Donna Baber is currently Fresh Arts Programme Manager at North Bristol Trust. She specializes in developing, devising and managing participatory arts and health projects. Donna’s work focusses on providing access to the arts for diverse groups including children and young people, those with disabilities and learning difficulties, people with experience of mental health issues and /or other long-term chronic health conditions, community groups, and older people in particular those with a diagnosis of dementia.
In her current role, Donna manages a range of participatory projects and arts provision in an acute hospital setting, including Arts on Referral, a social prescribing programme for patients with chronic health conditions, Dance for Parkinson’s, and a live music programme. She supports environmental improvement projects in the hospital, manages exhibition spaces, and all regular ongoing projects with artists and volunteers.
Prior to this, Donna was a freelance management consultant for the arts, cultural and heritage sector and has over 18 years’ experience of working in and with arts organisations, museums, heritage sites and the voluntary sector and specialises in fundraising, income generation, project development, organisational development and change management programmes.
Donna started her career at Arnolfini in Bristol where she was responsible for raising £5m of a £12.5m capital development programme. From 2004 – 2011 she was Director of Creative Learning Agency, an arts education agency which supported artists and educators to work together to enhance and enrich the curriculum. Donna was chair of trustees for Artists First, a group of practicing disabled artists for five years.
Since 2011 Donna has drawn on these experiences of fundraising, income generation, strategic business planning, leadership, change management and delivering creative participatory programmes to a broad range of audiences and now offers a range of consultancy services as well as interim leadership and management.
The Clore Short Course opened my eyes to what is needed to be a cultural leader in an ever changing and challenging environment and I have been honing my leadership skills ever since. The network developed through the Clore has been essential to my growth and having a group of like-minded experts with you during the time of the course, has stayed with me since.
To lead transformation, high quality and exceptional standards in the organisations I work in and with.