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Associate Directors

Meet our team

We have a small core team based at the University of Leeds. We also work closely with our team of Associate Directors who provide specialist expertise and academic leadership.

Franco Bianchini

Franco Bianchini

Franco is Visiting Professor at the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts, Helsinki, and a member of the Council of Founders of the Fitzcarraldo Foundation, Turin. His research interests range from the role of culture in urban regeneration (with a particular focus on port cities and on European Cities/Capitals of Culture), to cultural diversity and interculturalism as resources for innovation in urban policy, and the development of urban cultural strategies in the context of the current political, economic, health and environmental crises.
Photo: University of Hull

Lisa Baxter

Lisa Baxter

The Experience Business

Lisa is a researcher, trainer, speaker, design thinker and creative facilitator who relishes bringing fresh ideas and innovative practice into the arts, cultural and heritage sector. Since establishing The Experience Business in 2012, she has pioneered new approaches to enhance cultural value, from audience experience design to civic engagement programmes. Her unique approach to value-creation has seen her deliver workshops, masterclasses, regional programmes and keynotes internationally, including Australia, New Zealand, Germany, South Africa, Scandinavia and the UK. At the heart of her work is a strong belief in the generative qualities of collaboration and the soft power of empathic practice.

Beatriz Garcia

Beatriz Garcia

University of Liverpool

Beatriz is Senior Research Fellow in Communication and Media at the University of Liverpool. She is a member of the European Capital of Culture Selection Committee, expert member at the Culture & Olympic Heritage Commission and director of the Cities of Culture Research Observatory. Beatriz has been at the forefront of research on culture-led city regeneration interventions since 1999 and was a founding member of the Institute of Cultural Capital (2010-2019). She has conducted fieldwork on the cultural impact of every edition of the Olympic Games since Sydney 2000.

Sue Hayton

Sue Hayton

University of Leeds

Sue joined the University of Leeds following a successful career in the creative and cultural sector where her work spanned publishing and design as well as visual, performing arts and heritage. She founded Hayton Associates in 1997 leading in the field of the evaluation of community based creative activities working with The National Trust, Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. While at Leeds, she has shaped and delivered an ambitious cultural programme successfully building the university’s relationships with creative sector partners and devised innovative approaches that facilitate cross domain working.

Leila Jancovich

Leila Jancovich

University of Leeds

Leila has significant experience working in the cultural sector as a producer, researcher, consultant and policy maker. Since joining academia her research has focused on cultural policy, participation, power and decision making, related to which she has sat on a number of national policy advisory boards and runs an international network and research centre.

Stephanie Pitts

Stephanie Pitts

University of Sheffield

Stephanie is Professor of Music Education at the University of Sheffield, and Director of the Sheffield Performer and Audience Research Centre. She has research interests in arts audiences, music education, and social psychology of music, and has recently completed a project on understanding audiences for the contemporary arts, working with arts organisations across four UK cities.

David Stevenson

David Stevenson

Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

David is Dean of Arts, Social Sciences and Management and Professor of Cultural Policy and Arts Management at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. His research concentrates on questions of cultural participation, specifically focusing on relations of power and the production of value within the UK cultural sector. David is also a member of the National Partnership for Culture, which helps to inform and influence cultural policy decisions in Scotland.

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