What is your job?
Developing the vision and strategy for the Festival and taking overall responsibility for making it work! This includes the Festival’s artistic focus, developing partnerships in Bloomsbury and beyond, raising the funds and employing the staff.
What’s your favourite thing about working for Bloomsbury Festival?
The extraordinary people we work with – ranging from top scientists, to emerging artists, to the families that live here. We work across the whole spectrum including nurses at Great Ormond Street Hospital, pupils at Argyle Primary School and elderly residents at Great Croft Resource Centres, alongside international businesses, established artists, actors and musicians, and world-famous institutions.
What is your favourite place in Bloomsbury and why?
That’s a hard one – there are so many extraordinary places – from small and quirky like The Horse Hospital, to fabulously glamorous to The Bloomsbury (hotel)’s new Coral Room. But I think my real favourite is still Conway Hall. A maze of rooms and corridors, old fashioned light fittings and sepia tiles – it oozes’es history and atmosphere. Plus they keep bee hives on their roof!
If you could take your mum/sister/grandmother somewhere in Bloomsbury, where would it be and why
Probably St George’s Gardens. It is so beautiful and peaceful. Set behind the Foundling Museum it contains a Chapel of Rest, where the artist Geoffrey Harrison painted opera singer Vivien Conacher in the 2016 Festival. We were also delighted to present Rosemary Lee’s fabulous Calling Tree in St Georges Garden’s in the same year.
What are you most looking forward to about Bloomsbury Festival 2018?
The theme! Activists and Architects of Change is the most ‘Bloomsbury’ of all the themes so far. Past activists have made Bloomsbury famous, but its the present we primarily focus on. We are developing a number of projects that shine a light on Bloomsbury’s exceptional 2018 Activists and Architects of Change. One project called Bloomsbury Women Now will connect with University of London’s Leading Women project, whilst another will feature up to 12 people who have moved to the area – architects of their own change. With so many emerging artists, international architectural firms, and researchers developing world-changing science and medicine in the area we have a job selecting what to profile and what to leave out!
Any top Bloomsbury tips?
With so much to chose from its hard to select one, but my current favourite thing is the ‘Macha Latte’ in Store Street Espresso. A slightly odd looking pale green drink – but be careful, it has a creamy taste you can get hooked on!