The East Leeds Project’s non-executive Directors.
Jessica is an independent curator based in Manchester. Her current research and curatorial practice seek to explore how we traverse, and work within, the conditions of contemporary society – using notions of exchange, collectivity and connectivity as filters through which to better understand a future built on care, sustainability and solidarity. Bennett’s practice is rooted firmly within the artist-led; finding solace in spaces that allow for urgent critical questions and ideas to emerge. She is fascinated with alternative curatorial methods, working to understand and examine the exhibition space as an engaging and participatory space for artistic research.
Since obtaining an MA in Creative and Cultural Industries Management (2017), Bennett has worked to develop an understanding of the structures and systems needed to develop modes of sustainability, care and solidarity in the arts. This has seen her work with key organisations in the UK, such as the Liverpool Biennial, The NewBridge Project, System Gallery, and more recently, Manchester based project PINK, to devise and deliver projects that expand contemporary issues and dialogues. Bennett also participated in the 4th iteration of The Curatorial Thing: The Curator is Weather, a curatorial research programme by SixtyEight Art Institute in Copenhagen; as well as East Call Curatorial Residency programme 2022 by EastTopics in Budapest.
Jessica has also worked in arts administration for the last five years, working with key organisations across the sector such as the Liverpool Biennial, Tyneside Cinema, Open Clasp Theatre Company, Northumbria University and Manchester International Festival. In March 2023 she was appointed as Director of Paradise Works in Salford.
Leo is an East Leeds resident with a desire to support his local community and art initiatives. He is also a small business owner, offering a bespoke picture framing service, as well as digital prints. His business grew out of a hobby and general love of art. He has collaborated with local artists on exhibitions and craft stalls. Leo prides himself on being a warm and friendly Yorkshireman and a Leeds United fan through and through.
Hannah is a Producer from Manchester, currently working at LEEDS2023 on their year of culture. Before then, Hannah worked at Manchester International Festival for seven years in various roles, most recently as an Associate Producer where she worked on new, large-scale commissions across a variety of different art forms. She’s worked on everything from comedy and visual arts to music and dance, with a particular focus on work that is socially engaged and has a positive impact on working class people and communities.
Hazel is a local resident of East Leeds who loves all things arts and culture. She is currently studying MA Audience, Engagement and Participation at the University of Leeds and has a specific interest in the role of community engagement in cultural institutions.
Previously, she worked as a gallery assistant at the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery and spent time volunteering within a range of local cultural organisations. During her undergraduate degree, she worked to improve access to higher education by mentoring local young people.
Laura is a Leeds based artist working and living through queer crip sick and neurodivergent strategies of survival. Using video, sound, writing and performance, their practice explores care, labour, sickness, dirt and performativity in the everyday: Their work is driven by the rhythms, movement, and rituals within daily activity. Laura often collaborates with others including their partner and carer, Hang Linton, looking at accessibility from various perspectives and striving to work in interdependent formats which reflect the care needs of everyone involved.
Active in local irl community, as well as url support groups, Laura mods an online chat room called Softer Space and previously was an initiating member of Sickness Affinity Group.
Laura is the parent of a toddler and has extensive experience organising and facilitating workshops and open making sessions with children of different ages, as well as with adults.
Laura is currently doing an Arts Council England funded DYCP research project recording the history of a little-known group of cave dwellers from their hometown, celebrating rural counterculture and folklore.
Kiu Yu Mok
Kiu is an artist, educator and mother of two girls. After being an art teacher in Hong Kong for 10 years, Kiu moved to Leeds and set up her home art studio in 2021. Kiu feels passionate about art; she loves to work in different media like drawing, painting, collage, ceramics and digital art. She also enjoys making art with people: she teaches and encourages people to make art, but many times she found that she is the one who is inspired to see the many possibilities in art.
Sarah currently works at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation as Head of Participation and Advocacy. She previously worked in organisations in Scotland, Geneva, Brussels and London creating bridges between the world of policy and the communities affected by them. Collaboration is at the heart of all that Sarah does: building relationships and networks to create coalitions of interest to achieve positive change centring communities affected by injustice alongside academics, representatives of local and national government, businesses and the third sector.