artsconnectuk exists to support and connect artists and arts organisations both within & outside UK to create networks that have social and cultural impacts.

Padma Rao and Steve Donkin, as co-directors bring their experience in the arts and business that aims to help artists develop and thrive as creative entrepreneurs as well as leaders in the cultural sector.

Padma Rao, Artistic Director

Padma is passionate about the arts and its ability to change lives.  Over 15 years experience in strategic planning, arts management, training and development, equality & diversity as well as fundraising, Padma has considerable experience of board membership in the third sector.   A published poet and editor, Padma also has a background of working in the radio in India and the BBC Newcastle.

Steve Donkin, Commercial Development Director

After 25 years experience in the Utilities sector, Steve became involved in the development and delivery of executive coaching & learning programmes in both public and private sectors.

He was closely involved in the development of the University of Sunderland’s “Coaching for Organisational Excellence” programme and was also influential in supporting the development of Enterprise education strategies in regional Secondary Schools.

Since 2007 he has been closely involved in the conceptual development & delivery of innovative training programmes in the SME, 3rd Sector and Care Sector – both as Head of Sales, Marketing and Concept Development at a regional training business and as founder of Sentient Business and Capacity Development.

Matt Henderson

A poet, print maker and a textile artist, Matt completed his Fine Arts degree from the University of Sunderland and is now working as a Project Worker with Arts Connect.

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