The Ripples of Hope Festival, Greater Manchester


  • Freelance

  • September 2019 – February 2020 at 2.5 days per week

  • March 2020 - March 2021 at 4 days per week

Salary: £32-35,000 pro rata, dependent on experience.


Location: Greater Manchester

Application Process: 

  • Please submit a CV with two referees and a cover letter of no more than 500 words to by the 21st August.

  • Interviews will take place in early September in London or Manchester.



Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights UK is looking for an experienced programmer and festival associate director to work closely with Artistic Director Jude Kelly CBE, and play a vital role in the success of the inaugural Ripples of Hope Festival. This role will entail working closely with the senior producer, artists and partners across Manchester. The Associate Director will need to be a skilled communicator, ensuring a deep level of partner and participant engagement with a strong commitment to diversity and human rights, alongside having experience of working closely with artists producing new commissions and working across art forms and in the public realm and outdoor spaces. 


Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights UK is a human rights charity that exists to create a society and culture that is supportive of human rights and works to make them reality in the lives of its people. It does this by working to inspire and empower people to make every day decisions that will help make human rights reality for all – to become Ripples of Hope in their communities and across the world.


We do this by creating spaces and opportunities for people of all walks of life to:

  • understand and engage with the concept of human rights to inspire their own beliefs for what our society should be;

  • articulate what they believe;

  • be able to see when human rights are abused or not yet reality; and

  • make decisions and take actions to defend, champion and advance human rights in every part of our daily lives and our society.

Founded in June 2018, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights UK is proud to be affiliated to the charity set up by the friends and family of Robert F. Kennedy in 1968 - Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights in the US, which is led by human rights advocate Kerry Kennedy.


Building on the foundation of a well-established human rights education programme that will be implemented in schools across the UK in the coming years, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights UK is also launching a new societal and cultural platform that also fulfils these objectives: The Ripples of Hope Festival. The Ripples of Hope Festival will be for everyone and likewise we welcome applications from everyone, from a broad range of backgrounds.


The Festival is expected to take place from Thursday 11th to Sunday 14th February 2021 across Greater Manchester. Jude Kelly is the Artistic Director of The Ripples of Hope Festival and Jude Kelly Studios is now working with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights UK to establish The Ripples of Hope Festival team.

The Ripples of Hope Festival will be for everyone and likewise we welcome applications from everyone, from a broad range of backgrounds.

About The Ripples of Hope Festival

The festival will take place at venues around Greater Manchester, with a main festival hub at HOME:

  • The programme will be engaging and is to be developed and co-curated through an extensive series of Gatherings lasting more than a year with a core commitment to diversity at the heart of The Ripples of Hope Festival.

  • The Festival’s role is to celebrate, share and support the brilliant work taking place in communities across Greater Manchester.

  • The programme will include

    • World-leading speakers and artists talking about human rights, including leading philanthropists and international activists;

    • A series of commissions from artists of a variety of disciplines;

    • Skills-development workshops with community organising specialists; and

    • The Ripples of Hope Awards, which will recognise community organisations that work to make human rights a reality.

  • Young people will be at the heart of The Ripples of Hope Festival. The Young Creative Leaders programme will work with a cohort of extraordinary young people from the 10 boroughs of Manchester who will have a chance to develop their skills as leaders, curators and conveners, through a process of training and mentorship.

  • Our vision is to be the world’s most inspiring festival for human rights and to encourage everyone to take part.


This role involves the extensive research and programming that goes into building the programming for the festival.

Working closely with the Artistic Director of the Festival Jude Kelly and the Jude Kelly Studios as well as the Festival producer you will:

  • attend research Gatherings around Greater Manchester to ensure that the arts programme is co-curated by people in Greater Manchester and reflects their ideas and concerns

  • research diverse artistic talent and develop programming ideas for content from Greater Manchester, the UK and around the world that engage the public with the reality of human rights;

  • develop a series of commissions with artists in Greater Manchester to take on the challenge of making human rights more tangible and creating catalysts for positive social change;

  • encourage young producers and artists to be a part of the programme;

  • work with the community engagement lead to collaborate with the young people’s creative leadership programme, offering young people opportunities to develop skills as conveners and curators of content which helps to make human rights a reality in communities around Manchester;

  • research and invite exceptional world voices in the arts to be a part of the inaugural Ripples of Hope Festival;

  • develop programming strands, for example Celebrating Unusual Activists, and giving space to those making a difference in communities all across the city;

  • seek at all times to create an arts programme that is engaging, and includes immersive experiences and performances, happenings that are large scale as well as those that are small, personal and intimate;

  • research venues and work with the producer of the festival to develop the layout and flow of the festival within the budget;

  • work with the broader festival team on branding and tone of voice for the festival;

  • attend and be a key part of regular team meetings; and

  • additional duties within the scope of the role.




You will 

  • have at least 5 years of programming experience, ideally across art forms;

  • have high level curation and festival experience in a similar role;

  • have experience managing and motivating teams, collaborating with partners and working in a fast-paced environment under pressure;

  • be comfortable working both independently and closely with teams and collaborators in a diverse, dynamic environment;

  • have a can-do attitude;

  • be a self-starter with a passion for human rights, and the power of the arts to affect change in the world;

  • have knowledge of and contacts within the arts;

  • be adept at juggling several tasks at the same time and prioritising to ensure deadlines are met;

  • thrive on engaging with others and developing programming and ideas, and be pro-active about following up on opportunities;

  • have exceptional relationship management and communication skills; and

  • have an extensive network in Manchester (desirable).


Jude Kelly is the Artistic Director of The Ripples of Hope Festival. Jude is a foremost commentator on gender, inclusion and the arts and she was Artistic Director of the Southbank Centre from 2006-2018, where she created Festivals including: Being A Man, Unlimited, The Rest is Noise, Changing Britain, the Festival of Death, (B)old, as well as WOW- Women of the World. WOW is a global festival movement and has held 65 festivals in 5 continents over 30 locations in over 15 countries from Baltimore to Brazil, Cardiff to Karachi, and further across the UK, Australia and the USA, reaching over 2 million girls and women, and men and boys too. Jude has directed over 100 productions including at the Royal Shakespeare Company, English National Opera, National Theatre, and the Châtalet in Paris. She has advised governments, business, media and educational institutions. She led the cultural team for the successful London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic bid. In 2015 she was made a CBE for services to the Arts.  ​

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