Arts & Culture Finance Virtual Learning Series - 16 Mar 2021 12:30 – 13:30

Arts & culture can have a transformative impact on young people in an educational setting - from developing skills, to enhancing learning and contributing to wellbeing. The Nesta Arts & Culture Finance team explored how creative organisations are working with schools - the opportunities they’ve embraced and the challenges they have had to overcome from a business and investment perspective.

The team was joined by Claire Boulton, Education and Development Director at Pop Up Projects, Samantha Cairns, Co-Director of the Cultural Learning Alliance and Lisa Alberti, CEO and College Lead at Project Inc. to discuss the different ways arts and culture organisations are engaging with schools and the wider education sector, as well as how things have changed and will continue to do so as the UK navigates out of the COVID pandemic.

Topics covered included:

  • Business development with schools and educational institutions
  • Challenges and opportunities in working with schools
  • The policy landscape
  • How social investment can play a role in supporting creative social enterprises

What is the event?

A one hour webinar which includes an introduction to the Arts & Culture Finance funds, a panel discussion and Q&A

Who is it for and why should I attend?

People in the arts, culture and heritage sector who are interested in working with the education sector, are considering diversifying their organisation’s income streams and are curious about repayable finance.


Claire Boulton, Education and Development Director, Pop Up Projects

Claire is the Education and Development Director at Pop Up Projects CIC. Claire previously spent nearly ten years as Relationship Manager at the Arts Council England with specialisms in Children, Young People & Learning, and Literature, with an additional responsibility for Skills, Workforce & Leadership Development. She was formerly a Programme Manager at literature charity BookTrust, where she set up and ran a nationwide free books programme and family reading campaign. Claire has a background in fundraising, bookselling, and teaching English to all ages and abilities in the UK and overseas. She is passionate about inclusion, representation and creative education for all.

Samantha Cairns, Co-Director, Cultural Learning Alliance

Sam has worked in the cultural sector for 20 years - starting in museum education and then working in libraries, archives and the arts. She has run the Cultural Learning Alliance since 2011 and led the development of the Cultural Learning Alliance’s Key Research Findings: the case for cultural learning (2017). Sam was Project Director for Phase 1 of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch) Inquiry into the Civic Role of Arts Organisations, and Project Manager of Learning About Culture for a year in 2019. Learning About Culture is a two-and-a-half-year investigation into the role that cultural learning plays in improving educational outcomes for children run by the RSA in partnership with the Education Endowment Foundation. She is a member of the Artsmark assessment Panel, a Heritage Fund mentor and a primary school governor.

Lisa Alberti, CEO and College Lead, Project INC

Senior Leader and Teacher of 19 years. Leading on Vision, Strategy and Policy across the North West. Post Grad Education Leadership at The University of Manchester. School Governor at all Hallows Catholic College. The promoter of Inclusion, both in education and organisational culture as a whole. Privileged to facilitate and observe the power of Art and Design to change Young People’s lives.

You may also be interested in our other event Arts & Culture Finance Virtual Learning Series: Creative business models in the new normal on Wednesday 24 March.