How long have you been at Spektrix?
Anna: Since late November 2016.
Allegra: Since mid-October 2016.
What were you doing before you joined Spektrix?
Anna: I have been lucky enough to work across a variety of arts and cultural organisations in a range of roles, from learning and participation to arts marketing. More recently, I was consulting and leading strategic projects for cultural organisations. I was the Project Director for the first round of ACE funded Cultural Destinations project in Calderdale and secured funding for their second project starting soon which will aim to develop a collaborative business and audience plan for the Halifax Culture Hub - utilising their new Spektrix system!
Allegra: I just completed an MBA at Cambridge Judge Business School, with a focus on Creative, Arts and Media Management. Prior to that I was working at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., as manager of ballet and dance programming.
What’s a typical week like for you?
Anna: I’m not sure if there will be such a thing! It involves a little bit of desk time trying to catch up on emails, writing proposals, speaking to some of our awesome clients over the phone but also a lot of train time. Working between Manchester and London offices and getting as much facetime with clients and prospects means making the most of train journeys.
Allegra: A day or two on the road, visiting clients or giving system demos. Other than that the usual fun and busy office life, full of phone calls and meetings, and if I'm lucky a little quiet time for contracts, research, and catching up on the never-ending to-do lists!
What’s your favourite part of your job?
Anna: Meeting the different cultural organisations, hearing what they are trying to achieve and helping where I can.
Allegra: Working with such a huge variety of organisations and learning about their challenges and aspirations is the best introduction to working in the arts in the UK I could have imagined. And, of course, being surrounded by the talented and energetic bunch of arts lovers that make up the Spektrix staff.
What advice would you give your younger self, beginning a career in the arts?
Anna: Don’t get pigeon-holed. Learn about as many different types of organisation and the different types of work involved. The traditional marketing assistant - marketing officer - marketing manager - comms director trajectory is over and a portfolio career is more interesting and more valuable to employers.
Allegra: Not to worry about where, exactly, I'd end up. There are so many ways to pursue a career in the arts, and I really believe the best way to find out which one is best for you is just to start working and see where it takes you.
What challenges do you see for the arts?
Anna: Funding, Leadership, Politics, Everything. Thankfully, the people working in the arts are smart, committed, thoughtful and passionate about the arts. We can weather the storm and the challenges we face will create an even more exciting cultural landscape for the future.
Allegra: I think one of the biggest hurdles for the arts is keeping an open mind about where to look for ideas and solutions to our funding, leadership and management challenges. Personally, I think we need to become more willing to look beyond the industry itself for inspiration.
What’s your favourite train lunch?
Anna: That depends on the season. In the winter, soup and a sandwich; in the summer, sushi (although it is challenging to eat!).
Allegra: M&S two for £3 salads! And chocolate. Lots of chocolate.