Who we are – Exeter Cultural Partnership (ECP)

Lara Goodband is the Director of Exeter Cultural Partnership, hosted at the University of Exeter (Innovation, Impact and Business Directorate). Lara has 20 years’ experience working in galleries, museums and unusual places and spaces, leading literature festivals and generating investment for arts and culture. Most recently, Lara delivered major art exhibitions and education projects as part of Hull City of Culture and international programmes in the 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Her experience includes strategic planning and partnership across cultural institutions and local government as well as co-directing the York Curiouser initiative with the University of York. Lara lives in Exeter.

Following an independent Governance Review, Lara joins the lead team for ECP, who are responsible for facilitating the formation of a new Steering Group and then delivering ECP’s strategy for the coming three years. The other members of the lead team are:

Nikki Sved, Artistic Director of Theatre Alibi, is the Chair of Exeter Cultural Partnership. Nikki is the Artistic Director of Theatre Alibi, creating shows which tour extensively to Devon primary schools and theatres across the country. Originally a graduate from Exeter University’s Drama Department, Nikki has worked in the city for nearly 30 years, first as an actor and then teaching at the University, before beginning to direct for Theatre Alibi. Nikki has also worked as an actor and director in North Wales for Theatre Clwyd.

Belinda Dillon is the ECP Officer for one day a week, again hosted in IIB at the University. As an experienced editor and arts journalist – with a particular focus on live art and performance – Belinda has worked on regional, national and digital titles, and has a broad network of contacts in the culture sector. She has also worked with theatre groups, heritage organisations and visual arts collectives as a producer and marketing consultant, collaborating on strategic touring and digital engagement projects as well as evaluation reports for external funding bodies.

The Steering Group is now in place. The new members are:

  • Laurence Blyth (Exeter Cathedral)
  • Emily Davies (Exeter University)
  • Emily Macaulay (Libraries Unlimited)
  • John Sealey (Fabian’s Film)
  • Amy Shelton (Honeyscribe)
  • Rachel Sutton (Exeter City Council)
  • Nikki Sved, Chair (Theatre Alibi)
  • Pippa Warin (currently Arts Council England until August 2018)
  • We’re looking forward to working together with everyone in the cultural sector to support Exeter’s continued growth and to raise the city’s profile across the region, the country and internationally.