Putting culture on the map: The Arts Marketing Association chooses Leeds as its host city for 2023 in the city’s year of Culture

Following the beginning of LEEDS 2023, a year-long event aimed to set culture loose across the city, Leeds is celebrating being chosen as the host city for The Arts Marketing Association (AMA): Audiences at the Heart Annual Conference in 2023.

Leeds Playhouse has long played host to incredible shows, events and performances, and now will host the AMA Conference on the 13th and 14th of July. The conference will welcome over 550 marketing, communications and audience development experts from the arts, culture and heritage sector for a series of inspiring sessions that will spark creativity, new thinking, and build connections.

Leeds Playhouse, which helped to develop the careers of playwright Alan Bennett and actor Maxine Peake, reverted to its name from the 1960s in 2018 as part of a £15 million redevelopment, to reference its history and reflect its inclusive and diverse offering. 

Leeds Playhouse champions creativity and culture. As a registered charity (No. 255460), the Playhouse supports over 12,000 people every year, from schools, refugees and people seeking asylum, older people and people with learning disabilities. The Playhouse pioneered Relaxed and Dementia Friendly Performances and enhanced its offering of audio-described, captioned and British Sign Language (BSL) performances, and is also a member of Ramps on the Moon, which aims to make theatre accessible for all audiences, communities and employees. Leeds Playhouse was proud to be named the UK Theatre’s Most Welcoming Theatre in 2022. 

The Arts Marketing Association provides training and support for over 3,500 members working in marketing and communications in arts, culture and heritage across the United Kingdom. AMA helps its members to reach and engage more audiences through online and in-person training events, networking opportunities, and through sharing best practice resources for the sector. The 2023 conference will encourage delegates to focus their work on the needs of their audiences, to shape an arts, culture and heritage sector which puts audiences at the heart of what it does.

On selecting Leeds as the AMA’s host city for 2023, Cath Hume, CEO of the AMA said: “Leeds is an incredibly vibrant city with a lot of great venues and arts organisations and 2023 feels like the perfect time for AMA to come to Leeds.”

“We are delighted to be part of Leeds’ year of culture, highlighting the best of the city to international audiences, we are delighted to be part of the landmark, cultural year for this amazing city to ensure our members and delegates are able to be a part of it too.”

Executive Director of Leeds Playhouse Shawab Iqbal said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming Arts Marketing colleagues from around the UK to the Playhouse as we host the AMA Conference 2023. As a theatre and a charity, we are committed to ensuring everyone can access the arts, and the conference is a great opportunity for learning about communications best practices and new opportunities from across the industry.”

Claire Heap, Head of Conference Leeds commented: “We are delighted to have supported the AMA in selecting Leeds Playhouse as the host venue for its annual conference in 2023 – and what a fantastic time to visit Leeds! The number of cultural experiences on offer in the city as part of LEEDS 2023 will give delegates even more of an opportunity to apply their learnings and expand their thinking through creative and thought-provoking events and activities. We can’t wait for everyone to see what the city has to offer.”

Conference Leeds, the conferencing bureau for the city of Leeds, offers a free and impartial service to assist delegates in experiencing the exceptional. To explore your options ahead of your next conference, visit:

AMA Conference 2023, Audiences at the Heart runs from the 13th – 14th July 2023 at Leeds Playhouse. You can find out more about attending the conference by visiting: