Lecturer in Cultural Business and Management

  • Academic
  • Professional Practice, Research
Leo Burtin

Leo Burtin is a Lecturer in Cultural Business and Management at UCA’s Business School for the Creative Industries. Leo is a practitioner-researcher with a background in creative producing with a focus on socially engaged artistic practices.


Since arriving in the UK from France in 2009, Leo has combined his creative practice, research and management skills to develop critically acclaimed projects and programmes in Universities (UCA, Leeds, Salford, Lancaster), Arts Council National Portfolio Organisations (Lancaster Arts, Manchester Jewish Museum), with independent cultural outfits (King Street Studios and Art Gallery, DART), as well as individual artists in the UK and Europe. At UCA, Leo is also the Managing Director of the Wave Agency.

With a focus on talent and community development, Leo’s work within the field of creative careers and creative enterprise seeks to nurture strategic insight and proactive practical support to bolster artistic ambition.

Within his academic practice, Leo is a member of the AGCAS Creative Industries Task Group; co-chairs the UK Theatre Producers Network with Jake Orr and has recently joined Aspex Visual Arts Trust (Portsmouth) as a Trustee.

As a practitioner-researcher, he recently developed a body of artistic work in which each piece gently, poetically and playfully disrupts the familiar act of preparing, eating and sharing food. His practice includes performances, public interventions, workshops, installations, as well as events which gently lean across forms and disciplines. These diverse projects are connected by a desire to examine how coming together to share food and conversation might help us imagine new (and perhaps more effective) ways of living together.

Leo’s Practice-as-Research is the subject of his PhD thesis at the University of Leeds’ School of Performance and Cultural Industries investigating commensality (social eating) in socially engaged practices. Between 2018-2021, Leo taught within the School of Performance and Cultural Industries on modules including festivals and events management and culture, creativity and entrepreneurship. He also delivered teaching on drama reading & interpretation within the School of English.

Until early 2022 Leo was an Associate Lecturer at the University of Salford, teaching on Theatre & Performance Practice and Media and Performance BA programmes as well as MA programmes in Creative Practice. He has also previously contributed to teaching as a Visiting Lecturer at Lancaster University, on creative producing/creative enterprise, practice-as-research and developing professional creative practice.

In recent years, Leo has contributed to mainstream publications including The Guardian and the Sick of the Fringe and co-run the food blog Hive & Hob. He has also previously worked as a journalist and editor. As with his artistic practice & research, his writing mostly focuses on socially engaged arts, community and society, and how food can bring people together.

Prior to returning to academia as a PGR, Leo had been working as a producer, artistic director, and project manager for organisations which have included Making Room, Hear Me Roar festival, Ella Good & Nicki Kent, Dr Chloé Déchery, Imitating the Dog, The Conker Group and many more. He spent 8 years in a variety of roles at Lancaster Arts (Lancaster University) where he was notably responsible for artists’ development programmes and a number of major commissioning projects.

Selected practice, publications and presentations:

  • Burtin, L. (2021) Eat the Archives. Available at: https://youtu.be/4p7_PrKIGzE
  • Burtin, L. et. al. (2021) with bread. Glasgow: InkCONCRETE
  • Burtin, L. (2020) 'Good Appetite. Manchester Jewish Museum: food & archives'. University of Leeds.
  • Burtin, L. (2019) 'Re-framing migrant-local relationships through commensal performance' ASTR. 7-10 November. Washington DC
  • Burtin, L. (2019) 'with bread'. Food Justice: Alternative foodways for a changing world. University of Sheffield. July.
  • Burtin, L. (2019) 'Commensality and transformative confersation on ageing, death and suicide'. Death and Performance symposium. University of Salford.
  • Burtin, L. (2016) The Midnight Soup. Glasgow: InkCONCRETE
  • Burtin, L. (2015) 'Mars missions and roadless trips: art that creates Its own community' The Guardian
  • Burtin, L. (2014) 'What price Is right for great theatre?' The Guardian

Professional Membership, Affiliation and Consultancy

  • AGCAS Creative Industries Task Group member
  • UK Theatre Producers co-chair
  • Aspex Portsmouth Trustee
  • 2023: PortsFest Ignite Commission (with Dr Laura Seddon) for R&D project From Portsmouth to Salford (and back again)
  • 2020: Arts Council England Project Grant Eat the Archives (£11,100)
  • 2018-2020: Arts Council England Project Grant with bread (£29,288)
  • 2017: Arts Council England Grants for the Arts Homemade: research In food performance (£7,755)
  • 2015-2016 Arts Council England Grants for the Arts The Midnight Soup (£16,500)
Leo Burtin