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Creative Businesses 

Are you feeling a bit stretched, unsupported or overwhelmed?

 

Do you need help gaining clarity so that you can make more money sustainably?

Would you love some help crafting and delivering a plan that will allow you to reinvest in your business and make a positive impact in your community? 

If the answer is yes to any of these then I can help you. I’ve spent over 15 years working professionally in the cultural sector including music, circus, theatre and visual arts with the majority of that time working in the UK jazz scene in my role as Founder & CEO of the Abram Wilson charity. 

 

I now help ambitious purpose-driven creative people and businesses who feel stretched, overwhelmed and unsupported craft and deliver a concrete two-year plan through personalised coaching, mentoring and strategic sessions.

 

Read on to find out more. Or click on the links below to get in touch.

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Money & Strategy

When it comes to running an organisation or team the two areas to prioritise but can often get neglected are managing your money and having a long-term plan. Without these two things you can't really build anything. 

 

When I decided to start a music education charity in my late husband’s name back in 2012, I had no clue what I was getting myself into and I had to learn a lot quickly. Things like budgeting, bookkeeping and managing cashflow for an organisation that had no consistent cash flow or taking my endless capacity to imagine a big bold future and transforming it into a plan and tangible actions.

 

Since then the Abram Wilson charity has grown its income consistently year on year without any multi-year government grants and reached thousands of children, young people and emerging artists. 

Do you need help with thinking about the long term direction of your organisation whilst also looking after the finances? Are you feeling a bit anxious about cashflow? Could you use another person to turn your ideas into reality? I can help! Just get in touch by clicking on the links below.

 

 

Programme Design

One of my favourite things to do is design and pilot new programmes as it allows me to be creative while serving others. As Founder & CEO of the Abram Wilson charity I designed and piloted a primary school programme which ran for five years and expanded across London and Birmingham. I then went on to co-design and pilot a secondary school programme involving up and coming UK jazz acts which is about to be expanded across the North West in partnership with the Co-op Academies Trust. Last but not least I co-designed and piloted a career development programme for up and coming musicians which ended up being delivered nationally to 12 musicians over an 18 month period.  

As the Abram Wilson charity grew so did my realisation that designing and piloting programmes is a team effort. The more the merrier, especially if you want to be as inclusive and accessible as possible.

 

Are you looking to expand your programmes or add in some new elements? If this is something where you could use an external eye click on one of the links below to get in touch. 

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Pivoting

What happens when external factors beyond your control threaten to derail everything you've been working towards? How do you respond?

 

I learnt how to react quickly in a crisis and use perceived 'failures' as an opportunity to pivot. As a result I'm able to find the positives in pretty much everything, including a global pandemic. Lockdown gave me and my team the opportunity to explore creating free digital educational content for young people and emerging professional musicians. This then led me to co-designing and piloting a four-week online course on how to build a successful career in music with Fred Bolza (Former VP Strategy of Sony Music, founder of label New Soil and manager to Gilles Peterson) and Adam Saunders (Composer, Musical Director and staff faculty at Trinity Laban).  

If finding the opportunities in things going wrong is an area you'd like to work on then let me know. I'd love to help. Links below. 

Income Generation & Relationship Building

How are you with fundraising/income generation? Do you find it easy to meet new people and grow your network? How do you look after the people who decide to invest/fund your organisation? 

I love people which means I became really good at leveraging my network, building relationships and inspiring folks to support the Abram Wilson charity. Some offered pro bono support, others got involved through live music events, some became regular donors or major donors through 1:1 meetings or online fundraising campaigns, while others introduced me to new funding bodies.

If you'd like to get better at generating income and maintaining current funders and donors whilst attracting new supporters to your cause then this is something I can help you with. Click on the links below to find out more. 

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Leadership &
Team Building

One of the loneliest places to be is at the top. The second loneliest place is working in a team without consistent support because everyone is really stretched, including your direct reports. 

In my first year of running the Abram Wilson charity I struggled. It was just me and I no longer had Abram to lean on, bounce ideas off or delegate difficult conversations to. A friend suggested hiring a coach and feeling a bit desperate I contacted her recommendation.

 

I ended up having a monthly session for the entirety of that year. I don't know what I would have done without her. She listened, gave me the space to figure out what direction I needed to take the charity, helped me prepare for difficult conversations and so much more. She was my own personal cheerleader and she got me through one of the hardest years of my life.

 

Since then I've always had a coach. I'm also a Certified Coach with Relational Dynamics 1st and Culture at Work (ILM Level 7 Equivalent) and a member of the Association of Coaching. I've been coaching professionally since 2019 and can offer you or your team members the space and time to learn and develop confidence, resilience and clarity about the direction of travel, why its important and what support is required in order to feel successful. 

If this sounds like something you'd like to learn more about then please get in touch by clicking on the links below. 

I have a successful track record of:

  • Articulating and designing a longterm vision and co-creating an accompanying strategic plan

  • Budgeting and cashflow analysis as part of strategic planning

  • Designing and leading on the delivery and management of accessible projects and programmes for minoritised communities which have:

    • Built equitable pathways for children and young people to access music

    • Developed the careers of emerging and mid-careers musicians and muti-disciplinary artists

    • Included working with schools and launching an online course for emerging professional musicians

  • Income generation in the form of:

    • Raising funds from trusts and individuals including major donors, live events, memberships and online fundraising campaigns

    • Building and maintaining relationships with new donors, partners and artists

  • Growing teams and organisations sustainably and inclusively 

 

If any of the above sounds like the kind of thing you need some help with then I’d love to hear from you.

 

Just click on the links to your left to email me or set up a free quick 15-minute intro call. 

Career Highlights

Below is a list of highlights from the last 15 years. For a more detailed view please click HERE for my LinkedIn profile or HERE for my CV. 

Highlights

2012 – 2023

Abram Wilson Charity

Founder & CEO

  • This was an organisation I started from scratch after Abram died. Over a decade later I'd raised £1M to support our work, and partnered with an array of individuals and organisations – ranging from educational institutions to music studios, venues and funding bodies including Jools Holland, Nitin Sawhney OBE, Spitfire Audio, We Out Here, Church of Sound, and the Co-op Academies Trust

  • The results speak for themselves with emerging musicians going on to sign with Sony Music, Brownswood, Scenic Route, Decca, New Soil, jazz re:freshed, ETLWRecords, the Orchard and AWAL.They’ve also been nominated and received a number of prestigious industry awards including the Mercury Prize, the Jazz FM Awards, Worldwide Awards, Ivor Novello Awards, Guardian Album of the Year, Steve Reid Innovation Awards, and Youth Music Charity Awards.

  • I spearheaded the design and delivery of our music education and career development programmes for those who often found navigating their way around the music industry almost impossible – the Global Majority, LGBTQIA+ and disadvantaged communities – working with hundreds of performing artists and young people through workshops and 1:1 support, and over 10,000 pupils through our primary school programme.

 

  • I’m particularly proud of programmes like Future Sound, which connected minoritised 11 to 18 year olds with inspiring, emerging UK jazz acts such as Kokoroko, SEED Ensemble, Jas Kayser and Matters Unknown, and our Career Development Programme which provided regular career strategy, coaching and mentoring to up-and-coming artists over an 18-month period such as Sheila Maurice-Grey, Cassie Kinoshi, Tyrone Isaac-Stuart, Spencer Martin (Church of Sound), Lou Paley (Pace Records and Women in Jazz), Giacomo Smith, Sans Soucis, Plumm, Naima Adams and so many more.

2011 – 2012

Abram Wilson

Artist Manager & Booking Agent

  • Highlights for this period included booking a 20 date UK tour with two separate bands and projects; securing Abram positions as Associate Artist at B:Music (formerly Birmingham Town & Symphony Hall) and Turner Sims Professor at Southampton University; and being awarded Arts Council England funding to develop a new jazz-theatre production.

2011 – 2014

National Centre for Circus Arts

Head of Fundraising

  • One of my biggest achievements while working as Head of Development at the National Centre for Circus Arts was securing a multi-six figure donation over three years from a new major donor. A portion of this was diverted towards the organisation’s first major gala for their 25th anniversary. This leveraged an additional £100,000.

2009 – 2011  

Tomorrow’s Warriors

Learning & Development Manager

  • This is where I met my late husband Abram who was Assistant Artistic Director at the time and signed to their sister company Dune Music. My proudest achievement was working with the directors to establish a formal free weekend programme at the Southbank Centre consisting of jazz workshops, ensembles and jam sessions for aspiring musicians, which still exists today. Some of the early alumni of this programme have gone on to become award-winning internationally recognised artists including Nubya Garcia, Ezra Collective, Kokoroko, Moses Boyd and Theon Cross.

I’ve loved working with you. I don’t think New Soil would exist if it weren’t for you and for Abram’s spirit moving through. I think most of the things I’ve done in the last seven years wouldn’t have been possible if we hadn’t met each other and I can’t wait to see where…your immense energy, potential and talents, love and care take you.

Fred Bolza,

Abram Wilson Trustee, Founder of New Soil and manager to Gilles Peterson

 
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