Meet Stanley’s Latest Family Members!

After recruiting over the summer, we’re very pleased to introduce the newest members of our Stanley Family! We’ve been joined by Laura, our new Finance Operator. Sean, our new Event Administrator and Josh, our new Marketing Assistant. To get to know them all a little better, we shared a few questions asking about their experience, what they’re looking forward to seeing at Stanley Arts and what would be their preferred superpower?

First up, let’s meet the latest to join our team, Sean!

Hi, my name’s Sean (they/she). I’m a born Londoner with several years of experience in community arts, performance, and grassroots projects (as well as past work with Mental Health Social Care and plenty of hospitality). I’ve spent the past 4 years as part of the European arm of a record label based in the US, which was a pretty wild experience during February and March 2020!

What sparked your interest in Stanley Arts?
I was looking for a new challenge after several years in music distribution, and the role really sparked my interest. I’d previously come to The Big Print Kiki Ball here (shamefully didn’t own any print at the time) and knew that was the kind of work I wanted to be supporting more directly.

What are you most keen to learn in your new role/environment?
The new role involves working across a really broad range of challenges and practises. I’m keen to expand on my knowledge of the facilitation of the huge family of events that Stanley Arts attracts! Having worked with children, art, music and performance I’m excited to thread these all together.

What’s your thoughts on South Norwood, do you know the area well?
I’m based in Lewisham and have been South London based for the majority of the last decade including 5 years as part of a co-operative venue in South Bermondsey, so working directly with the community is very important to what I do professionally and artistically.

What upcoming Stanley Arts event are you most looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to getting to grips with the rest of our Summer Season, of course. DO-RE-MI-KA-DO coming up in October looks especially interesting too!

Have you ever performed in front of a crowd before?
A lot! I’m a musician and radio broadcaster, so I’m very used to performing. I’ve recently also been collaborating with performance artists to bring sound into their work. I’m always keen to break down the barriers they feel they have with performing, and I really enjoy the sparks that can come from unorthodox ways of learning.

How do you relax and switch off from your day job?
I’m regularly keeping myself busy so I’m not sure if shutting off is the right word, but I’m usually either making music or listening to it (live or at home)! Very much part of my every day. Beyond that I spend a lot of time at home trying to elevate my cooking, reading whatever currently is taking my fancy (a lot of Fitzcarraldo Editions), or watching films.

Finally, if you could have any super-power, what would it be? (Either related to your role or outside of work is fine!)
Besides the obvious, I’d like to be able to experience sounds we can’t hear! There’s so much happening around us and I’d love to be able to tune into that.

Thanks to Sean for taking the time to share their story with us, sounds like we could learn a lot from your own experience and interests! Now, it’s the turn of Finance Operator Laura – here’s the mic hun!

Hi Everybody I’m Laura! I’m an Italian 55 years YOUNG lady and I’m a mother of 3 almost adults kids! I arrived in the UK in 1993 following the adventure with my boyfriend and without speaking a word of English! In Italy I was an accountant manager with a brilliant career in an important petrol company in Milan.
I have loved numbers since I was a child so finance and accountancy are a keen passion of mine!
But once I arrived in the UK I had to re-invent myself. So I started to work in the back-office for no money and then in the stock exchange in the city. I called it “a jungle of sharks!”
After some years of stress I decided to change and I joined the wonderful world of Mike Bloomberg where I also met my husband.
After several years and 3 kids I decided to leave and dedicate some time to my family. In the meantime I opened a Men Pyjamas company that I still run with reasonable success.
But that was not enough for me! I’m a very dynamic person, so once kids grow up enough to go to school alone, I decided to do a part time as Assistant manager accountant in a small company in Croydon where I’m still working.

What sparked your interest in Stanley Arts?
Because 2 jobs were not enough! I like being around people and I enjoy the company of others and keeping my mind busy!
I like to travel too, especially to my country (Italy) where I find my mum and sister.

What are you most keen to learn in your new role/environment?
I don’t know enough about Stanley Arts yet but I like the friendly atmosphere I can see around. I’m happy to learn more but also to pass new skills to the company in the mean time.

What’s your thoughts on South Norwood, do you know the area well?
The South Norwood area is what it is, I’m living in Croydon and there is not much difference.

What upcoming Stanley Arts event are you most looking forward to?
I’m most excited to see our Panto in December. Sleeping Beauty was one of my favourite tales growing up. 

Have you ever performed in front of a crowd before?
When I was a child and until University I always participated in theater or singing even not because I was good but for the exact opposite: I didn’t want people though I was a shy girl so I was raising my arm all the time to put myself in front for anything the school proposed.
That paid me back at some point because I became quite popular with a lot of friends and leading events.
I’m old enough now not to do that anymore also my limit in this country will be the language and my accent.
Playing or singing or having a conference in Italian, is for sure, much easier for me.

How do you relax and switch off from your day job?
I enjoy spending quality time with my family, catching up and digging into a good book!

Finally, if you could have any super-power, what would it be? (Either related to your role or outside of work is fine!)
If I could have a kind of superpower, I would like to invent a magic potion to make people happy when they are sick, taking away pains sadness and tears. I’m terribly scared of sickness and pain and scared to see people that we love in pain. So if I could have a power I wish not to see that anymore.

Laura, you busy bee! We’re excited to learn more about your cultural heritage! … Next, we meet Josh, our new Marketing Assistant!

Iya! I’m Josh (he/him), originally from Chatham, Kent, but I’ve been studying in Cornwall for the last 5 years. I studied BA(Hons) Music, Theatre and & Entertainment Management and felt like my time at University wasn’t complete, so after that I graduated from an MA in Communication Design this summer! I moved to East London last October in order to pursue my career in Communications.

This is my first, full-time creative role after job hunting since the beginning of the pandemic. Previous to this, I was gaining creative experience as a freelancer working with clients to enhance their audience reach and brand identity. Within the last year, I’ve really settled into my passion for charity work. In the last year, I’ve worked closely with Art Refuge & The British Association of Art Therapists.

Before this step to Stanley, I’d been a Barista for many years and almost reached a 10 year anniversary of working within the Hospitality sector.

What sparked your interest in Stanley Arts?
Firstly its’ visual identity drew me towards the organisation, it ticked the charity box, ‘creative and collaborative’ environment box, and proved to be a busy environment filled with a wonderful range of events, programmes and people!
A big drive for me was surrounding its queer community too. It’s always been a part of my identity I’ve kept at arms’ length with intentions to dive further into it as I slowly become integrated into London’s gay culture.

What are you most keen to learn in your new role/environment?
As well as the above, I’m looking forward to sinking my tooths into the world of Marketing and broadening my experience of working with audiences. I’m keen to learn new processes and approaches and build my network within the Arts & Culture sector.

What’s your thoughts on South Norwood, do you know the area well?
Before joining the team, I’d never visited South Norwood before! I’ve found it a welcoming environment filled with some great hustle-bustle! I recently listened to Adele’s Desert Island Discs and found out she wrote Hometown Glory whilst living in West Norwood, so that’s been my ‘claim to fame’ when chatting about my new role with friends and family.

What upcoming Stanley Arts event are you most looking forward to?
Drag Under the Stars & F*** It Up Fridays, I can’t wait to see the queer community in its full-force at Stanley Arts!

Have you ever performed in front of a crowd before?
Not for a long time; since school plays! Ever since then I’ve always been behind the stage but I would love to surround myself with performers and slowly encourage myself to give it a go!

How do you relax and switch off from your day job?
I have to have some alone time and listen to some guilty pleasure like Sugababes, The Saturdays, old-skl Rihanna and some contrasts such as Arca and Tirzah. I used to have a solo camper Kangoo whilst in Cornwall too, so any excuse drive and on the road is always a pleasing thought! That, attending gigs as much as I can!

Finally, if you could have any super-power, what would it be? (Either related to your role or outside of work is fine!)
Think of the film Jumper; see where you need to be (down the road, on a rooftop etc…) manifest powers, and then, BAM I’m standing where I was looking. My reasoning is because my commute from home is a long one, so being able to ‘jump’ ahead would be very handy. That and because at some social events there’s times when I would like 10 minutes out from the crowd.

Cheers Josh! Well there we have it! Introductions made and more insights accessed! It’s a pleasure to have these fresh faces around Stanley Arts and we can’t wait for them to show us new ways of working and add their own charm to our Stanley Family!

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