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The recordings of all Arts Impact Chats can be found below, offering a facinating insight into the careers and background of some of the leaders of the creative and cultural sector. These can also be found on our resources page.

Arts Impact Chats: Nichole Herbert Wood, Second Floor Studios

Nichole Herbert Wood heads up Second Floor Studios & Arts, which provides high-quality affordable studios and facilities for visual and fine artists, crafts makers and designers, an increasingly scarce resource in London. A 2014 GLA survey suggested that over 30% of London’s studio spaces would disappear within 5 years, causing a supply crisis in a market with growing demand.

Social investment from the Arts Impact Fund has enabled Second Floor Studios to develop a long leasehold site in Lewisham, the Deptford Foundry. The new site is critical to the organisation’s establishment of a sustainable, autonomous business model, and required funding in order to acquire the lease and fit-out the site. Having a long-term lease means that they can provide much needed security for artists, who are often driven out of the inner city as the spaces they occupy get redeveloped or their short-term leases need to be renewed, which typically results in unaffordable rent increases.

Seva and Nichole discussed the challenges facing artists working in cities, the tensions created by gentrification, and the difference that investing in grassroots cultural communities makes to a city. The recording is available above and you can access a full transcript of the webinar here.

Arts Impact Chats: Lisa Alberti, Pinc College

Lisa Alberti is Founder and College Lead at Pinc College, a specialist college for creative education in the UK, focusing on creative study programme pathways for neurodivergent young people, aged 16-25. Pinc College runs art, digital art and complementary studies, from campuses based across the North-West, Yorkshire and the Midlands, operating in partnership with arts and cultural organisations.

Lisa has 19 years’ teaching experience and obtained a postgraduate degree in Education Leadership from the University of Manchester before becoming leader at Pinc College. Pinc prides itself on an alternative approach, offering a purposeful pathway for neurodivergent young people to careers in the cultural and creative sectors. They offer a creative study programme with strong roots in museums and galleries, specialist support for autism, and small group learning.

Seva and Lisa discussed Lisa’s professional journey through teaching and the creative sectors, the benefits of creative education to neurodiverse young people and the impact Pinc College strives to make. The recording is available above and you can access a full transcript of the webinar here.

Arts Impact Chats: Craig Pennington, Future Yard

Craig leads the team behind Future Yard: a group of local music industry professionals with years of experience in the area. Future Yard CIC is a social enterprise established in 2019 to use music as a force for good in Birkenhead and the wider Wirral area, with the ambition to reimagine the role of a community music venue. Alongside a busy programme of new music talent, Future Yard hosts an artist development hub with free skills training programmes to enable young people to pursue careers in the music industry.

Future Yard began life as a two-day music festival in August 2019, when the enthusiastic response of the local audiences cemented the team’s plan to set up a permanent home for Future Yard. In early 2020, the team acquired a lease for a three-floor former nightclub in Birkenhead and began work to transform it into a music venue and music skills hub, before it opened its doors fully to the public in the spring of 2021.

Seva and Craig discussed the important role of local live music venues, why the team believed a space like Future Yard was needed in Birkenhead, and the role venues can play in artist and talent development. The recording is available above and you can access a full transcript of the webinar here.

Arts Impact Chats: Angela Dixon, Saffron Hall

Angela Dixon has been Chief Executive of Saffron Hall since 2014. Previously she was Head of Music at the Barbican Centre, heading up three major projects that formed part of the Cultural Olympiad in 2012. In 2016 Angela won ABO/Rheingold Concert Hall Manager of the Year.

Saffron Hall is a critically acclaimed, 740-seat performing arts venue built on the grounds of Saffron Walden County High School. Since opening in 2013, it has rapidly established itself as a cultural centre for the region, with a year-round programme of music and dance, spanning classical, folk, jazz, and world music.

Seva and Angela discussed Angela’s professional journey from the Barbican to CEO of Saffron Hall, why Saffron Hall is such a unique venue, and the challenges facing music education today.  The recording is available above and you can access a full transcript of the webinar here.