Everyone who contributes to Culture Now does so voluntarily and out of a shared passion for supporting people and organisations to realise their potential. Currently there are nine individuals who help to run Culture Now….

Alex Bird


Alex Bird is currently the Sector Development Officer for Museum Development North West and has worked in a number of different roles within museums from Visitor Services to Schools and Learning Officer. Alex has also worked for BBC Manchester managing the Big Screen department and was Curator of a short film programme jointly run by Cornerhouse and BBC Manchester. Alex is also a Trustee of the Museums Association. Tweet @AlexBirdMuseum





Dhikshana Pering


Dhikshana manages the Arts Council England funded Young People’s Skills Programme for 18-25 year olds at London Transport Museum, focusing on making the cultural and heritage sector accessible and diverse. Dhikshana has 11 years’ experience with the majority of her career spent at the Science Museum, working in learning teams on everything from delivery and development to management and operations. As Trustee of the Museums Association, Dhikshana works actively on sector-wide workforce developments. Her passion lies with actively diversifying the sector, by changing and developing the whole workforce model from recruitment to exit. Tweet @dtpering



Carol King


Carol is the Learning & Participation Manager at the National Civil War Centre. She leads a team in the creation and delivery of unique learning and participation experiences that bring to life this crucial period of British History. Carol has over 9 years of experience in the cultural and heritage sector. Her roles have incorporated visitor services, learning, exhibitions and everything in between! Carol is also Vice Chair of the Nottinghamshire Heritage Forum and a GEM East Midlands convenor. She actively champions wider access to heritage and the recognition and promotion of museums’ civic role in society. Tweet @carolanne_king



Simon Brown


Simon grew up in Leeds and moved to Nottingham in 2001 to study Human Geography with Heritage Studies at Nottingham Trent University, graduating in 2004. He has since worked in many different roles in museums, including front of house, and as an assistant in exhibition install, education and documentation.

Simon has managed Nottingham City’s handling collection service and worked as curator for social history and world cultures, working across their six museums. He is now curator of collections at Newstead Abbey.

He is a trustee of the Museums Association, and has written for Museums Journal and other publications. He lives in Nottingham with his wife and two young sons. Tweet @simonianbrown




Sarah Spurrier


Sarah is the Museum Development Officer for the East Midlands, working with 116 museums to develop ambitious and sustainable futures. In particular Sarah manages the training programme, focusing on workforce development in all areas of museum delivery. Previously she has worked at the National Trust, English Heritage and Civic Voice, the national charity for Civic Societies, specialising in volunteer management. As a Museum Mentor Sarah works closely with the small independent sector, supporting museums through the Accreditation process. Sarah is a Trustee for the Broxtowe Women’s Project and actively champions wider access and gender equality for all. Tweet @smspurrier




Charlotte Pratley

charlie1Charlotte is a Director of Culture Syndicates CIC. Culture Syndicates uses live projects with museums to provide paid training opportunities to sector entrants. Her current role focuses on developing the business, leading on the strategy, marketing, human resources and fundraising. Charlie is an advocate of creating opportunities for yourself: she gained the experience needed for her first role as an Exhibition Assistant at Nottingham Lakeside Arts by running a studio and gallery with graduating colleagues. This is an attitude she aims to inspire in her students and interns as a Visiting Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University and Resilience Syndicate leader. Tweet @Charlie_Pratley




Katie Ann Smith


Katie is an Arts & Heritage Consultant, she brings her skills and expertise on governance, leadership, organisational development and strategy implementation to clients such as the Clore Leadership Programme, Accentuate History of Place and Museum Development East Midlands. Prior to this she worked at the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), heading up their Museums and Education teams and at Collections Trust, promoting the use of standards to improve access to museum collections. A Clore alumni, Katie is Vice-Chair of ‘Attitude is Everything’ the charity which improves deaf and disabled peoples access to live music. Her passion lies in professional development within the museum and heritage sector and creating robust and sustainable organisations.  Tweet @KatieSmith138



Marge Ainsley

Marge Blackpool Sept 2018 36149

Marge is a Cultural Consultant, Professional Facilitator and Trainer based in the Northwest. A Member of the Market Research Society, she was previously voted one of the 50 best freelancers in the UK by national marketing magazine, The Drum. Since launching her own consultancy in 2008, she has worked with numerous museums, libraries and archives across the UK including the Scottish Book Trust, Manchester International Festival, London Transport Museum and Fountains Abbey (National Trust, Ripon). Marge also co-runs the Museum Freelance Network (@museumfreelance).


Sarah Brown

IMG_6142Sarah is the face of sector support organisation Collections Trust and works closely with the museum development network across the nine English regions to deliver around 100 ACE-funded events each year. Sarah originally trained as a conservator and has 11 years of sector experience, specialising in collections management, documentation and training. Previously she has worked in the collections care team at National Museums Scotland, as Project Manager at Powell-Cotton Museum, delivering an ambitious gallery redevelopment project, and managed the team that secured £1.3m HLF support for the new Kent Mining Museum. Tweet @sarahmollybrown