We are very lucky to have a dedicated team of trustees to support our work.
Jonathan Curzon (Chair)
Jonathan is currently Retail and Catering Operations Manager at the Victoria and Albert Museum. With an extensive background in retail operations senior management, he has worked for many luxury interior brands, focusing on their strategy and developing their growth in the UK.
He has a passion for arts and culture that drives his enthusiasm for engaging with communities and developing the art scene in Thurrock. Experience in organising international artist residencies in India and the UK, led to founding art:ifact, an initiative to promote the arts through the boundaries of culture, heritage and nature. An international artists residency and exhibition programme, showcased work by artists from India, South Korea, Norwegian and the UK. In addition, Jonathan, co-founded Thurrock Art Trail; hosted ‘Open Vision Nights’ providing a platform for local visual artists; and promoted Indian culture through Masti Masti Arts.
Turning his hand to many things, Jonathan, has managed the Global Village stage at Metal’s annual Village Green and even performed an Assamese harvest dance as part of Diwali celebrations.
Elsa James (Vice Chair)
Elsa James has been working as an artist, producer and creative activist since 2010, establishing a practice spanning performance, drawing, digital media, socio-political and socially engaged art.
In 2012 she set up TIME Projects – a Southend-on-Sea based community arts organisation, as a reaction to the borough’s disproportionate cultural and economic differences between neighbouring wards. TIME Projects focuses on working with the communities in those wards who do not have the same opportunities to engage in the local arts offer. Their first project commissioned by the Arts Council, England, was delivered in partnership with one of the borough’s most ethnically diverse primary school, bringing a public awareness to the school’s thirty-eight spoken mother tongue languages at Village Green festival.
She recently undertook a six-month research commission for grassroots activist organisation Communities and Sanctuary-Seekers Together, which culminated in a 38-page report. The report highlights the current provision and needs of asylum seekers and refugees in Southend and will be used as a catalyst to deliver a number of projects with the asylum seekers and refugees community.
David Guy (Treasurer)
David has a strong background in public and private sector finance. Additionally, he holds teaching qualifications and has delivered courses for trainee accounting technicians and accountants. David has a keen interest in the arts, heritage and lifelong learning. Being part of ECDP provides opportunities to meet a wide range of talented individuals and to support, promote and celebrate cultural diversity in Essex.
Joanne Webb (Secretary)
Joanne works for the UK Data Archive based at the University of Essex, developing a new National network which will facilitate social science research using administrative data. She has extensive strategic planning and project management experience as well as having spent 2 years in China with Voluntary Services Overseas as an English teacher.
Sean is currently Senior Producer responsible for developing and delivering multi-disciplinary arts organisation Metal’s programme in Southend on Sea, Peterborough and Liverpool. He is a musician and is an experienced music promoter, having been instrumental in the development of the Sutton with Shopland Festival in Rochford, Essex from 2004 – 2007. In his role at Southend’s YMCA (2001 – 2007) he developed the pioneering Cue Music recording studio and accredited Open College Network course for young people. He is skilled at developing and delivering a wide range of arts projects and disciplines. Sean is the Event Director for multi art form and music festival ‘Village Green’ and is based in Southend on Sea.
Simone has a background in public finance and currently works as an accounting technician for Essex County Council’s Finance Professional Services Department. She has a wide range of experience across strategic planning, project management, fundraising and administration and a great interest in art: in particular Chinese art such as brush painting, Chinese calligraphy and paper cutting. She is currently chairperson of Colchester Chinese Culture Society.
Miriam has a background in museums, heritage and arts and has worked both in Essex & Suffolk before retiring. This has not stopped her involvement with culture, for apart from being involved with the ECDP, Miriam is a trustee of the East Anglian Traditional Music Trust and Bawdsey Radar Trust. For the latter she is acting as a Project Co-Ordinator for a £1.8m Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic England funded programme to restore and reinterpret the world’s first operational radar station. Miriam’s other favourite pastime is travelling to interesting and far flung places which fuel her enthusiasm for cultural diversity.