My mother still maintains to this day that I sang before I spoke and, even now, I know I’m going to enjoy the day if it begins in that order. As a child, I enjoyed countless experiences connected to music; travel, celebrations, losses, discipline, adrenaline and what I now know to be lifelong friendships. I vividly remember how I felt when walking onto the stage at the Royal Albert Hall, and can still smell the flowers at Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod.
When further education conversations began, my only questions were where I’d read music and what instrument I’d decide to name as my first study. In my final year came the first real choice I had to make about the direction of my life. A lecturer, horrified that a soprano didn’t want to participate in the annual opera project, thought she would sway my response by handing over all logistical responsibilities. Little did she know the impact that action would have on my life. Almost overnight, I felt that I’d found my place in the world and made the decision that my role in the arts would be centered around facilitating others to perform.
Since then, I’ve enjoyed a career encompassing musical education, outreach, ticketing, an MA in Arts Management where I discovered a love of marketing and audience development, operational and artistic programming roles.
I’ve seen first-hand what goes into ‘the show must go on’. I cried when Covid-19 meant that we had to stop. Then I dusted myself off and worked with teams to manage food banks and testing centres. Like many of you, we did what needed to be done for our communities. Months passed and still we were locked down so, grateful to have a job and not be furloughed, I began to think about all those things that were on the list to improve if only we had the time. I dipped my toe in the water at crowdfunding and cried again when people showed just how much our venues meant to them, and again when Arts Council England ensured we would survive the immediate crisis. And now I find myself at Artifax being able to help empower venues to create the very best internal systems and processes that free them creatively to create unforgettable experiences for their audience.
I love the arts. I love the spaces creative people make experiences happen in and I love being behind an audience, watching people engaging with arts and culture. I am in awe of what this industry achieves each and every day and the experiences you create for our communities.