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Wider team

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.

Alex de Little

Alex de Little

Alex De Little is a sonic artist and researcher with bases in Leeds and London, UK. His practice encompasses installation, composition, performance and workshops. It is concerned with the interrogation of listening as a practice of world-making -a way of thinking into and through environments, notions of self, and social relations.

Alex is currently funded by the Horizons Institute and attached to the Centre to undertake a longitudinal evaluation of the My Leeds 2023 Neighbourhood Hosts, a community-based project which aims to work with residents across Leeds to explore their stories and culture. Working closely with the LEEDS 2023 team, Alex will “hang out” with neighbourhood hosts and other LEEDS 2023 project participants. Using this research approach, he will explore the different co-creation processes employed to help inform the programme’s legacy planning.

Ava Podgorski

Ava Podgorski

Ava Podgorski is a PGR student supervised by the Centre for Cultural Value within the School of Performance & Cultural Industries at the University of Leeds. Her PhD explores the issues of evaluation, learning and legacy in relation to Cities of Culture via a case study of LEEDS 2023, the city’s dedicated year of culture.

Ava was recently involved as a Research intern for a project within the Centre for Cultural Value, funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, working with Emma McDowell and John Wright to develop content for an online evaluation learning space. She currently works as a Research Assistant for the Speak Up! project with the National Theatre. Ava’s PhD research is funded by a scholarship from the University’s Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures.

Ava is proud to be a trustee for Mahogany Opera. From September 2020 – July 2022, Ava was the Project Co-ordinator for the Royal Northern College of Music’s StART Entrepreneurship Project, in partnership Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and University of the Arts, London. She holds a MusM Music (distinction) and MusB Music (1st class) from the University of Manchester.

Vanessa Arias Bujia

Vanessa Arias Bujia


Vanessa is an AHRC funded Doctoral Researcher with Tate, currently exploring the evolution of social media and cultural democracy in arts organisations. This research is conducted as part of a collaborative doctoral partnership with the University of Leeds and the UKRI CDP scheme. Vanessa’s research interests are centred on the inclusion and acknowledgement of socio-digital dimensions within cultural policy, and an advocation for valuing the active role of online audiences, and the facilitation of democratic access to art within this sphere.

As a photographer and visual artist/designer, Vanessa has curated and designed accessible, virtual photographic exhibitions with the Rijkmuseum, Tony Harrison and West Yorkshire Playhouse physical and digital archives. She has also developed projects and podcasts in digital visual culture and heritage.

Twitter: @SculptureViolet

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