Adam is already well known for stirring things up in the arts world in Belfast and beyond. Gemma has been agitating in a quieter way in heritage and museums. Already mates for over 20 years, they discovered a synergy between their hopes and frustrations for cultural spaces in Northern Ireland. They shared a kernel of an idea with their mutual friend Jonny – who brings a thoughtful and creative approach to facilitating change – and a new friend Shauna – who’s marketing and project management powers are an asset to any team. And here we are, four cultural agitators ready to take on this place we love and hate in equal measure.
Shauna Harper is a Marketing Leader who partners with solopreneurs through to large corporates to develop digital and traditional marketing strategies to differentiate and grow their businesses. Shauna has spent the last 20+ years in the IT sector building, managing and leading worldwide marketing teams and programs and has a proven track record of achieving a strong and measurable ROI. Experience has proven to her time and time again that identifying with your customers and talking their language is the key to mastering your market. Aside from her love of marketing, Shauna is a proud mum to her son Jayden and her whippador, Daisy. She’s currently enjoying entering the AirBnB market and if you challenge her to a trivia quiz on the Kardashians she will win. Shauna holds a BA Hons in Business Communications from the University of Teesside and holds accreditation from Hult Ashridge Executive Business School in Marketing Management & Business Development.
Gemma is a freelance heritage practitioner with 20 years experience in the sector. With a background in curatorial work and education in local museums, her work now focuses on community learning and participation. She has worked to build sustainable cross-sectoral partnerships and innovative approaches to public engagement with heritage through projects with local authorities, landscape partnerships, artists, theatre groups, peace-building agencies, community-led organisations and others. Her practice reflects a strong belief in the power of heritage to transform lives and build sustainable communities, creating better places for us all to live, learn and work.
Adam began running events in his teens and has 25 years experience of professional events management. Specialising in Festivals, Street Art, Pop Up and Experiential Programming, Adam has recently been leading on multiple events in museums and other heritage sites such as LateLab at the Ulster museum, Conversations Festival at Mount Stewart and province wide with NIMC on The Late Shift. Throughout his career, including time at the Waterfront Hall and Director of Culture Night Belfast, Adam has thrived on pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in challenging spaces and engaging audiences and artists in innovative event practice.
Jonny McEwen is a artist who has exhibited widely with several important solo shows. Jonny’s work is part of the following public collections: UTV, Dept of Environment NI, Secretary of States Office, Office of Public Works, University of Cork; as well as many private collections. He produced a major public art commission for the Skainos Building on the Newtownards Rd. He graduated with Masters in Fine Art (Distinction) from University of Ulster in 2014. Jonny comes from a background in painting, and now works in a multi-disciplinary way, including working with video and code, producing code driven, digital works with a painterly aesthetic. Jonny was co-founder and Creative Director of Thinkbucket, a group of facilitators that sought to engage creatively in community relations and peace-building. He was a founder member of the Ikon and Vault creative collectives. He is currently based at his studio at the Vault, in Belfast.