Our work always centres, in some way, around Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that “everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.” We look at how structures, plans, strategies, and projects can help people express themselves and take full advantage of the cultural opportunities available for them to live full lives.
James was the first Executive Director for Southampton Cultural Development Trust from 2015 to July 2019. Previously, I was Deputy CEO at the Nuffield Theatre in Southampton. Prior to that, I was General Manager at the Corn Exchange and New Greenham Arts in Newbury. In 2012 I was Creative Producer for Parrabbola on Margate Hosts The Boat Project working with cultural partners, local authorities, and the Arts Council to deliver a four-day celebration as part of the Cultural Olympiad.
I was Director of Audiences South, the regional audience development agency working to increase engagement in cultural activity in the South East, for six years. I worked as a freelance marketing consultant; for Tickets.com as an internet ticket sales consultant; and as marketing manager at both Salisbury Playhouse and the Watermill Theatre.
I was Vice Chair of Network, the national agency dedicated to collaborative audience development and have sat on number of different arts organisations’ boards including currently Hoodwink Theatre Company. I have lectured on Audience Development to MA and BA students at the University of Sussex, Central School of Speech and Drama and London South Bank University, and am a guest speaker on University of Southampton's How The Arts Work module. I studied Philosophy at the University of Southampton.
Every project always begins with a coffee. Not just because we love good coffee and will happily travel just for that, but because sitting down face to face allows people to open up and explore. Sometimes we move too quickly to grab the first tool on offer while we are still unclear what the task might involve. My approach, through creative curiosity, is to try and define the full parameters of the task before helping to create the very best and most apt tools for the job.