In November 2020, the Compass team will present the fifth edition of the biennial Compass Festival. We’re seeking a new Communications and Engagement Manager to join our small, dedicated and ambitious team. 

Compass Festival commissions and presents live and interactive art projects all over Leeds. We make work with and for local people, usually beyond the theatre, gallery or museum in the places where people live work and play. 

The artists we work with use diverse processes and work with experts, communities and groups in different fields to present projects that take unique, memorable and meaningful forms. 

In 2018, our last edition saw us help Jack Tan take over Leeds Town Hall to present an exhibition and live hearings as part of an Animal Justice Court with real barristers, judges and animals. In Four Legs Good, members of the public could book a seat on the jury or come and go from the public gallery. 

We worked with Scottee, local newspapers, radio and TV to find the ‘loneliest street in Leeds’. Would Like to Meet resulted in podcasts about neighbourliness, loneliness and an exhibition of estate agent style sign personal ads to get people talking in their front gardens. 

We redirected Leeds Water Taxi to float adrift on the Aire & Calder Navigation with French & Mottershead. In Waterborne, the public soaked up a beautifully crafted audio work, explaining in minute detail the journey a body takes from dockside to coastal waters as it breaks back down to sand. 


Compass seeks a highly motivated individual who is articulate, friendly and well connected to join the team as Communications and Engagement Manager. 

The role focuses on the development, management and delivery of the Compass 2020 Marketing and Communications Strategy.

There are two important elements to the role. The first is focused on office-based marketing activities and tasks, including (but not limited to):

  • Working with the co-directors and producer to allocate budget for marketing collateral across the festival as a whole, and specific projects 
  • Working with artists to determine a strategy for speaking about and sharing their project with audiences in person, in print and online 
  • Working with our PR consultants to coordinate press and media aspects of the overall campaign 
  • Working with our graphic designer on the concept, design and delivery of all our visual materials across print and digital platforms
  • Securing favourable deals on advertising in print and online and managing a campaign of paid advertising on social media
  • Developing and implementing a social media strategy
  • Acting as the first point of contact for Compass with the rest of the world including managing the Compass website and general enquiries email account. 

The second important element focuses on word of mouth, developing partnerships, helping fulfil our strategic ambitions and facilitating the evaluation of our work.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Attending face to face meetings with individual ‘project champions’, journalists, stakeholders, networks, community forums and groups to share information about Compass projects and secure local understanding, engagement and enthusiasm
  • Cultivating a network of local organisations to spread the word about Compass projects and organise group visits or special enrichment activities around our programme 
  • Engaging the student populations at Leeds’ main FE and HE institutions for work based placements, volunteering, participation in projects and as audiences. 
  • Managing invite lists and hospitality for special events and helping to maintain strong relationships with our partners and stakeholders
  • Supporting the development of our feedback and evaluation strategy for Compass 2020 and working with producers, directors and freelance designers on implementing it in order to gather, organise and present results. 


Compass is based in central Leeds. The role will involve some face to face meetings and office time but also local travel to formeetings and events around the city, plus some independent working. 


This is a freelance agreement and the work is scheduled to take place part time between March and December. The time commitment per week will range from 1.5 days per week to 3 days per week depending on the proximity to Compass Festival 2020. Workflow to be negotiated with Compass. 


This is a freelance agreement and you would remain liable for your own NI and tax obligations. The freelance fee for the work will be £10,000-£13,000 dependent on experience. The daily rate for the contract will be approximately £150 per day.


At this stage we are looking to solicit expressions of interest. Please note, the role is subject to pending funding (Decision confirmed December 2019). 

If you’d like to have an informal conversation about the role, please email info@compassliveart.org.uk

If you’d like to express interest in the role, please send a CV and covering letter explaining why you are interested in the position. Outline your specialist skills and experience that suit the role brief and some details about what you could bring to the team.

Please email this marked ‘COMMS AND ENGAGEMENT EOI’ to info@compassliveart.org.uk by 5pm on 8th November 2019. We’ll let you know if we’d like to invite you for a meeting to discuss the role by the 11th November 2019 and these meetings will take place on 18th November 2019.

Compass operates an Equal Opportunities Policy and welcomes interest in the role from people of all backgrounds, particularly those from BAME, LGBTQI+, working class backgrounds and those with disabilities (visible or not) currently under-represented in our sector.