Mel Larsen (formerly Mel Jennings) has worked in the arts across the UK and abroad for over 20 years. Mel’s early career included working as Administrator for pioneering touring company Black Mime Theatre (BMT) and as Marketing Officer for Talawa Theatre Company. She then joined the A.R.T.S. consultancy firm as a full-time consultant. There she conducted feasibility research for several audience development agencies and for new building and refurbishment projects including the landmark Peckham Library.
As an independent consultant since 1999, her clients have included Arts Council England, The Australian Arts Council, Creative New Zealand, Audiences Central, MLA London, The National Trust, English Heritage and The British Council. Her training, speaking and consultancy work has taken her to many different parts of the world including, South Africa, The Caribbean, Scandinavia, The Netherlands and Eastern Europe.
In the UK Mel has worked on the Arts Council England’s ground breaking Not for the Likes of You project as part of the Morton Smyth Associates team and was a coach for the Arts Marketing Association’s Step Up professional coaching scheme.
She is author of A Practical Guide to working with Arts Ambassadors published in 2003 by Arts Council England. She has guided the set-up of arts ambassador programmes for Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Vara Konserthus on behalf of StillArt Sweden and in the UK for the London Symphony Orchestra and The National Trust.
She also founded the community-led annual Streatham Festival (now approaching its 10th year) and was Artistic Director for 5 years, for which she received a Lambeth Civic Award in 2007. She was also Director of the first Streatham Food Festival in 2009 and is Director of the annual festival, The Little Big Peace Event.
Mel has a BA Hons in European Thought and Literature from Anglia University and a BA Hons in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. She has a Diploma in NLP and is currently training to be an NLP Practitioner.
Mel Larsen is a trainer at Cultural Skills Academy workshops for practitioners working in art and culture.