Arts Derbyshire is supported by a team whose sole aim is to enrich the community through art and creativity. Although you may already have heard about and partaken in Arts Derbyshire projects, we would like to introduce you to the arts team behind Arts Derbyshire and learn about their work in their own words.
In this article, we get to know more about Helena Reynolds, who leads our Arts & Health portfolio of work.
Helena has been leading on arts, health and wellbeing work for Arts Derbyshire in a freelance capacity since 2010. This work has several strands, including a network and sector support, strategic advocacy, development work, project management, and information dissemination. Read about all our different projects here.
Helena has had a varied professional life all of which she believes contributes in some way to her Arts Derbyshire role. She began as a teacher in secondary schools after a degree in French and Spanish. Alongside this she has an evening, weekend and holiday job as a recording and gigging musician/singer in various folk bands, including as a dep for award-winning band Bellowhead. She has toured across the country, in Europe and in Canada, at festivals, folk clubs, dance events and training schools, where she has also taught traditional dance, music and harmony singing. She has played her (English, not Scottish, before you ask) bagpipes on BBC1 on the Saturday morning show, as well as appearing on Canadian and German TV.
When an opportunity to move sideways into arts management from teaching came up Helena took it, taking up the role of Education Officer at small folk arts company, Yorkshire Dales Workshops. From there she moved into working as an Arts Development Officer, and then took up the freelance position at Arts Derbyshire where she has been ever since. Helena is passionate about the many positive effects of creativity on health and wellbeing, and wants to support as many people as possible to experience this, especially those who are most vulnerable or most at need. Helena is also the Arts Champion for the East Midlands for the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance (CHWA), working alongside Laura Phillips of Derby Museums, who is the Museums Champion. She has been working with the Alliance on the steering group since 2012.
Stay tuned for the rest of our Introducing Our Team series to find out more about the team behind Arts Derbyshire and read about each individual’s relationship to the creative sector.
Meet the rest of the team:
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