The AMA Conference 2021 speakers represent the variety of roles and organisations that make up the arts and cultural sector.
With over 40 speakers joining us across the two days, there’s sure to be someone that inspires you to make a change.
We’ll be adding more speakers as we get closer to the conference.
Abigail Scott Paul | LEEDS 2023 Year of Culture
Abigail is a strategic communications expert. She is responsible for LEEDS 2023’s communications, marketing, and public affairs strategy.
A digital champion, Abigail commissioned LEEDS 2023’s digital roadmap to ensure that digital is fully embedded across the creative, operational and communication functions. In 2020 she was recognised for her contribution to charity campaigning in the Outstanding Leadership Category of the Sheila McKechnie National Campaigner Awards
Image courtesy of Abigail Scott Paul
Ash Mann | Substrakt
Ash is the Managing Director of Substrakt, a digital agency who design and build digital products and services for cultural organisations in Europe and North America.
Over the past two decades Ash has also worked in digital roles in-house at arts, charity and higher education organisations. He is particularly interested in working with organisations to interrogate the thinking that underpins their digital activity to ensure they are delivering experiences and services that work for both their audiences and their business.
Image courtesy of Ash Mann
Brooke Gallagher | Spektrix
Brooke leads on community and events at Spektrix and also helps the organisations we work with get the most out of their partnership with us. She has many years’ experience working alongside arts marketers and fundraisers in the space where culture and technology intersect, leveraging her passions for digital solutions and human connections to help organisations and individuals across the sector achieve their goals.
Image courtesy of Brooke Gallagher
Charlotte Gross | National Theatre of Scotland
Charlotte’s career began in the music industry. In 2004, she joined Scottish Ballet as Head of Marketing and Communications and significantly developed the organisation’s digital presence.
Charlotte joined the National Theatre of Scotland in January 2018 as Director of Audience and Media with responsibilities for the organisation’s Marketing, Sales, Communications and Content Strategy.
Image courtesy of Charlotte Gross
David Watson | National Museums Liverpool
David is Executive Director of Audiences & Media at National Museums Liverpool and is responsible for exhibitions, marketing and brand, design, production, digital, communications, fundraising, audience insights and partnerships for the group which comprises of seven world-class museums and galleries.
He is also the Founder & Creative Director of The Great British Gala — an all-new annual event that celebrates everyone and everything that makes dance great in Great Britain as well as Creative Director of the men’s luxury brand MlkMen.
Image courtesy of David Watson
Emma Beverley | LEEDS 2023
Emma is a producer and programmer who has made and presented award-winning artworks in a range of contexts, including the Royal Court Theatre and British Council Showcase, pubs, clubs, cafes and derelict storage units. Prior to her role as Executive Producer at LEEDS 2023, Emma was Co-Director at East Street Arts focusing on public programming, international strategy and business development. Emma was the founding producer for Selina Thompson Ltd and Executive Producer for Eclipse Theatre Company. Emma is a Leeds Climate Commissioner, steering group member for Sustainable Arts in Leeds and trustee for Hull Truck Theatre.
Image courtesy of Eva Philips
Jane Finnis | Culture24
Jane is an entrepreneurial, collaborative and persuasive digital expert with over 30 years’ experience at a senior level leading new thinking and practice in the convergence of arts, culture and technology.
She is the CEO of Culture24 an internationally recognised independent charity and an important force in building digital capacity in the arts and heritage sector, and a partner with leading UK consultancy firm Counterculture.
Image courtesy of Jane Finnis
Jennifer Taillefer | Unicorn Theatre
Jennifer is the Production & Technical Director at the Unicorn Theatre, where she has worked for the last 3 years. During her time at the Unicorn, she has spearheaded the integration of sustainability into production practices, working with designers, and technicians to turn creative ideas into practical solutions.
The Unicorn Theatre was the most recent winner of Outstanding Achievement at the Creative Green and has maintained a 5-star rating with Julie’s Bicycle over the last two years.
Image courtesy of Jennifer Taillefer
Jon Gilchrist | HOME, Manchester
Jon is Executive Director of HOME in Manchester, a venue that produces, commissions and presents work across film, theatre and visual art. Prior to this he was Executive Director of the Bush Theatre.
Jon began his career in arts marketing with roles at theatres across the North West for ten years, including The Lowry in Salford, the Octagon Theatre Bolton, and the Dukes in Lancaster. He is a UK Theatre board member.
Image courtesy of Jon Gilchrist (c) Helen Murray
Kate Mrockowski | Supercool
Kate is Strategy Director at Supercool — a digital design agency working exclusively with arts, culture and heritage clients.
Kate has worked in the cultural sector for over 15 years in ticketing, fundraising and consultancy roles. At Supercool, Kate makes sure cultural organisations get the most out of their digitals tools, finding practical solutions to problems and helping organisations reach new audiences.
Image courtesy of Kate Mrockowski
Katie Parry | Supercool
Katie is Creative Director and co-owner at Supercool — a digital design agency working exclusively with arts, culture and heritage clients.
She spends her time researching, writing, and sharing handy resources on Supercool’s website, social media, and monthly newsletter. (The sorts of things that make life easier for people working in the sector.) Katie’s also responsible for company culture at Supercool. She leads on equity, diversity, and inclusion — and Supercool’s pledge to become carbon negative.
Image courtesy of Katie Parry
Laura Norris | Helsinki Central Library Oodi
Laura is a Service Manager in Helsinki Central Library Oodi. She is in charge of Oodi’s Content Department together with her staff. Her heart is fully in leadership, collaboration and co-creating library services together with library users and staff.
Oodi’s mission is to bring more equality to the world. It inspires us to work towards a more democratic community.
Image courtesy of Laura Norris (c) Maarit Hohteri
Lucia Komljen | Telefonica
Lucia’s remit as Director of Insight & Innovation Strategy in Telefonica’s global innovation division is to identify future growth opportunities and to guide the organisation to innovate empathetically, originally, and responsibly.
She believes in the importance of complementing technological possibility with a rigorous understanding of human truths.
Image courtesy of Lucia Komlien
Michelle McGrath | Museums as Muck
Michelle founded the award winning Museum as Muck network in 2018 frustrated at the lack of working class people in museums. The network acts as a supportive community for working class museum workers and also advocates for change in the socio-economic diversity of the sector.
She is a Learning and Engagement specialist who has worked at many sites in London, including the British Museum, Royal Museums Greenwich and the Museum of the Home. Michelle is also a Trustee of the Museums Association
Image courtesy of Michelle McGrath
Naomi Obeng | Playwright & Theatre Critic
Naomi guest edited The Stage’s first special issue on Race and Criticism in April 2021 and is co-editor of Noises Off, a magazine written by young critics, at the National Student Drama Festival.
She was shortlisted for the inaugural Women’s Prize for Playwriting in 2020.
Image courtesy of Naomi Obeng
Ranjit Atwal | Communications & Marketing Consultant
Ranjit is a Communications & Marketing Consultant, Facilitator, Mentor and trainee Coach with 10 years in senior marketing roles across the creative industries.
Her expertise in devising and delivering strategic multi-channel communications for events and festivals has seen her lead campaigns for the internationally renowned Roundhouse to the world’s largest River celebration at Thames Festival Trust and was the Communications & Engagement lead on Nelly Ben Hayoun’s commission for Festival UK* 2022.
Image courtesy of Ranjit Atwal
Richard Bates | Spektrix
Richard works with users and teams to ensure that Spektrix is delivering world-class technology to the cultural sector. As a member of the Senior Management Team, he’s also responsible for driving organisation-wide change and delivering against our mission.
Richard’s been with Spektrix since 2012 and previously was the Head of UK Support and Implementation teams.
Image courtesy of Richard Bates
Sue Robinson | Culturapedia
Sue is the Director and co-owner of Culturapedia, an independent arts management company based in Blackburn, Lancashire. We work creatively with people to give ideas legs.
Sue’s career started in rural participatory arts in pre-internet times. Her current focus is on the strategic development of Spot On, Lancashire’s rural and library touring network. An ACE NPO supporting volunteers and librarians in remote and isolated areas to offer professional live arts events to their hyper local audiences.
Image courtesy of Sue Robinson
Thanh Sinden | Consultant
An independent consultant supporting organisations and teams in, Equity Diversity and Inclusion, engagement and organisational development, Thanh works as a collaborator, facilitator and enabler for positive change with teams and individuals to make change happen. Working to create vision and purpose in a strategic way to turn plans into actions for a more inclusive sector. Thanh has worked with groups and organisations, such as Museum Detox, Tate and Coventry UK City of Culture 2021.
Image courtesy of Thanh Sinden
Alan Lane | Slung Low
Alan is Artistic Director of Slung Low, directing most of their work over the last decade including projects with the RSC, Sheffield Theatres, and Singapore Arts Festival.
Founded in 2000, Slung Low is an award-winning theatre company specialising in making epic productions in non-theatre spaces, often with large community performance companies at their heart.
Image courtesy of Alan Lane (c) Joseph Priestley
Auriel Majumdar | Creative Coach & Consultant
Auriel has more than 20 years’ experience working in organisations as manager, strategist and change maker. In her coaching practice, Auriel specialises in business, leadership and personal development in the creative sector.
Her coaching and facilitation practice has a particular emphasis on the use of creative techniques to challenge individuals and groups to achieve the changes they want.
Image courtesy of Auriel Majumdar
Caroline Schreiber | The Place
Caroline is Director of Communications at The Place, London’s creative powerhouse for dance development, leading the way in dance training, creation and performance for over 50 years.
With 13 years of experience in marketing and communications in the performing arts and higher education sectors, she is passionate about elevating organisations through meaningful engagement, value-based branding and sophisticated audience-focused content strategy.
Image courtesy of Caroline Schreiber
Claire Will | Royal Exchange Theatre
Claire is Marketing and Communications Lead at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester. She has over 20 years’ experience in arts marketing across theatre, visual arts and heritage.
Claire was Head of Marketing & Communications at Contact, Manchester prior to joining the Exchange and she is an advisory board member for Wild Rumpus CIC.
Image courtesy of Claire Will
Deborah Cullinan | Yerba Buena Centre for the Arts
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) CEO Deborah Cullinan is one of the nation’s leading thinkers on the pivotal role arts organisations can play in shaping our social and political landscape, and has spent years mobilising communities through arts and culture.
Since joining YBCA in 2013, she has launched bold new programs, engagement strategies, and civic coalitions that are redefining what an art center looks like in the 21st century.
Image courtesy of Deborah Cullinan
Eva Philips | B:Music
Eva is the Digital Content Manager for B:Music, having come to live events sideways after a diverse career through the worlds of politics, conservation and social justice.
She is passionate about engaging communities who are traditionally harder to reach via digital communications and recently completed MSc in Strategic Marketing Management after turning covid lemons into lemonade.
Image courtesy of Eva Philips
Jannick Moth | HdK
Jannick is Web Support Developer at HdK. Throughout his career he has handled the making of digital content and technical builds.
With a wealth of experience in creating and maintaining websites, and as a dance artist himself, he brings a great understanding of technology and its implementations.
Image courtesy of Jannick Moth
Jess Thom | Writer & Artist
Jess co-founded Touretteshero in 2010 as a creative response to her experience of living with Tourettes Syndrome. She has spoken widely in the media including on Woman’s Hour and This Morning, and has given a TEDx talk on The Alchemy of Chaos at the Royal Albert Hall.
She is committed to increasing opportunities that allow the experiences of people living with Tourettes Syndrome to be heard, and to ‘changing the world one tic at a time.
Image courtesy of Jess Thom
Julia Alcamo | Happenstance Films
Julia is a German-American documentary filmmaker based in the UK. She is the co-founder of Happenstance Films whose productions have screened at Oscar qualifying film festivals, the Institute of Contemporary Art London and European Parliament.
Julia has worked with international film teams in Japan, India and Europe and has produced & directed series for Sky History and BBC World.
Image courtesy of Julia Alcamo
Kate Watson | Tessitura Network
Kate is deeply experienced at collecting and using quantitative and qualitative data and insights for targeted and effective marketing, translating trends into actionable plans for marketing teams and organisations. She has also used customer insights to design sophisticated segmentation models to increase revenue in complex, large-scale environments.
Kate is the former Head of Audience Insights and Research for London’s Southbank Centre, and is now a Consultant at the Tessitura Network.
Image courtesy of Kate Watson
Kim Wide MBE | Take A Part CIO
Kim is the founder of Take A Part CIO, a socially engaged arts organisation based in the South West that uses creativity as a catalyst for community building and rebalancing social injustices.
Both a Clore and a Clore Social Fellow, Kim was awarded an MBE in the Queens 2021 New Year’s Honours for Services to Social Engagement in the Arts — the first time socially engaged practice has been honoured in this way.
Image courtesy of Kim Wide MBE
Liv Nilssen | Spektrix
Liv is Global Sector Strategy Lead at Spektrix, where she ensures we are delivering on our mission to enable cultural organisations to develop and deepen relationships with the widest possible audiences. She is co-author of Rethinking Recruitment (2021), Building Blocks for Reopening (2020) and the Spektrix Insights Report (2019).
She continues working closely with clients and partners across the sector to share ideas and resources and make connections to help them thrive.
Image courtesy of Liv Nilssen
Mark Williams MBE | Heart n Soul
Mark co-founded Heart n Soul in 1986 and is the Artistic Director and CEO.
Throughout the last 33 years he has been central to the strategic development of Heart n Soul, helping take it from a locally based touring company to an internationally respected creative community/organisation, producing music, clubs, live art, dance, and films by artists with learning disabilities/autistic artists in collaboration with non-learning disabled artists. Heart n Soul were awarded the main Gulbenkian Award for Civic Arts Organisations in 2021.
Image courtesy of Mark Williams MBE
Miranda Lowe | Natural History Museum
Miranda is a principal curator and scientist at the Natural History Museum, London. She presents lectures and publishes on both curatorial and scientific uses of Museum historical collections in current climate change research as well as decolonial approaches to this work.
She is a founding member of Museum Detox, and recently won the Soc. Hist. Nat. Hist. President’s Award 2021 and listed in the BBC Women’s Hour Power List 2020: Our Planet.
Image courtesy of Miranda Lowe
Natalia Kozlovskaya | The Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Karelia (Russia)
Natalia believes in the power of art in life and work. She is a leading museum and cultural expert in Russia. With a background in economics, she specialises in fundraising, marketing, PR, social media and building inclusive programmes.
During 12 years of museum practice she has emerged as a powerful change-maker, and currently serves as the Head of Development at the Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Karelia, located in the North-West of Russia.
Image courtesy of Natalia Kozlovskaya
Ray Oudkerk | The BRIT School
With a background in Dance education, Ray has over twenty years of experience of teaching in secondary schools, predominantly in south London. He is currently Assistant Principal for Performing Arts at The BRIT School in Croydon, a 14 -19 state- funded school specialising in a creative arts-based education for all young people. In addition, Ray is a director on the board of Rambert Dance Company, Chair of Rambert Grades and Chair of GCSE Dance.
Image courtesy of Ray Oudkerk
Sabila Duhita Drijono | For Arts’ Sake Podcast
Sabila is an aspiring museum and heritage professional based in Jakarta, Indonesia. She works on cultural development projects at Karacitra Indonesia and helps people discover the works of museum people at For Arts’ Sake Podcast.
Image courtesy of Sabila Duhita Drijono
Stephanie Jessop | Culturapedia
Stephanie Jessop is the Creative Producer and Marketing Manager for Culturapedia and Spot On Lancashire. She works with communities, artists, promoters and venues to create engaging arts events and marketing materials that appeal to a wide range of audiences.
Alongside her work with Culturapedia, she is also the Marketing Manager for the Rural Touring Dance Initiative and the Communications Manager for the National Rural Touring Forum.
Image courtesy of Stephanie Jessop
Toks Dada | Southbank Centre
Toks is a Classical Music Curator, Programmer & Producer, and Head of Classical Music at Southbank Centre since December 2020.
In 2010 Toks founded the music commissioning and producing company Sinfonia Newydd in Wales, providing a platform for established and emerging professional composers, including as part of cross-artform collaborative projects.
As an advocate for change, Toks has championed new approaches for the classical music industry including attracting new audiences and engaging young people.
Image courtesy of Toks Dada
Anne Torreggiani | The Audience Agency
Anne is founder and Chief Executive of The Audience Agency, the UK charity for public engagement and participation. She is also co-director of the Centre for Cultural Value, based at Leeds University.
Anne is a specialist in audience strategy and research, trends and patterns of public engagement across arts and heritage. She has a special interest in the use of data and insight for better access to arts and heritage, increased participation and cultural democracy. She is project director for the Cultural Participation Monitor, part of the Covid19 Impact Research project with CCV.
Image courtesy of Anne Torreggiani
Brad Carlin | TRG Arts
Brad is Senior Consultant at TRG Arts. He has worked with organisations of all sizes and disciplines in the US, Canada and the UK and has 15 years of experience in general management and fundraising for arts organisations.
Prior to joining TRG Arts, Brad was the Managing Director of Fusebox Festival in Austin, Texas, and is an experienced thought leader in community engagement and alternative business models.
Image courtesy of Brad Carlin
Chenine Bhathena | Coventry UK City of Culture Trust
Chenine is the Creative Director the UK City of Culture in Coventry 2021.
She has overall responsibility for developing programmes, co-creation and community engagement and the development of national and international partnerships. Through the City of Culture programme she has shed a light on both local and global issues, utilising the power of culture to make change happen and ensure ‘culture for all’ is a core priority in the years to come.
Image courtesy of Chenine Bhathena (c) Ahsen Sayeed
Collette Philip | Brand by Me
Collette runs award-winning brand and strategy consultancy, Brand By Me, helping organisations build brands that tackle inequity and drive social justice. She has worked with, on and for a breadth of amazing brands for over 20 years — from household names to amazing charities.
Right now, Brand by Me are helping organisations like Wellcome Trust, Santander and Plan International UK put antiracism at the heart of their brand and communications.
Image courtesy of Collette Philip
Duncan Smith | Bristol Beacon
Duncan is the Digital Marketing Manager at Bristol Beacon, having returned to his first love of live music after starting his career in arts and culture at Bristol Old Vic theatre.
He’s unashamedly as excited about systems, data and websites as he is about being down the front watching great bands and artists. He has led on two significant rebranding projects for cultural organisations and recently launched Bristol Beacon’s new website.
Image courtesy of Duncan Smith
Hans de Krester | HdK
Hans has a background working in arts organisations like English National Opera and Sadler’s Wells, where he specialised in digital marketing when it all started.
Since then he’s helped over three hundred arts organisations with their online presence as Director and Project Manager at HdK.
Image courtesy of Hans de Krester
Jen Pearce | Unicorn Theatre
Jen is Director of Communications and Marketing at the Unicorn Theatre, and has over 15 years experience in arts marketing working in venues, festivals and agencies.
Specialising in digital, she has a passion for using digital to reach wider audiences, and she currently leads on the Unicorn Theatre’s digital sustainability and accessibility work.
Image courtesy of Jen Pearce
Jon Cornejo | Anti-Racism Consultant
Jon is a campaigner and anti-racism specialist, as well as an organiser at Charity So White. They focus on having open and honest conversations on systemic racism in order to transform organisations and society. They are from a refugee background, queer, and Latin American, and they bring all of these things into their work.
Image courtesy of Jon Cornejo
Kate McInnes | HdK
Over the past four years, Kate has grown a career in digital marketing and web development whilst studying Art and Cultural Policy at Goldsmiths University.
As a project manager at HdK, she supports our clients and the team to ensure projects run smoothly and on time.
Image courtesy of Kate McInnes
Katie Oborn | Take A Part CIO
Katie joined Take A Part (TAP) as Communications manager in March 2021 through a Time To Shine role funded by the Rank Foundation.
Her two main projects are: Coxside Echoes (a community magazine for Coxside residents and businesses to have their say and share their photos, creative writing or artwork) and the Community Crit programme, where a group of residents view exhibitions or shows together and then discuss the viewing and write review articles which Katie facilitates.
Image courtesy of Katie Oborn
Kris Bryce | Pitlochry Festival Theatre
Kris joined Pitlochry Festival Theatre (PFT) as Executive Director in 2016, leading Scotland’s largest producing theatre. During the pandemic, PFT launched online programmes reaching over 5m people, collaborated with the BBC, built new venues throughout its 11 acres, and produced outdoor work offering 18 different titles and productions.
Before joining PFT, Kris was Head of Operations at Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre and spent 10 years working with arts organisations and festivals in Vancouver, including Ticketmaster Canada.
Image courtesy of Kris Bryce
Louise Miles-Payne | Creu Cymru
Louise is the Director of Creu Cymru. Prior to joining Creu Cymru Louise worked in Enterprise at Cardiff University.
Louise’s previous roles include Senior Programme Manager for UpRising, a national youth leadership development charity and before that, a freelance creative producer and Head of Programming at Wales Millennium Centre. She lives in Cardiff with her wife and son.
Image courtesy of Louise Miles-Payne. Picture by Tom Martin (c) Wales News Service
Merrin Kalinowski | Art Fund
Merrin is the Museum Marketing Relationship Manager at Art Fund. Since joining in 2015 she has worked with Art Fund’s National Art Pass network of over 750 museum partners to support them in reaching wider audiences, developed Art Tickets into a platform used by over 200 museums and helped 51 museums raise £1 million and engage new donors through crowdfunding on Art Happens
Image courtesy of Merrin Kalinowski
Morayo Sodipo | Royal Exchange Theatre
Morayo works in marketing & communications at Royal Exchange Theatre as their Communications and Creative Media Partner. She is also one of the founders of VAGUE, a community-led creative agency, and co-editor of its arts & culture club.
Before this, she used to spend most of her days as a chemical engineer and an arts & entertainment blogger.
Image courtesy of Morayo Sodipo
Paul Fadden | Ticketsolve
Paul is Managing Director of Ticketsolve and is responsible for the strategic direction of the company in the UK and Ireland. With a strong passion for culture and live events, Paul is a passionate marketer and mentor for the company and the 300+ organisations of the Ticketsolve Community.
Paul encourages an ethos of continuous learning and data-driven decision making amongst all departments of Ticketsolve. An active member of a number of diverse mentoring programmes, Paul speaks regularly about leadership development, strategic management, and innovation in organisations.
Image courtesy of Paul Fadden
Rebecca Moore | Creative People and Places
Rebecca is Programme Director of Freshly Greated the Creative People & Places project in Great Yarmouth, increasing engaging with arts and culture. She leads a team who are working meaningfully with residents to plan, programme and promote new creative activity in the town.
Rebecca has previously worked at the AMA, as well as in social impact, fin-tech, and the arts. She is a painter whose first loves are poetry and Great Yarmouth seafront doughnuts.
Image courtesy of Rebecca oore
Selina Ocean | Season for Change
Selina is an arts marketing consultant with over ten years’ experience of delivering marketing campaigns across the cultural sector, currently leading the audience development and communications strategy for Season for Change, a UK-wide cultural programme inspiring urgent and inclusive climate action.
Selina has previously led the marketing and digital communications campaigns for Brent 2020, London Borough of Culture and 14-18 NOW, the UK’s 5 year arts programme to commemorate the First World War centenary.
Image courtesy of Selina Ocean
Tarek Iskander | Battersea Arts Centre
Tarek is Artistic Director and CEO of Battersea Arts Centre. Previous roles include National Director for Theatre at Arts Council England and Resident Director at the National Theatre Studio. Tarek was also one of the founders and Associate Artistic Director of the Yard Theatre in Hackney.
Prior to embarking on a new career as a director and writer, he held a wide variety of senior management posts in the National Health Service.
Image courtesy of Tarek Iskander
Trish Thomas | Southbank Centre
Trish is Head of Digital Engagement at Southbank Centre where she leads a team to deliver websites, digital content and social media and help to drive awareness and sales as well as audience engagement. During the Covid venue closures she has overseen the rapid expansion of Southbank Centre’s broadcast events proposition.
With a background originally in journalism, Trish has a long career in digital with previous roles at commercial digital agencies as well as arts and culture organisations including Royal Museums Greenwich, Kew Gardens and Arts Council England.
Image courtesy of Trish Thomas