Hi, I'm Manda Graham.
I'm a coach, facilitator, fundraiser and problem-solver.
I support creatives and arts organisations to create projects and businesses that work for them.
I love working in the arts. Some people drive you mad, but most are interesting, inspiring and a good laugh!
Over the past 21 years, I have worked with hundreds of artists and delivered a huge number of projects, large and small, across all art forms. As a result I have built up a head full of practical knowledge and ideas which I love to share.
So, where did I start? I'm a bit of a chameleon, with a background in arts, heritage and science. I went to Hereford College of Art and then went on to do a science degree in Heritage Conservation at Bournemouth University.
I am privileged to have worked in the arts since I left Uni. I started my career curating exhibitions and running events at Highcliffe Castle, a historic house in Dorset. For 7 years, I learned on the job, designing and delivering a programme of arts and heritage activities, stewarding in the car park and doing anything that needed doing. From 2005 - 2013, I was the Arts Development Officer at Malvern Hills District Council in Worcestershire. As local authorities reduced their arts budgets, in 2013 I joined Shropshire visual arts charity, Meadow Arts. In parallel, I launched my business as a freelance producer. Three years later, Equal Vision CIC was born and I made the leap into full-time self-employment.
I love what I do. Though now that I work for myself I've gone a bit feral. I wouldn't ever go back to having one job and working for one organisation!
I spend about half of my time supporting artists and arts companies through Creative Spark. The other half I spend running my own projects through arts events company, Equal Vision CIC. Currently, we are creating an online version of our careers workshop, The Curiosity Museum. We hope that it will enable us to get back to working with young people soon alongside our live workshops.
My passion for the power of creativity is the centre of everything I do. I love instigating collaborative creative projects that solve social problems and change lives. I am also interested in how creative people are viewed in society.
I believe that like scientists, artists are problem solvers. Why are creative people not employed more as researchers? In my experience, the results of creative research are insightful and unexpected. A subject that I explore through my creative projects.