Virginia Crompton, Chief Executive Officer

Virginia leads on creative direction, developing partnerships and working with funders to realise our ‘big ideas’. Big Ideas builds on her work at the BBC and the British Council. Virginia founded Radio 4’s The Long View and the BBC’s international school partnerships project World Class, which brought her into the world of the London Olympics as a core legacy of the BBC’s offer. She left the BBC to develop Football Remembers for the British Council in partnership with the FA, Premier League and English Football League. Big Ideas projects challenge stereotypes and bring communities together, embrace diversity, and include communities in national events. Virginia finds the Big Ideas strap line exciting – programmes that ‘change the way you see the world’. She has an English degree from the University of Cambridge, an English PhD from the University of East Anglia, a One World Media Award for Behind the Frontlines with Ebola and a Race in the Media Award for BBC World Class.

Emily Hadwen, Communications Director

Emily heads up the Communications team, managing the communications strategy across digital and print and leading on branding, design and visual identity. Emily also leads on programme delivery for three of the six projects under way in 2018. Emily cut her teeth at the Institute of Contemporary Arts where she managed the strategy and delivery of marketing campaigns primarily targeted to young and hard-to-reach audiences. Her subsequent work at Film London and the British Film Commission cemented her work in industry-facing communications and strategy. As a freelancer, Emily co-curated public-facing exhibitions and events with BAFTA, provided design consultation, and oversaw key projects as part of the global Shakespeare Lives programme for the British Council.

Clare Cleary, Director of Delivery and Development

Clare Cleary is the Director of Delivery and Development for Big Ideas, bringing over twenty years experience working in the Arts and Heritage sector. For Clare the role is about audience development, engaging and enhancing people’s experiences and understanding of heritage and culture and finding ways for communities to look at the world afresh. Clare’s prior positions include Senior Consultant for Public Art, Place Services at Essex County Council, Head of Exhibitions at the Hub, National Centre for Craft & Design and Business Development Officer at the Craft Council and she is a qualified Prince II practitioner.

Cassie Cramer, Programmes and Engagement Officer

Cassie helps to deliver projects by developing content, providing resources and information and engaging with community groups. Before Big Ideas Cassie worked at the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage in Rome. She also worked at Visiting Arts on projects which brought artists from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific to the UK for cultural exchanges. Cassie has a BA in Archaeology and an MA in Cultural Heritage Studies from University College London.

Jonathan Even-Zohar, Associate

Jonathan Even-Zohar (1982) is a trained historian (MA Leiden University) with a broad view on history and heritage education and the ways in which civil society and political actors (ab)use the past for promoting both democratic and non-democratic values. As former Executive Director of EUROCLIO – European Association of History Educators he has been able to work with thousands of history educators across the continent and beyond to initiate, lead and deliver high quality collaboration projects, funded by the European Union, as well as through private foundations. At Big Ideas he supports in connecting UK and Europe on various projects and initiatives.

Sarah Grainger-JonesCommunity Engagement Manager

Sarah has recently joined the team as Community Engagement Manager contacting community groups nationwide to get them involved with current projects. Prior to joining Big Ideas she worked for the Koestler Trust organising high profile exhibitions to showcase artwork from prisons, secure hospitals, secure children’s homes and people on probation across the UK. She has worked in the arts for over 18 years in different roles including as a freelance exhibitions and events coordinator, art workshop leader, GCSE art tutor and as a practising artist. She has a BA and MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art & Design.

Anthea Longo, Programmes and Events Officer

Since completing her MA in Japanese Studies at SOAS, Anthea has been working on projects aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion in the arts and heritage sector. Starting out as Cultural Heritage Trainee for the Heritage Lottery Fund, she then became a Radio and Events Producer looking after world music and cultural shows for community radios and events programmes for heritage institutions and education charities. Truly committed to making culture engaging and accessible to wider audiences, Anthea is also interested in video production and archives.

Esther Myers, Community Engagement Coordinator

Esther is working on outreach and community engagement, building on her background in providing access to the arts for underprivileged groups through youth theatre. Her work at Mountview also focused on stripping the financial and cultural barriers to drama school. Having worked with children with SEND and behavioural issues, as well as young people with mental health issues, Esther approaches community engagement with the philosophy that it should be available and inclusive to all and she enjoys engaging with a wide spectrum of groups.

Lottie Selwyn, Community Engagement Manager

Drawing on her previous experience within the education sector, Lottie is managing engagement; recruiting groups and networks to take part in current projects and overseeing and supporting the engagement team. Prior to working for Big Ideas, Lottie worked for the youth empowerment organisation, WE, where she assisted school groups and young people to coordinate a wide variety of citizenship and volunteering projects. Lottie has seen first-hand the benefits that community engagement has for young people and enjoys working with a broad range of organisations.

Ailsa Sinclair, Design Officer

Ailsa Sinclair is the in-house graphic designer at Big Ideas working across both print and digital. Ailsa comes from a multidisciplinary background having completed a Masters in Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art. Her previous work has encompassed a diverse range of media from graphic and furniture design to performance and radio; exploring the idea of constructed conversation and human connection. Have previously worked as an educator and curator, Ailsa is passionate about connecting with communities and working with diverse groups.