Shahina has over 25 years’ experience in arts management and media production and has spent much of that at Create Studios with the occasional secondment to run national Cultural Education projects but always returns! She is proud to have led Create through its transition to a Social Enterprise model embracing all digital media above and beyond her roots in film. Shahina has previously supported Bristol’s Watershed and Swindon & Wiltshire LEP Boards, and was delighted to receive an MBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours for services to Arts and Creative Industries in Swindon & Wiltshire. As an Arts Council England SW Area Council member, Shahina is committed to positive change in the Creative Industries.
Gurch is a South West based Director/ Self Shooter who has experience of working in various sectors from broadcast to award winning short films also mentoring our young digital creative group, MassMedia. He was Lead Artist on SEE ME TOO, delivering amazing, lyrical exhibition pieces for Create's social history projects, as well as our corporate productions from Chelsea FC to National Trust and more. He brings his experience of the Production Sector and Skills Development to his role as Non-Exec Director of Create.
Marilyn loves the arts and enabling young people to progress and is delighted to be Co-Director at Create as she gets to enjoy both things. As Production Manager, she heads up the team to bring the many, diverse Create projects to fruition, and is heroic in her efforts to secure the trickiest of locations and permissions. Marilyn works alongside Gurch to teach the Create Futures Graduates the nuances of Production Management and the powers of tact and diplomacy. She happily provides them with pastoral care and is the Reference Queen propelling them further in the industry. Marilyn likes to write, a skill woven into many productions, with a particular love of comedy writing based on her previous experience running a comedy club in Swindon.
Simon brings his experience of corporate finance and partnership mergers to benefit Create’s Social Enterprise model, and is committed to supporting the not-for-profit sector with his skills. Having overseen international mergers for clients like The Prudential, Simon’s diligence and attention to detail benefits Create’s current and future partnerships, ensuring that our model is sustainable and robust. Simon is passionate about our aims, and glad his financial skills can support real change through Create’s work.
Anthony is currently Senior Partnerships Manager for CCSkills in the South West and west Midlands. He has spent 20 years in the field of skills development and vocational guidance with a particular focus on the Creative Industries. Prior to joining CCSkills his most recent experience was as a Go Wales Adviser at the University of South Wales where he developed specialist work placement opportunities for Creative Industry students. Other roles he has undertaken include managing the South East Wales Library Partnership and the Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Media Academy. He has served as South West Regional Manager for Skillset Creative and Head of Business and Skills at South West Screen. Anthony qualified as a Careers Adviser at the University of Glamorgan and worked as a guidance practitioner in Cardiff, Sandwell and Hertfordshire. Anthony also works as a self-employed artist.
A talented Photographer and Filmmaker, Thom works with us in a Production role where he creates original content across photo and film, assists in production and filming on location shoots, and works as our in house Editor on many high profile projects. Outside of Create Studios, Thom works nationally and internationally for brands, creating engaging content for digital and print.
Ash came to Create Studios with a background in illustration having done a brief stint in a tattoo parlour drawing on paper and on people. Supported through an Advanced Creative Apprenticeship at Create he transferred his drawing and illustration skills to digital design but can still be found 'colouring in' and 'doodling' on a quiet moment. He is now a Freelance Graphic Designer leading on Create's brand and key projects like SEE ME TOO and Digiheds whilst working on diverse projects from making apps, posters, clothing and other products in his own online store.
Henry came to us through our young people’s group MassMedia and worked his way up from a volunteer runner to becoming one of our regular paid Freelance Associates, adept in camera, sound and editing. As well as crewing our professional productions, Henry mentors other young people through MassMedia and outreach commissions across the South West from Cheltenham with the Wilson Gallery to Stonehenge with English Heritage. All this when he is not filming in Nepal, the States and beyond….catch him while you can!
Kiara joined Create in August 2019, and is a part of our Outreach team sharing digital skills in formal and informal settings with young people and communities. Helping them to grow confidence, new skills and make positive choices about their futures. She now is training with our new Apprenticeship in Production Management programme, working closely with all of the team. She has already produced the recent film 'Like a Person' with LGBTQ+ Community, 'Out of the Can' which launched December 2019.
Based in Wiltshire, Jo is a freelance Arts Manager with 24 years' experience working in a wide range of settings and across many artforms, most recently working in the outdoor arts sector, supporting artists and arts organisations to raise funds, programme work and deliver festivals and events. Jo believes that experiencing high quality arts produces positive outcomes for all - audiences, volunteers, participants, artists and supporters. She loves working with people, at whichever point they engage, to produce inspiring, joyous and shared creative experiences. Since 2016 Jo has reconnected with her own creative interests, primarily through drawing. She now runs workshops in a range of settings, including online, supporting others to draw, through building confidence, teaching new skills and techniques and encouraging a personal exploration and enjoyment of drawing.
Emma is local to Swindon and studied History at University in Bath from which she secured an Internship with Create Studios as Heritage Researcher on the 2014 WW1 anniversary project – which had to be renamed “100 Stories”, having secured 100 stories when we only expected four! Inevitably Emma became our “go-to” Heritage Researcher, contributing to a range of social history projects including Digital Curators, See Me Too and Safe Haven the latter connecting WW1 Belgian Refugee Swindon stories with contemporary refugee experience for primary-age participants. Emma also brings her experience of several roles within Education and Outreach, from Mental Health Advisor to Personal Tutor. Many of her previous roles have been centred around helping students with special educational needs to access Higher Education and pursue their dreams beyond education. Emma has a passion for heritage and using creative ways to engage people with their local histories. She feels passionate about ensuring history is accessible to all. Emma strives to break down barriers and make history relatable in today's world, to connect people to the past in order to build a stronger future. This is also reflected in Emma’s volunteer work with local youth groups in both Swindon and Wales, providing support and guidance wherever possible.