Over the course of my career I’ve been lucky enough to work in a range of artforms and in a variety of professional roles, including producing, programming, management and organisational leadership.
I graduated in History of Art and Architecture from Manchester University, and went on to work in local authority arts development, and for West Midlands Arts (latterly Arts Council England, West Midlands) in the policy department. I was a national union representative for regional arts board staff during the major arts funding system restructure in 2001/2.
I joined Punch Records in 2003 as General Manager, overseeing the development of this social enterprise across areas of education, artist development and events, alongside producing new touring work. Alongside the organisation's development in this period, we presented commercial events with some of the biggest names in global hip-hop, UK Garage and Grime.
In 2006 I returned to Arts Council England on a part-time basis to oversee the marketing, communications and sponsor relations work of Arts Award across England, alongside developing a freelance practice working with artists, predominantly in music, but increasingly in dance.
In 2007 I started work at DanceXchange, initially overseeing the ongoing programme management and artist development activity during the establishment of International Dance Festival Birmingham (IDFB). Following this initial contract I was made permanent Programme Manager and later Director of Programming and Production for both DanceXchange and IDFB. This role saw me programme work from over 40 countries for IDFB at all scales (from gallery spaces to 2000 seat auditoria); act as executive producer and line producer for a number of new works; and direct a major outdoor performance featuring over 50 artists from the UK, US and South Korea. During this period I was also responsible for the ongoing programming and management of DanceXchange's own theatre space, The Patrick Centre and for all the organisation’s artist development activity, which gave me the chance to develop my approach to working with artists on the development of new work. In 2014, IDFB won a UK Theatre Award for its "bold and extensive programme". Which was nice.
After a short career break at the beginning of 2015 (when I trained as a coach and continued to support a number of artists in an informal way), I began a series of fixed-term leadership roles in the dance sector, alongside the development of a broader consultancy practice. I was interim Artistic Director at Yorkshire Dance (2015), Associate Director of Greenwich Dance (2016/2017), Interim Administrative Director at The Place (2017) and Associate Director at Dance4 (2017/2018), all of which were incredible learning experiences.
In April 2018, I joined Creative Scotland as Head of Dance, initially on an interim basis, but becoming permanent in May 2019.
Alongside my other work I am a Total Theatre Awards judge and have been on selection panels for the British Council Edinburgh Showcase, Made in Scotland showcase, the Sky Arts Futures Fund, BE Festival, Dublin Dance Festival's Reimagining Ireland platform, and the BBC Performing Arts Fund. I am a trustee of Two Destination Language, a board member of Avant Garde Dance and a member of Action Hero's advisory board.
I have a strong interest in interdisciplinary practice, artist support and developing new structures for supporting artistic production. I continue to support individual artists through coaching, mentoring and Radical Non-Symmetrical (reciprocated) Advocacy*. Throughout this, I acknowledge the learning from every artist, colleague and friend (those things often overlap) I have worked with, and continue to work with in developing my practice. Thank you.
Alongside this professional interest in the making of performance, I also have a personal fascination with the craft, politics and process of making objects, particularly textiles and clothing. #whomademyclothes
Header image courtesy (and copyright) of Mickael Marso Riviere who is an ace photographer, ace choreographer and all round good guy.
*A concept developed by the brilliant artist Janine Harrington. Click the link for more.