John Newbigin is Mayor of London’s Ambassador for Creative Industries and former Chair of Creative England. As Special Advisor to the Minister for Culture, Rt Hon Chris Smith MP, he was closely involved in developing the government’s first policies for the creative industries. Previous posts include Head of Corporate Relations for Channel 4, policy advisor to the Leader of the UK Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition, Rt Hon Neil Kinnock, MP and writer-in-residence for Common Stock Theatre.
Arts and Creative Economy Advisory Group members
Viv has worked in the education and literacy sector for most of her career, most recently as the CEO of Book Trust. A former Chair of EU Read, she has twice been mentioned by the Bookseller as one of the top 100 most influential people in publishing. She was senior policy advisor to the European Literacy Policy Network and still serves on their transitional committee. She has worked with the British Council as an advocate for reader development in Egypt, China, Brazil and Taiwan.
Marie Brennan leads master's courses at Norwich University of the Arts. She ran Glasshouse, a creative consultancy, where she was involved in music, street theatre and circus. Marie has a strong background in developing national policy in craft and design, disability arts, heritage and public art. She has worked as a culture expert for the European Union, evaluating Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) applications across the continent.
Marina is a Trinidadian cultural activist and journalist. Formerly an editor and senior manager in Radio and News and Current Affairs at the BBC, she is the founder and director of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, held annually in Trinidad and Tobago, 'the biggest annual literary festival in the Anglophone Caribbean', and of the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. She was founding executive director of the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival in 2005 and an advisor on film development to Creative TT.
Simon is the Director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. He previously worked at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge before becoming Head of Exhibitions at Tate Liverpool. He has played an active role in many institutions, including Governor of Glasgow School of Art, Board member of the Young People’s Committee, Royal Society of Edinburgh, Member of the National Cultural Diplomacy Group at the British Council, and is on the Advisory Board of Art UK.
Philip Long is the director of V&A Dundee. He was senior curator at the National Galleries of Scotland, where he specialised in historical and contemporary Scottish art and design. Philip has written about Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the Scottish colourists and the architect Basil Spence, and curated Scotland’s national representation at the Venice Art Biennale in 2007. He is an honorary professor of the University of Dundee and honorary research fellow of St Andrews University.
Ruth is the Artistic Director of the Outburst Queer Arts Festival. She has been a cultural activist for 27 years and is passionate about promoting social change through arts engagement. She is currently working on global partnership development with British Council around queer arts, particularly in South America and the Caribbean. She worked in BBC television and radio production for 10 years before leading the Creative Development team in BBC Northern Ireland.
Dave is currently the Director and Chief Executive of HOME in Manchester and Director of Culture for Manchester City Council. Previously he led the successful merger of Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company to form HOME. Throughout his career, Dave has been involved in the management and marketing of arts organisations. He spent eight years as Chief Executive of Arts About Manchester, two years as Marketing Director for City of Drama, and managed Abraham Moss Theatre.
Indhu Rubasingham is the Artistic Director of Kiln Theatre. Productions as Artistic Director include: Red Velvet (Evening Standard Award and Critics’ Circle Award, also at St Ann’s Warehouse, NYC and Kenneth Branagh Season, West End), A Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes, Multitudes, The House That Will Not Stand, Handbagged (Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre, also West End transfer and UK tour), Paper Dolls, The Invisible Hand, Holy Sh!t, and White Teeth.
Elena is Head of Programmes at Literature Wales, the national company for literature development. Originally from Germany, Elena came to the UK in 2004 as part of her MA in British Studies at Humboldt University, Berlin. She has worked for various arts organisations in Wales, including Wales at the Venice Biennale of Art, Wales Arts International, g39 Gallery and Chapter Arts Centre. She is particularly interested in collaboration, working internationally and in interdisciplinary work.