I am a Cultural Manager and Creative Producer with extensive experience in arts management, community engagement, audience development, setting up and developing effective systems as well as event production, administration and planning.
? am passionate about how we creatively make use of our cities, particularly their empty spaces and how this use can transform and vitalise places and communities around us.
In 2017 I moved back to my original hometown Athens to take on a role with the British Council, Cultural Skills Unit and Arts team to deliver Transforming Future Museums - a programme bringing change to the way museums in Greece work and increases their organisations' impact, resilience and sustainability.
I now spend my time working on projects in both Bristol (my adopted home) and Athens (my original home city). My latest UK project was working with Bristol's elected mayor to launch The Vestibules, a pop-up gallery space within Bristol's Town Hall.
In Athens, I am currently working with the artist Rick Lowe from Project Row Houses, Houston US and greek artist Maria Papadimitriou on the Victoria Square Project, a community centre/'open space', established for documenta14, in the heart of Victoria Square, a downtown district made famous in the summer of 2015; overwhelmed by refugees and mixed communities looking to create a gathering space; a centerpoint of cultural exchange and creativity within the local community.
Other former projects include The Island - an arts centre based in the previously derelict central Bristol Police Station and a dance centre in a previously abandoned Victorian swimming baths. I have always loved working with diverse communities, organisations and artists and have been organising community events and happenings in the streets and neighbourhoods like my very favourite BS5 Jumble Trail and Bristol street parties!
I studied International and European Economics and Politics at Athens University of Economics and Business, then, in 2004, I moved to the UK to complete an MA in Development, Administration and Planning at Bristol University.
Which additional experience/skills can people of Placemaking Europe reach out personally to you for?
My mission is creative place-making, community building and creating public spaces that promote people's health, happiness, and well-being by investing in the local creative community's assets, inspiration, and potential.
I love producing unusual spaces for artists and creatives to show their work in; spaces where the local community can experience culture in new ways and forms. Engaging with people, place, buildings, temporality and change is what drives me to create resilient spaces for participation, diversity and experimentation to happen.
I have always been involved in community arts and arts management, including working for the Bristol City Council Arts and Events team (2007-2011), and since 2012 I have been the Company Manager for Artspace Lifespace, a creative, place-based, charity organisation in Bristol.
Which experience/skills can people of Placemaking Europe reach out to your organisation for?
Creative Use of empty spaces, community engagement, community festivals and events, project management, organisational development
Describe one of the projects you are most proud of
The Island: Based at the old Bridewell Police station in the heart of Bristol, The Island is a studio complex, arts facility and events space. The Island is the flagship project of Artspace Lifespace charity that recycles vacant, underused and problem properties into thriving creative resources.
The Island was born in 2008 and I joined the team in 2012, whilst the project was at a crucial transitional stage. I designed and led the development and sustainability plans for the project including; creating systems and procedures, finance and marketing, partnerships and funding, artists tenants selection process, curatorial programming and business development.
The Island is now a vibrant hub for all things alternative. It hosts over 200 resident artists from the city's thriving, diverse scene, and boasts a circus space, artists studios, music studios, dance rooms and a beautiful gallery space. I also developed the event space which has provided the backdrop to numerous gigs, micro-festivals and transgressive arts performances.
Whilst Project Manager at The Island, this small fringe collective evolved into a major support network, constantly striving to support artists from every discipline and all walks of life. The Island is rapidly becoming one of the prime locations for local art promotion.
The Island remains today a vibrant, quirky project in the centre of Bristol today run by a wonderful team so I would recommend to pay a visit at your next (or first) Bristol visit!
I completed my role with The Island in 2017 to move back to Athens and take on my role with the British Council.