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

Laurence graduated from the University of Exeter in 2007, and holds a Master’s degree from the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff. Now living on the edge of the Blackdown Hills, he works as a freelance conductor and singer. He is also Marketing Manager at Exeter Cathedral, responsible for digital communications, marketing strategy, and developing the visitor experience as part of the Interreg-FCE funded VISTA-AR project.

    • Emily Davies

Emily has a long-standing interest in Arts, Culture, Heritage and music, and is an advocate of the impact that creative projects of any form can have on individual and community wellbeing, cohesion and development. She is thrilled to be part of a team that will play an important role in ensuring that the cultural offering within the city and the surrounding area is exciting, relevant, diverse and accessible, and that artists, cultural organisations and communities have access to the support to make bring new ideas and projects to life. Emily is the Student Startup Manager at the University of Exeter, programming and delivering workshops, events and providing one-to-one support to nurture and encourage enterprise and entrepreneurship.

    • Emily Macaulay

Emily completed an undergraduate and postgraduate degree in Criminology and then worked in the criminal justice system within Devon and Cornwall. Since 2013, Emily has worked within Devon Libraries and is now the Centre Manager for Exeter Library and a Staff Trustee on the Board of Libraries Unlimited. Emily was awarded an MBE for services to equality and diversity in 2014. Outside of work, Emily is a keen runner and uses this to fundraise for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal, a charity based in Leeds.

    • John Sealey

John is a curator, academic and award-winning filmmaker who has been working with moving image technologies for more than 20 years. His practice sets out to investigate contemporary cultural identity and his work has been screened and distributed internationally. As the Director of Exeter-based Fabian’s Film CIC, his role involves film production, mentoring emerging filmmakers and developing multi-disciplinary collaborative art projects that aim to reflect the culturally diverse landscape of the UK.

    • Amy Shelton

Amy is an artist and Artistic Director of Honeyscribe. Her work has been exhibited at a variety of galleries and venues including Southbank Centre, Eden Project, Wellcome Collection, Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, and DAAD Gallery, Berlin. She has 25 years’ experience working in the arts. She was Centre Director at the Arvon Foundation Totleigh Barton throughout the 90s and moved to Exeter in 2002. In 2011, she established Honeyscribe to explore the relationship between bee health, human health, the environment and the arts. The spirit of community engagement and collaboration infuses all aspects of her work, as does her belief in the value of creativity in enhancing health and wellbeing.

    • Rachel Sutton

Rachel has worked as an arts professional in numerous roles, starting in a Box Office and including working as the director of an arts centre, and as a Senior Lecturer teaching arts management to potential actors, dancers and composers. She moved to Exeter in 2004 to join Arts Council England South West. Rachel has been an Exeter City Councillor since 2010 and is currently Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Economy & Culture, giving her a key strategic role in determining the future priorities for the city, providing leadership to deliver economic growth and to support the delivery of financial help and strategic support for a number of key cultural companies and individual artists who live and work in Exeter.

    • Pippa Warin

Pippa trained as a drama teacher and started work in community arts in the inner city of Birmingham and then ran family education for Westminster Women’s Aid. She was general manager of Exvos and then Head of Region for The Community Fund (now BIG Lottery). She then moved to The Government Office SW as Head of Culture and Executive Director of Culture SW, which she job-shared. She then moved to the Arts Council, where she leads (until autumn 2018) on strategic partnerships in the south-west area, and has a track record in helping to set up place-based cultural sector partnerships. She has been involved with various boards, including Exeter Northcott Theatre, and was founder chair of DAISI. She is an accredited coach and mentor. Pippa has lived in Exeter for a long time, and her current interests include literature development.

    • Nikki Sved, Chair

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.