underrepresented groups. We believe that, when we bring together different voices from diverse backgrounds, we create a unique and rich experience. This is more powerful artistically and socially, and more empowering individually and collectively. We seek applications from all ages and backgrounds, particularly those who are underrepresented in the arts and homelessness sectors. Read our Diversity and Equal Opportunities Policy here.

A more detailed job description is available; please contact

To find out more about our work, visit

Recruitment Process

Expressions of interest, consisting of a CV together with a short supporting statement (150 words maximum) and names of two referees whom we may approach, should be sent by clicking on the Apply button below

If you would like to have an informal conversation about the role, please email with your name and contact details, and a member of our Nominations’ Committee will get in touch.

The closing date for applications is Friday 27 November 2020. Interviews for candidates will take place in December.

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