Jobs currently available with Culture Unstained

Co-Director – Culture Unstained

  • Closing: 23:59 GMT, 16th April 2023
  • Interview dates: 24th and 25th April 2023

Employment conditions

Location: working from home, with preference for candidates in the UK.

Hours: 3.5 days per week with occasional evening/weekend work for which time off in lieu will be given. We allow for flexible working but with some core hours. 

Salary: £45,600 pro rata (£31,920 for 3.5 days).

Benefits: 10% employer pension contributions; flexible hours; 21 days holiday per year for a 3.5 day per week post (plus bank holidays and Christmas break and your birthday); a caring and learning culture within a non-hierarchical workers’ cooperative; progressive employment policies. As part of trying to create a more sustainable organisation, we have adopted a shorter working week.

We particularly welcome applications from marginalised groups, especially people of colour and other ethnic minorities, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Disabled people and those who identify as working class or have done so in the past. If we can offer support with the application process, please do get in touch.

About Culture Unstained

Culture Unstained is a campaigns, research and engagement organisation which aims to end fossil fuel sponsorship of arts and cultural organisations. We work to undermine the social legitimacy oil, gas and coal companies gain from associating with leading UK cultural institutions, both by targeting specific sponsorship deals and mobilising networks of artists, workers, scientists, young people and cultural organisations who are committed to creating a Fossil Free Culture. We are a small organisation with a big impact.

We have markedly shaped the debate on fossil fuel sponsorship through extensive media coverage, and are seen by the media and the culture sector as the ‘go to’ organisation to comment on this issue, as well as on the wider environmental obligations of the arts sector and the challenges of ethical funding and sponsorship. 

Since being founded in 2016, our impact has grown rapidly and fossil fuel sponsorship has become a prominent campaign within the wider climate movement. In the last three years alone, we have played a decisive role in a string of high-profile campaign wins with ten of the UK’s leading cultural organisations ending long-running relationships with BP and Shell, most recently, with the Royal Opera House ending its 33-year partnership with BP in January. Our ongoing work mobilising opposition to the British Museum’s partnership with BP and the Science Museum’s current sponsorship deals with Shell, Equinor and Adani has hit the headlines and will dominate much of our campaigning in 2023. However, we will also be applying these high-impact strategies to new areas of work, targeting those spaces where fossil fuel companies are now seeking to secure their ‘social licence’ to operate.

About the role

Culture Unstained is looking for a Co-Director to join our small but impactful team in the UK, at a key moment in the exciting campaign to end fossil fuel sponsorship of culture.

You will join our existing team of three Co-Directors, supported by an Advisory Group, working on core current campaigns such as the Science Museum, as well as helping us to develop our long-term strategy, which might include:

  • Looking more deeply at the relationships between fossil fuel companies and cultural organisations in order to deepen our focus on climate justice, furthering our efforts to embed principles of decolonisation and anti-oppression into everything we do.
  • Widening our work on reclaiming cultural spaces – looking more widely at governance issues including sponsorship, ethical fundraising, decolonisation, restitution and repatriation.
  • Campaigning on corporate sponsorship by big polluters of cultural spaces, events and education initiatives for young people, including STEM education programmes and competitions.
  • Strengthening the national and international ‘Fossil Free Culture’ movement, resourcing and supporting campaigns on social licence to operate and supporting the wider movement.

We would also welcome ideas from you at the interview stage relating to the above areas of work or proposals for new, related areas of work the organisation might explore in the future. 

Key responsibilities

In this role you will be responsible for developing and implementing the campaign to end UK fossil fuel sponsorship of culture, and leading Culture Unstained’s work into the future, in collaboration with the other Co-Directors. Our work is often fast-paced and reactive, and key responsibilities include:

  • Implementing strategies to bring about the shift away from fossil fuels in art and culture;
  • Contributing to policy, research and investigations work to scrutinise fossil fuel companies’ sponsorship deals and business plans;
  • Strategic media and communications work to ensure that fossil fuel sponsorship remains one of the most controversial debates within the cultural sector and more widely, including pitching media stories, writing press releases, building relationships with key journalists in the mainstream and arts media, and producing public communications materials such as briefings, blogs and social media content; 
  • Building relationships across the cultural sector and with networks of NGOs, campaigners and frontline organisations, and working collaboratively with a range of organisations/contacts at significant campaign moments;
  • Determining the most strategic role for Culture Unstained beyond our current active campaigns;
  • Organisational management and fundraising, including developing organisational policies and processes;
  • Incorporating climate justice and solidarity principles into our work and creating opportunities to centre frontline voices.

About you

We are interested in your skills and potential for the role and realise that these may not come from formal educational qualifications or specific work experience. So please feel free to draw on any relevant evidence or experience to tell us why you’re right for the role. We understand you might not have direct experience of everything listed but if you feel you could be a good fit for our organisation, please do apply.

  • You have a demonstrable commitment to climate justice and decolonisation, and experience of working as part of, or in solidarity with, frontline, impacted and under-represented communities.
  • You’re inspired by art, culture and creativity with a strong understanding of the politics of climate change and the dynamics of the fossil fuel industry’s ongoing role in driving it.
  • You can develop and implement campaign strategies and/or action-focused research and investigations to bring about real-world change.
  • You have strong written and oral communication skills in English, and can write and edit high quality briefings, punchy blogs, effective press releases and impactful social media posts, as well as undertaking and writing-up new research. 
  • You have the ability to quickly process information and translate it into new campaign strategies, tactics and materials, and ideally some experience of successfully placing stories in the mainstream media, speaking to journalists or being a spokesperson;
  • You enjoy working collaboratively and accountably as part of a small team in a fast-paced environment, and are self-motivated with a high level of initiative and the ability to manage your work independently.
  • You are comfortable with and enthusiastic about taking on the responsibility of co-leading an organisation, demonstrated by experience in running or taking the lead in an organisation or a  relevant project, or developing organisational processes and procedures.
  • You may have some experience of submitting successful funding applications and managing organisational finances.
  • The ideal candidate might also have: knowledge of the cultural sector, particularly the museums sector and in relation to climate justice and decolonisation; a background in science or STEM subjects; or experience in other sectors where the fossil fuel industry is seeking to buy influence and social legitimacy.

How to apply

To apply, please send us a CV and covering letter, along with a completed Equal Opportunities Monitoring form, and one example of your written communications skills, to

  • Your covering letter should be no more than two sides of A4 and should clearly communicate to us how your skills fit the criteria set out above. You might like to use the bullet points of the ‘About You’ section to structure your cover letter, giving one evidenced example for each bullet point. It’s an opportunity to give us a sense of your understanding of our work and how you would add something to the organisation, so do take a look at our website to see what we’ve been up to recently.
  • Your CV should give us an overview of your skills and experience and be no more than two sides of A4. The aim should be highlighting what you’d like us to know about you, as opposed to telling us everything you might have done to date.
  • Please also submit an example of your written communication skills, which could be a blog, article, report or a particularly effective social media post. Please do not send us more than two sides of A4. If it’s a long article or report, please just send us the summary or an extract. We realise people will have different writing styles and we are interested in seeing how you communicate ideas and arguments.