Cultivate Board

Tim Challans - Chairman

Tim has long experience in local government and the cultural and public sector. He was trained and practiced as a town planner for two inner London boroughs before moving to the Midlands in the mid 1980s where he worked for the regional arts funding system. In the early 1990s he worked for the Arts Council as the co-ordinator of the National Arts and Media Strategy. He went on to run the leisure and cultural services for Nottinghamshire County Council, which at the time, was the largest county council cultural service in the country. Before he got his life back in late 2009, he lead the Leisure, Culture and Lifelong Learning service for Walsall Council, were he also took on regional and national roles. He has worked freelance as the Project Director for the West Midlands Culture and Sport Improvement Network and for Cultural Improvement East Midlands.

Tim is chair of City Arts Nottingham, a Trustee of Nottingham Playhouse, Chair of the Nottingham Playhouse Trading Company, a Director of the Ashbourne Festival and involved in other cultural bodies.

Tim is Chair of the Trustees of Cultivate-em Ltd

Shona Powell OBE

Shona is Director of Lakeside Arts, the University of Nottingham's public arts programme which aims to promote access to excellence across the visual, performing, participatory arts and heritage. She is a board member of Ticketing Network East Midlands and was Chair of Déda from 2003 – 2010. She is also a member of a range of Nottingham-wide cultural initiatives including the City's Strategic Cultural Partnership and Cultural Education Partnership; during 2017-18 she was a member of the Project Board for the city's bid to become European Capital of Culture.

Shona is a Trustee of Cultivate-em Ltd

Simon Ruding

Simon Ruding is the Director of TiPP (formerly the Theatre in Prisons and Probation Centre). After completing a drama degree in at the University of Manchester Simon was almost lured into becoming a children's television presenter but decided instead to take part in a theatre project in HMP Manchester. This led to him joining the prestigious Geese Theatre Company as an actor where he ended up as the company's Director. He has worked extensively in justice systems and social care services throughout the British Isles and beyond, delivering projects in Scandinavia, South Africa and the United States.

Simon authored one of the first of the Youth Justice Board's Arts Enrichment Programmes (curiously titled the Drama Enrichment Programme) and was instrumental in the development of the highly successful Summer Arts College programme. Simon has been course coordinator of the University of Manchester's Applied Theatre: Criminal Justice course since 1999 and has developed similar teaching and training programmes for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Arden School of Theatre.

Simon is a trustee of Cultivate-em Ltd, and Director of Cultivate2, the subsidiary company

Geoffrey Horley MBA FCA

Geoffrey has been involved in business planning work for larger arts-based charities since the early 1990's.

Geoffrey trained as a chartered accountant, obtained an MBA from Manchester Business School in 1984, and in 2000 obtained a Diploma in Charity Management (with distinction) from City University Business School.

He was engaged by Arts Council England (ACE) to assist in business planning 'road shows' that launched ACE's Incentive Funding programme in the early 1990s and since then has been involved in the assessment and post-completion monitoring of many major projects funded through lottery funds. He has also acted for grantees, and operating through Chittenden Horley, has long-term professional relationships with more than fifty charities.

Geoffrey is the Chair of Cultivate2

Vanessa Rawlings-Jackson

Vanessa is the Executive Director of Cultivate2.

Vanessa Rawlings-Jackson started her career in the arts as the first General Manager at Perth Theatre and then held key marketing roles as Marketing Director and Consultant to major UK companies including Birmingham Rep, Nottingham Playhouse and Leicester Haymarket.

She has previously worked with Arts Council England specialising in marketing and audience development and business planning. During this period she gained experience in a wide range of art forms and undertook consultancy work for an extensive range of cultural organisations throughout the UK and abroad as well as for the Arts Councils of England and Wales.

Vanessa specialises in governance, business planning and implementation, advocacy and developing skills and strategies for fundraising and philanthopry. She is a Fellow of the royal Society of the Arts, Chair of Retina Dance, and a director of Audiences UK.