The closer we creep to the end of 2020, the busier we get. We’re hoping to launch a whole host of new projects to spice up 2021 in effort to make this next decade a productive one. Yet, our social media teams are not islands. We recognised that we needed support too. We needed organised individuals to help us coordinate our projects and guide them towards their release. These teammates are here to provide insight and assistance in creating the safe and healthy space that we want Be Extra to provide for our community.
With talents and experience of their own, we are thrilled to have new team players on board and we want you to be as excited about having them as part of our team as we are. We want you to know all of our teammates so that we can be as open as possible to provide the best network of support that we can for each other. So, this week, we want to introduce to you our Arts Administration Team, our Outreach and Development Team and our Wellbeing Officer.
Outreach and Development:
Born in South London to Caribbean parents, David was raised a Christian and has synaesthesia (the colour grapheme). He loves sports, reading and superhero movies but don’t ask him to eat a yellow skittle – he’s not a fan of those! After facing his own battles with wellbeing and previously studying Psychology and Criminology at University, David has become a strong advocate for mental health, so his assistance with the Be Extra team is massively appreciated.
History-graduate and twin Mary is from Cambridge and is one of Be Extra’s longest running volunteers. Prior to lockdown, Mary began learning salsa dancing and hopes to dance her way out of lockdown and back into classes. When Mary’s not reading fantasy novels or sipping on different cups of tea, she’s exercising her vocals for her new folk-music A Cappella group. Her practice is clearly working because she’s hitting all the high notes with the Be Extra team!
Hollie has a BA in History of Art from the University of Manchester and interns at Whitworth Art gallery. Her background in working with multiple communities in curating community-led projects means that she is fully equipped to cater to the needs of many in our arts community. Her collaborative nature and ability to reach out to different networks of people are highly valued and appreciated as part of our team.
Avid cook and Tangled fan, Rachel is from Kent and has worked in West End Theatre for nearly five years as an usher and supervisor. She also has experience in working as a performing arts teacher to kids but don’t let her Disney aura fool you, however. Rachel loves the dark side of telly too with shows like American Horror Story and Dead To Me as some of her favourites. Rachel dreams of living in New Zealand and using its dramatic landscape for beautiful walks.
Minjing is our in-house powerhouse – a freelance copywriter, writing tutor and start-up entrepreneur based in London. Having studied MA Creative Producing and BA Arts Management, she has a wealth of experience in project coordination, events management and theatre production. When she’s not busy with the performing arts, Minjing loves taking the time to host dinner parties and cook for friends. If you need her at all, just follow the sound of her shower-singing.
After completing a BA in Musicology, Pianpian worked as a teacher and Musical Project Officer in Shanghai last year before moving to the UK. Pianpian is in constant pursuit of passion: her love for the performing arts has also seen her study Art Museum and Gallery Studies at the University of Leicester; and she enjoys exploring the wider world, its cultures and art forms. Her love for life is somewhat contradicted by her obsession with zombie movies but if the apocalypse ever came to fruition, I’m sure Pianpian’s skill at the cello would soothe their sub-human anger.
Full-time-Samoyed-puppy-mum, Chloe, is Essex born but Cardiff based. Currently undergoing a Masters in Music Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Chloe has also studied Neuroscience with Psychology at an Undergraduate level, so working with the team at Be Extra proves to be a solid intersection for her previous experience.
Interested in fine art, Patrick volunteers at the Box Museum in Plymouth and has studied French Literature in Oxford. His love for the arts began in primary school where he sang and played the cello but his love for pasta began in the kitchen. Patrick has found that the support network that the arts community provides has strengthened him in times of struggle and hopes to return the favour to others. He’s also a keen quidditch player and Christmas fanatic and hopes to bring some of his magic to the team at Be Extra!
Tennis-club-champ, Alexandra has recently moved to the UK from New Zealand but was born and bred in Tasmania, Australia. A person of order and routine, Alexandra finds that organising her time and routine at home helps to keep her memory in check. It’s her concise planning and time management that we love! Her fervent hate for fake fruit flavourings rules her palette and broken promises from her parents regarding chocolate to break her nail-biting habit still haunts her to this day… But her nails have never looked better.
Jeanette is a gamer with a preference for MMOs like Warcraft; her art often tends to revolve around this part of her world. A cosplay fanatic, Jeanette spends a lot of her time fawning over characters and illustrations on Twitter. However, if you are looking for her, and she’s not gaming or creating art, she’s best found wandering around big, European cities indulging herself with anything strawberry-flavoured.
Jade is a freelance illustrator from the West Midlands, who has had an exhibition at Somerset House, and has a fascination with Japanese culture and style. They came to London to study their degree in Fashion Illustration. Currently working in the Academic Registry at London College of Fashion, Jade balances their time between their work, studies and internships. They work with Lo-Fi Hip Hop on in the background and sip on cups of tea, whenever they get a break from their dedicated work ethic that is!
South Wales textile designer and dog-lover, Emma, is currently studying for her PhD in Design Philosophy. She currently works at a few universities – Cardiff School of Art and Design and University of the Arts London – to deliver design lectures and printmaking workshops. Between plates of sushi, Emma hand-makes all of her cards and practices her downward dog to keep herself grounded. Her desire to keep arts accessible for all is one of the reasons why we’re thrilled to have her in the team. In her words “art [has] an unmeasured power to enact change in the world], and we couldn’t agree more.
A University of Liverpool Masters graduate, Bethany is our resident Wellbeing Officer. After getting her Masters in Psychological Science, Bethany has developed her working experience with 1:1 low intensive therapies on a variety of complex mental health needs. Using her wealth of experience and supportive nature, Bethany is a fantastic member of the team. Fun fact: Bethany runs Wellbeing Sessions on Wednesday evenings to talk through different therapies or wellbeing experiences!
Every single one of our teammates is talented, and they work hard to do the best that they can in breaking the stigma surrounding mental wellbeing. We can only hope that by coming together and sharing our art and our experiences we can achieve a more well-rounded understanding of each of our communities within the arts. So remember, if you need us, you know where to find us.