Follow me on Twitter at: twitter.com/janefinnis
I am the Chief Executive of Culture24, independent charity which supports the cultural sector to reach and connect with audiences. We are best known for publishing great websites (Culture24, Show Me, VanGoYourself) and about culture; producing the successful Museums at Night festival of after-hours openings, and leading Let’s Get Real, the collaborative action research project involving cultural organisations across the UK and Europe. You can read about what we do WeAreCulture24.
I am a regular speaker at conferences and workshops around the UK (Clore Leadership, Google, British Council, Arts Marketing Association, Arts Council England, Museum Computer Group etc) and have travelled and spoken internationally across the world – Picnic (Amsterdam), New Zealand’s National Digital Forum, Taiwan’s National Digital Archives Programme, Digital Strategies for Heritage (DISH), UNESCO cultural forum and numerous Europeana conferences. I am on the international programme committees of Museums and the Web (USA) and founder member of Culturemondo and chair the international steering committee.
I live and work in Brighton, UK.
I’ve worked in the Arts professionally since 1989, starting in artist film and video production working mainly as a Director and editor or dance/arts documentaries, performance documentation and experimental video production. See numerous shorts on the DVD that accompanies the book ‘Anarchic Dance’ published by Routledge in January 2006 about the work of Liz Aggiss and Billy Cowie.
I then moved into arts leadership and artist commissioning and have worked with online technologies and digital media since the early 90’s.
Over the years I have got increasingly involved in shaping, informing and trying to help develop strategies for good digital cultural practice. My personal view is that the way to do this is a mixture of demonstration (prove it first) and advocacy, and I spend most of my time now doing these two things.
I am an experienced consultant, fundraiser and project manager and have also worked as a Producer of artist commissions, museum/gallery installations, websites, videos and interactive multi-media productions. One of my favourite’s is still Susan Collins pioneering online work In Conversation which I was part of comissioning in 1997 at Fabrica (and featured in their book ‘The first 10 years’.
I am a trustee of the visual arts organisation Photoworks, who produce a truly inspiring range of publications, exhibitions and educational projects.
I joined Culture24 in 2001 from Lighthouse in Brighton where I worked as Director for 10 years culimating in an Arts Council innovation award and a visit from the Queen. I’m now back together with Lighthouse again but this time as a tenant in their new lottery funded building that originally I helped to set-up. Life is strange like that.
I’ve spent a great deal of time on a lot of different advisory boards, committees, working groups etc. with people like the Arts Council, DCMS, MLA, BFI, BBC, Film Council and others. This has given me a good insight into the ways in which digital technologies are impacting and breaking down the boundaries between creative industries, regeneration, education, museums, archives, artists, curators, programmers, broadcasters, publishers etc etc..
This blog is about my thoughts on these things.