I’ve always been fascinated by frontiers – geographic, psychological, artistic and organisational. What is exiting for me is encouraging and enabling organisations to think, imagine and believe in new territory beyond their traditional frontiers.
I believe arts and culture are vital to the health of any community, society and country. I’ve built a reputation in Creative Development by working across sectors, art forms and regions of the UK. Understanding, adapting and accommodating to uniqueness of place, social circumstances and ways of working. Simultaneously I’ve championed the importance of interconnectedness, networks and the sharing of skills, knowledge and opportunities. Believing there is strength in digging where you stand, and vision in actively participating in the bigger picture.
I am committed to nurturing, championing, supporting and learning from each organisation and region I work with, while simultaneously ensuring a sense of connectivity to national policies, best practice, critical thinking, opportunities and networks. I bring short, medium and long term perspectives to each organisation, strategy and project I work with, ensuring the detail of the here and now is covered, while the impacts of legacy considered.
I’m passionate about female leadership and have undertaken a Scottish Enterprise funded Principally Women programme aimed at female entrepreneurs, leaders, founders, or women in senior management teams. The programme fostered and encouraged growth supported by practical and personal skills including developing leadership styles, raising investment, managing teams, emotional intelligence and life values. All from the perspective of addressing barriers ambitious women leaders might face.
My focus areas for Creative Development are:
Adapting to the impacts of climate change, and ensuring environmental resilience is in place, is a core part of business planning and strategy development.
My current work with Creative Carbon Scotland, Climate Ready Clyde and Cultural Adaptions explores ways to make arts and culture ready for climate change, as well as ways to use arts and culture to adapt wider society to climate change impacts.
I’ve also led tricky conversations for the Federation of Scottish Theatre with the theatre and dance sector around short, medium and long term planning to ensure the sector is environmentally resilient.
Digital developments have opened up many new frontiers in the ways we work, how we present work, who we collaborate with and who we can reach, connect with and inspire through our work. I believe the idea, ambition – artistic or organisational – person or project comes first and a digital strategy is to enable, not lead, thinking.
My track record in leading organisations through digital development includes:
- Working with, and writing business plans for, independent cinemas as the film exhibition sector adapted from film to digital.
- Leading Stellar Quines theatre company through a process of digital development and change funded by Amb:IT:ion – a programme for change in the arts, heritage and cultural sectors. This included three strands of delivery: to become a virtual hub for all those interested in women and theatre; to deliver a series of creative digital labs where the interface between live theatre and the possibilities emerging through the virtual and digital worlds can be tested; and to train core staff and freelancers in new skills, new outlooks and new understandings. As well as sharing the learning across the sector – thus ensuring the journey continues.
- Working closely around the place where theatre and film meet, both creatively and commercially. I’ve produced film versions of live theatre shows, including 3D recordings of live theatre, alongside projects dedicated to exploring studio theatre as a cinematic as well as a theatrical space.
All of this experience is underpinned with an understanding and working knowledge of best practice in rights, intellectual property and relationships with industry unions.
The arts and culture are an important part of any community – local and global. They have a story tell about any place and a role to play in enabling people who call that place home to articulate their memories of the past, stories of the present and visions for the future.
I’m trained in community theatre and qualified in cultural performance – from carnival to protest – and am passionate about the potential of the arts and culture to give voice.
My experience includes:
- Delivering community focused story gathering, new writing and performance projects in the Scottish Borders to give creative expression to women’s history in the region’s textile industry.
- Planning and delivering Your Hall Your Story, a large scale performance and community engagement project celebrating the history of Aberdeen’s Music Hall and hopes for its future as the building closed for refurbishment.
- Producing one of the National Theatre of Scotland’s Tin Forest city wide performances in Glasgow’s East End – the organisation’s Glasgow wide community engagement initiative created at a time when the city hosted the Commonwealth Games.
- Conceiving, creating, establishing partnerships and delivering the first stages of What Country Friends is This? a project designed to give voice to Aberdeen’s theatre past, alongside present day stories from the city’s migrant population, as a counter narrative to media stories focusing on emigration. This project is ongoing.
Developing, nurturing and providing opportunities for new and emerging talent of all ages, backgrounds and levels of experience is vital to the ensuring a vibrant and healthy future for the arts and cultural sector.
My background in talent development includes:
- Creating, fundraising for and delivering organsition wide talent development programmes across a number of years and strands of activity. Strategies ensure multiple points of entry for talent and projects, along with the potential for progression for both through the implemented infrastructure.
- Devising and delivering training programmes for regional screen agencies with particular attention to address under representation in the industry.
- Conceiving and delivering new writing and professional development projects for women in theatre with partners including the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, as a place of inspiration for new work, site specific performance and giving voice to the stories behind the collections.
- Developing and running producer training in North East Scotland, a region lacking in the skills, training and opportunities for new producers and subsequently new work to be created.