Culture lab 2016

Mar 24, 2016 | No Comments
Culture lab 2016

Culture lab to make way for a new generation of leaders


Today, Culture lab is announcing the names of the 21 participants in its five-month leadership development programme – the first of its kind in Wales.

Featuring a diverse range of people drawn from all parts of Wales’ creative sector, the programme aims to be a catalyst for transformational change as it brings together an inspiring group of leaders, thinkers and change-makers to address some of our biggest and most fundamental challenges.

Funded by The Arts Council of Wales, Culture lab is itself a new initiative formed in the belief of the value of arts and culture to society.

Nick Capaldi – Chief Executive of Arts Council of Wales – said:

“Wales has a rich array of creative talent. However, we need to nurture this talent and to share the insights and skills that are going to be so essential to meeting the challenges of the new world of work. Culture lab will be the site within which new ideas can be cultivated and grown, helping to develop the innovative and resilient cultural entrepreneurs of the future. The Arts Council of Wales is delighted to be supporting this important project.”

Culture lab is a new initiative founded by Simon Harris from Lucid and a graduate of The Clore Leadership Programme with Richard Hawkins of The Public Interest Research Centre – an independent charity working with civil society groups to develop new strategies for a more democratic, equal and sustainable world .

Sian Tomos – Director of Enterprise and Regeneration at Arts Council of Wales commented:

Culture lab will offer a rich and deep learning experience really benefitting the individuals concerned – not only in the growth of their own skills and confidence – but in bonding together a powerful network of peers to create a longer term impact. We are really looking forward to working with Culture lab. It has the potential to make a big difference to the participants and to the whole arts sector further down the line.”

At a time of significant challenge around resources, we need the arts more than ever to help us imagine how we can live. Art engages the emotions that cause people to act. But we need to develop a community with the knowledge, strategy and creativity to fulfil its potential. Uniquely, Wales has enshrined in law the role of arts and culture to safeguard the future well-being of its citizens. Culture lab aims to support the development of individuals who can shape that future.

The full details of the Culture lab 2016 participants are as follows:

Ali Williams

Ali is a founding member and Creative Director at Nofit State Circus.

Alice Briggs

Based in Aberystwyth, Alice is Assistant Curator at Amgueddfa Ceredigion Museum.

Antony Owen-Hicks

Antony is Arts Development Officer at the Arts Council of Wales. In a voluntary capacity, he organises the Wales delegation for the Festival Interceltique de Lorient in Brittany, celebrating both traditional and contemporary Celtic culture.

Deborah Keyser

Deborah is Director of Creu Cymru – the development agency for theatres and arts centres in Wales.

Dwynwen Lloyd Llywelyn

Born and raised in Ceredigion, Dwynwen is Head of Theatr Felinfach and Campus at Theatr Felinfach.

Elinor Robson   

Elinor has worked at Literature Wales since 2004 and, as Deputy Chief Executive, she leads the Business, Development and Communications Team.

Hannah Thomas

Hannah is Head of Creative Sector Development at Ffilm Cymru Wales, where she heads up the talent and development teams.

Hannah Van Den Bergh

Hannah is a fundraiser, producer and cultural manager working with IETM, On The Move, ASEF, Julie’s Bicycle, Hijinx Theatre and COAL, among many others. She is also a writer and poet, helping to launch local arts venue The Abacus, co-organising annual TEDxCardiff conferences, and writing for Cardiff Contemporary.

Jenny Stoves

Jenny Stoves is a Development Officer at Arts Council of Wales with a specific interest in Equality and Diversity and Dance.

Karen Pimbley 

Head of Arts Management training at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Karen has 30 years’ experience working in the arts sector, mainly in Wales but also in London. She is currently researching a global arts management strategy model for good practice and leadership training with the British Council.

Laura Drane

Laura is an independent creative producer, consultant and facilitator, based in Cardiff and working all over the UK. She is the co-founder of WhatNext? Cardiff, as part of which she lead with others on the recent Cardiff Without Culture? campaign.

Lisa Matthews

Lisa is portfolio manager in the Enterprise and Regeneration team at the Arts Council of Wales. Her responsibilities focus on ways that we can nurture a thriving but sustainable arts sector. Before joining she was Managing Director of Welsh Music Foundation and a Director of Cerdd Cymru:  Music Wales, the host organisation that brought world music expo WOMEX to Wales in 2013.

Louise Amery   

Having originally trained in classical music, Louise has worked in the arts for nearly 30 years – the majority of which has been in Aberystwyth Arts Centre where she is now Deputy Director.

Mawgaine Tarrant-Cornish        

Having grown up in Cardiff, Mawgaine studied Drama and Theatre in Aberystwyth and an MA in Advanced Theatre Practice at Central School of Speech and Drama, London. She is currently Executive Assistant at National Theatre Wales.

Meredydd Barker

Born in Pembrokeshire, Meredydd studied fine art at St Martins College of Art. His debut play, The Rabbit, was directed by Terry Hands at Clwyd Theatr Cymru in 2001. At the moment he is working on a novel and is under commission at Theatr Na Nog, The National Theatre of Wales and Small World Theatre. He is co-founder and artistic director of Narberth Youth Theatre.

Rebecca Gould

Rebecca is Head of Arts for Wales at The British Council. Previously she has been Creative Producer at Soho Theatre in London, Associate Director at the Theatre Royal Plymouth, Young People’s Projects Director at the National Theatre, Director of the Education Company at the English Shakespeare Company and Associate Director of Made in Wales.

Rosie Leach       

Rosie’s work weaves together theatre, education and research, driven by an impulse to make people feel more alive, valued and connected. Following a placement with Arcola Theatre and an MSc dissertation on art and social change, Rosie co-founded Green Stage Theatre in 2010, to explore ecological conundrums through theatre shows and workshops in parks, community gardens and a city farm.

Siri Wigdel        

Siri grew up in the Ryfylke region near Stavanger on the west coast of Norway. She moved to Wales in 1990 and established a practise as a performer, teacher and choreographer, working for film, television and theatre. She was Senior Dance Officer for the Arts Council of Wales from 2002-2012and is currently working as the Creative Director and Producer at Theatr Ardudwy in Harlech.

Suzy West          

Suzy is an arts management consultant based in mid-Wales. Some of her favourite projects have been commissioning the world’s largest mirror ball on the prom in Blackpool, a disco with Saturday Night Fever dance floor in the middle of some woods in Southwest Scotland with a cat to take your coats, designing a course for artists and producers to source money for artist generated work and curating a show of the art work of cults in the USA who believed the millennium would also bring apocalypse.

Tabitha Milne  

Tabby is an independent consultant, helping organisations and individuals working in arts and culture to engage with their audiences. Before making the move to go freelance, she worked for a range of arts and third sector organisations including Wales Millennium Centre, National Dance Company Wales, Mencap Cymru, and NHS appeal Noah’s Ark Appeal.

Zoe Munn          

Originally trained in Fine Art, Zoe’s early career was in theatre as a visual collaborator and maker, as well as working in community and participatory arts. She has spent much of the last 15 years working in contemporary circus, initially as a performer than later as a producer and company manager. Zoe is currently working with a number of young companies and emerging performers from across disciplines of dance, theatre, circus and installation.


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