Upstart Projects is a charity and is overseen by an independent board of trustees. Find out more about them below.
Chair of Trustees Felicity Woolf
Deputy Chair of Trustees Martin Russell
Trustee Olivia Porritt
Trustee Muhammad Ibrahim
Trustee Maddy Ryle
Trustee Phoebe Hill
Trustee Tom Edwards
Trustee Holly Howe
Trustee Beth Troakes
Beth is a freelance curator and gallery director based in Brighton. She has curated exhibitions nationally and internationally and has worked with partners in Italy, South Korea and China. She has worked in development as both a freelancer and in arts organisations for many years and has also worked with many award-winning international theatre companies and performers as a producer and strives to support artists and musicians who are unsigned and unrepresented.
Hollyis a freelance art journalist, writing for various publications including State/F22 magazine, The Art Newspaper, Highsnobiety, Complex, i-D, and Londnr. She leads guided art walks in London as well as giving talks and chairing panel discussions at places including Soho House, The Hospital Club, and the House of St Barnabas. She also works in corporate communications for an assortment of clients.
Tom is a filmmaker and photographer. He is currently working as a Digital Marketing and Campaigns Officer at North West Bridge organisation Curious Minds who help connect young people to arts and culture. He has a degree in Film Production and has completed his Digital Marketing apprenticeship. He is currently finishing up his Gold Arts Award and has been working as part of the Wigan Local Cultural Education Partnership.
Phoebe is another of our young trustees; having achieved both Bronze and Gold Arts Award, she first joined us in 2011 on our Arts Award Participation Team. Since graduating from Cambridge University in 2015, Phoebe has worked across the arts sector in London and is now the Operations and Events Manager at NW7Hub.
Maddy is a writer, editor and social activist with a background in history, literature, arts reviewing, youth work, media, campaigning and communications. She is currently the Communications Director for the Bolivia-based Democracy Center, supporting global ecological justice work, though she lives mainly in Brighton with her young son.
Muhammad is currently working as a Digital Marketing and Campaigns Officer at North West Bridge organisation Curious Minds who help connect young people to arts and culture. Mo has completed his Gold Arts Award in which he sold over 250 tickets for an exhibition event at The Manchester Museum.
Olivia is a youth learning and participation specialist with years of experience in the arts, heritage, science engagement and formal learning. As the Youth Programme Co-Ordinator at Kew Gardens she is passionate about engaging young people in environmental issues and creating a platform for youth lead public engagement. Olivia brings these years of experience in youth engagement across sectors to our team as we expand our programmes of work.
Deputy Chair of Trustees
Martin is a visual artist and arts educator, and is currently the Cultural Education Partnership Development Co-Ordinator for the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham. He has widely exhibited his sculpture alongside teaching art and design. He was previously Head of Learning and Participation at the Mercury Theatre, Essex and has been a Programme Manager for the Royal Opera House Bridge organisation working to connect young people with the arts.
Chair of Trustees
Felicity is an arts education consultant who has played a key role in the development of both Artsmark and Arts Award, including writing the original Arts Award toolkit (or ‘bible’…) As well as her freelance work, Felicity has worked for Arts Council England and as Director of Qualifications for Creative & Cultural Skills, so brings a wide-ranging experience of the arts and education world. She recently spent three years in China at Nottingham Ningbo University, where she gained an MA and mastered Mandarin!
Felicity also supports our projects team with expert evaluation and research oversight.