Barak adé Soleil (Co-Director) (he + they) has been involved in the contemporary arts field since 1991. Their creative practice draws upon the performativity and labour of the racialised, disabled and queer body; informed by extensive experimentation and rigorous studies in the traditions of the African Diaspora, contemporary techniques in dance and theatre, and postmodernism. Throughout their creative career, Barak has engaged with diverse communities, artists, creatives, presenters and organisations at the local, national and international scale. Travelling for work offered the opportunity to witness powerful artmaking throughout North and South America, Europe, and West Africa, ultimately allowing them to cultivate a global network. Fluidly moving between creating, interpreting and collaborations in theatre, dance and Live Art, Barak has received various acknowledgements including: 2020 & 2017 Art Matters Foundation Award; 2019 Ragdale Foundation Residency Fellowship; 2017 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency Fellowship; and 2016 3Arts Award. Presentations of their performance and conceptual work have occurred at: Hudson Gallery/Refiguring The Future exhibition (2019, NYC); 7a11d International Festival of Performance Art (2018, Toronto); and Gallery 400/Chicago Disability Activism, Art, and Design exhibition (2018, Chicago). Curation of multidisciplinary and performing arts has been produced by: Brooklyn Arts Exchange (NYC), Links Hall (Chicago), Tangled Art Gallery (Toronto), and Walker Art Center (Minneapolis). Interwoven throughout administrative and creative work, they have participated in and facilitated workshops, panels and creative processes internationally in Germany and Canada, consulted with organisations and independent artists, been invited to offer keynotes, and served on juries across the US. Barak will be relocating to London from Chicago, where they currently serve as Director of Programs for contemporary arts organisation Threewalls.
Chinasa Vivian Ezugha (Co-Director) (she/her) is an award-winning Nigerian-born, British artist living and working in Hampshire. Her interdisciplinary practice spans Live Art, film and drawing. Interested in history and how it is performed in the mundanity of everyday living, performance for her is an embodiment of past, present and future experiences. Born in Nigeria, Enugu state in 1991, Ezugha makes work that connects her to her cultural heritage and to questions about her identity as a Black woman living in England. Having graduated from Aberystwyth University, School of Art (2014) and with an MA in Performance Making from Goldsmiths (2020), Ezugha’s work has been presented in venues across Europe, America and the UK, including SPILL Festival (Ipswich, 2018), Performance Space (Folkestone, 2018) In Between Time Festival (Bristol, 2017), ECOS (Bilbao, Spain, 2017), Songs for President (New York 2015) and Rapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival (Chicago, 2015). She was a Leverhulme Arts Scholar at Wysing Arts Centre (2014), winner of the New Art Exchange Open Main Prize (2019), Awesome Foundation disability grant winner (2019), and a recipient of the Santander Universities Post Covid-19 Performance Making Enterprise Award (2020) supported by Santander Universities and ICCE, Goldsmiths, University of London. Chinasa is the founder of Live Art in Wymondham, a one-day site-specific series of events that brought emerging artists working in Live Art to rural Norfolk. Ezugha has served on the Board of Trustees for The Garage Theatre, Norwich, for five years and for Pentabus Rural Theatre from 2017 to 2018. Chinasa is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Exeter and the 2021 Research Associate at the Centre for Contemporary Art Derry~Londonderry.
Joseph Morgan Schofield (Artist Development) joined LADA in June 2018, and looked after Resources & Coordination before taking on Artist Development in 2021. Joseph is a practising artist whose work considers desire and futurity as they relate to queerness and ecology. Joseph is the co-director of VSSL studio (London) and the assistant director of ]performance s p a c e[ (Folkestone). They lead FUTURERITUAL, a performance and research project considering the use place and function of ritual in contemporary queer and performance cultures.
Natalia Damigou-Papoti (Press & Communications) joined LADA in December 2019. Natalia is the co-founder and press officer of UNCENSORED Festival which explored pornography at the intersection of art and activism, and reflected on the existing and forthcoming legislation regarding sexually explicit content in the UK. Natalia has been working as a press professional for Live Art events and is also a member of CUNTemporary/Arts Feminism Queer. Her background is in journalism and cultural criticism, having collaborated with a variety of Greek media since 2012. As an independent writer, she writes mainly about pop culture, sexuality, gender issues, desire and feminist politics. She has a BA in Journalism from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and an MA in Gender Studies from Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences.
Rosaleigh Harvey-Otway (Digital Projects & Resources) joined LADA in December 2019. She is a visual artist working across video, photography, performance, drawing and critical theory. Her research is grounded in psychogeography, ecology and materialist feminism, and her practice broadly examines reciprocal dialogues between the body and space. She is part of numerous artist collaborations, and her practice is also inclusive of curatorial projects and running creative workshops. She has exhibited internationally and undertaken residencies with organisations such as Artscape Toronto and Tate Modern. She has worked as a studio manager, producer and assistant within photography, and has also developed an interest in programming, and works as a freelance developer and teacher of coding to young people.
Megan Vaughan (Finance & Administration Manager) (she/her) re-joined LADA in January 2020, having previously been Programmes Manager from 2016-2018. She has worked in arts administration since 2006, where she began her career at Manchester Opera House. Since then, she has worked in a variety of project and general management roles with Metro-Boulot-Dodo, Fierce Festival, Company of Angels and Chris Goode & Company, as well as LADA.
Lois Keidan co-founded the Live Art Development Agency and was Director until 2021. She was Director of Live Arts at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London from 1992 to 1997 where she devised a year-round programme of new performance and initiated numerous new ventures for established and emerging artists. Prior to the ICA, she was responsible for national policy and provision for Performance Art and interdisciplinary practices at the Arts Council of Great Britain, and before that she worked at Midland Group, Nottingham and Theatre Workshop, Edinburgh. She was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Dartington College of Arts in 1999, an Honorary Fellowship by Queen Mary, University of London in 2009, and an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Gothenburg in 2015.
Catherine Ugwu, MBE co-founded the Live Art Development Agency. Catherine was Deputy Director of Live Arts at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, 1991-1997, holding programming, curatorial and commissioning responsibilities. She compiled and edited Let’s Get It On – the politics of black performance and has contributed chapters to publications including, Mirage: Enigmas of Race, Difference and Desire, Global Encounters In The World of Arts, Collisions of Tradition and Modernity, and The Project Papers, a Dublin Theatre Festival Publication. She has contributed to numerous publications nationally and internationally. She was formerly Chair of Talawa Theatre Company and The Showroom Gallery Board’s. Catherine Ugwu left LADA in 2000 to work as an independent producer on major international events. She was Producer of Ceremonies at the Commonwealth Games (2002), the Asian Games (2006), and the London Olympic and Para Olympic Games (2012).
Daniel Brine was Associate Director of LADA from 2001 to 2008. After training as an architect he worked with the Visual Arts/Craft Unit of the Australia Council, the Australian Government’s arts advisory and funding body. On the completion of his Masters of Arts Administration he worked as a curator including projects with Tamworth City Gallery and the Centre for Contemporary Craft. Between 1996 and 2000 he was a Combined Arts Officer and then Visual Arts Officer; Live Art at the Arts Council of England. As a freelance arts manager Daniel has worked with Andrew Caleya Chetty as Co-Director of the NOW Festival, DA2 (Digital Arts Development Agency) and London Arts. Since leaving LADA, Daniel Brine has been Artistic Director of Performance Space (Sydney, Australia), and is now Director of Cambridge Junction.
Andrew Mitchelson joined LADA as Company and Resource Manager in March 2006 and his post was redesignated as Projects Manager in April 2008, responsible for developing areas of LADA’s projects and initiatives, professional development programmes and overseeing Unbound. Andrew is also a practising artist making solo work, and collaborative works as Mitch & Parry, and he also has an MA in Performance from Queen Mary, University of London. Andrew also has a BA in Arts Management and has previously worked with Head for Business, the Royal National Theatre and Duckie. Andrew left LADA in April 2012, and now works as Mitchmaker, an independent arts producer and curator.
Season Butler was Administrator at LADA from 2010 to 2011. Season completed an MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University in 2007 and spent the following year as a freelance writer and performance artist. She has also held positions in arts and education administration at Shunt and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.
Maria Agiomyrgiannaki was Administrator at LADA from 2008 to 2009. Maria graduated from Queen Mary University of London with a BA Degree in German and Hispanic Studies (European Studies). Over the years she became increasingly interested in Live Art and Performance and involved in the support infrastructures and the curatorial framework around the sector as well as its relationship with Creative and Cultural Industries. Since 2005, she has worked directly with/provided direct support to chief executives, directors, project co-ordinators, producers, curators and artists in organisations ranging from the Rich Mix Cultural Foundation, New Work Network, the Athens Biennial, Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) and Chisenhale Dance Space. Maria continues working within and contributing to the Live Art and performance sector.
Aaron Wright joined LADA as Programme Coordinator in November 2010, and became Programmes Manager in March 2012. Aaron has previously worked with a number of organisations including Fierce Festival, Capsule, the BBC and Maverick Television. Aaron also works with the artist The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein most recently producing her show Splat! which opened at the Barbican as part of SPILL Festival 2013. Aaron is also a trustee of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Fierce Festival. He has an MA in Film and a BA in English and Drama from the University of Birmingham. Aaron left LADA in April 2016 to become Artistic Director at Fierce Festival.
Katy Baird joined LADA as Coordinator in 2012, and left in 2017. Katy graduated from Glasgow University with a degree in Theatre and Sociology and is a co-founder of the art activist collective Monkey United Freedom Force. In 2010, she graduated from Goldsmiths University of London with a Masters degree in Performance Making and has performed her solo work at a variety of Live Art festivals and venues throughout the UK and internationally. Katy curates the Live Art and performance festival Steakhouse Live and is Artistic Director of Home Live Art in partnership with Duckie.
Amy Poole joined LADA as Marketing Coordinator in April 2016 and left in 2019. Amy has a BA in a Performing Arts from the University of Chichester. While there Amy began to make installations and interventions for meditation and personal reflection, which she has carried on creating for BEYOND Church in Brighton. Amy has previously worked in Live Art events and communications for a number of arts organisations and festivals including Siobhan Davies Dance, the City of London Festival, Greenbelt Festival and Artsadmin.
Alex Eisenberg (Digital Programmes) joined LADA in May 2012, and lead on digital projects and initiatives; Alex’s job title was changed to Digital Programmes Manager in 2017. Alex works as a curator and producer on projects with artists, young people and independent organisations with a focus on the intersection between performance, video and digital technology. He also works as an artist making performance, video and digital work in a series of collaborations. He has a BA in History and Politics from the University of Nottingham and an MA in Contemporary Performance from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
CJ Mitchell (Co-Director) joined LADA as Deputy Director in May 2009, became Co-Director in March 2012, then part-time Finance & Development Director in March 2019. Previously, CJ was Executive Director of the Links Hall performance space in Chicago; Managing Director of Performing Arts Chicago; Administrative Director of the Master of Arts in Arts Administration programme at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago; an Associate/fundraising member and Company Manager of Goat Island Performance Group; and General Manager of the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. CJ is a member of the Board of Directors of Curious and Ideas Test. He is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, and holds a Masters in Cultural Studies and a Bachelor of Accountancy, both from the University of Glasgow. CJ left LADA in January 2020 to work as a freelance producer.
Finn Love (Programmes) joined LADA as Coordinator in January 2017 and began their Programmes role in June 2018. Finn graduated from Queen Mary University of London in 2015 with a BA in Drama, and in 2016 with an MA in Theatre and Performance. Finn works as a producer, model, promoter and international gogo-dancer, where they attempt to question and critique cultural marginalisation and identity politics.
Ben William Harris (Space & Resources) joined LADA in March 2019, initially to look after Operations & Events. As an independent curator, Ben has programmed events and exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), Chalton Gallery and Painel Gallery, Porto, among others. Ben was previously the Events and Programme Assistant at Gasworks alongside his role as a Public Advisor at the ICA. Graduating with First Class Honours in Culture, Criticism and Curation from Central Saint Martins; Ben has since worked for Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Block Universe, Kingsgate Workshops and Slate Projects. Ben continues to research performance art, socially engaged eco-practice and is strongly concerned with climate justice.