Our team

Ben Walmsley, Director

Ben provides strategic and research leadership for the Centre, develops our profile and builds partnerships with the academic and cultural sectors. He also leads on our relationships with stakeholders. 

Ben is Professor of Cultural Engagement and Director of Research and Innovation in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries at the University of Leeds. His research encompasses arts management, arts marketing, audience studies and cultural policy, with a focus on audience engagement and enrichment; change management in the arts; and cultural value and leadership.  

Prior to his academic career, Ben had 10 years' experience in arts management, most recently as Producer at the National Theatre of Scotland.   

Anne Torreggiani , Co-Director  

Anne supports Ben in representing the Centre to funders and stakeholders. She helps develop our relationships in the cultural sector, particularly with sector networks. Anne guides the development of the centre’s engagement strategy and sector-facing resources including a MOOC on research and evaluation. 

Anne is the founder and Chief Executive of The Audience Agency, the UK national charity for public engagement with arts, museums and heritage, enabling reach, relevance and resilience across the sector. Anne has been influential, over three decades, improving practice and advocating for change in the cultural sector, especially in terms of encouraging an audience-centred approach and in the use of data and other evidence in the development of policy and practice.   

Tamsin Curror, Communications Manager

Tamsin helps us communicate what we do and why to our stakeholders and audiences. She provides strategic direction for all our communications and is developing a brand and digital presence for the centre.  

Tamsin brings significant communications experience in the cultural and publishing sectors. She was Communications Manager for the Creative People and Places network where she developed its website, brand and partnerships as well as shaping a conference and events programme and commissioning research. She has also worked at Arts Council England and Leeds College of Music.   

Liz Harrop, Centre Manager

Liz makes sure the centre runs effectively, providing project management expertise to make sure we’re achieving our objectives. As well as managing the centre’s activities Liz will oversee our seed funding programme. 

Liz has worked as a senior project manager for the University of Leeds for six years, most recently as part of the University’s Cultural Institute where she was Evaluation Manager for the National Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy Programme. Prior to this she worked in the civil service implementing a national sector skills development strategy, and managed arts development projects for local authorities and national charities.  

Robyn Dowlen, Post Doctoral Research Associate 

Robyn synthesises and summarises relevant research and help make it as accessible as possible to the cultural sector. Her current focus is an extensive review of research and practice relating to arts and health. 

Robyn completed her PhD in 2019 which examined 'in the moment' benefits of music-making for people living with dementia. After her PhD Robyn spent time as a research associate at the University of Manchester on the Neighbourhoods and Dementia study before joining the Centre team as the Post Doctoral Research Associate. 

Mikey Nissenbaum,  Events and Administration Officer  

Mikey schedules and organises the centre’s activities and keeps everything running smoothly. He supports the delivery of our events programme and helps us communicate with external partners. 

Previously Mikey has worked in event production/coordination for organisations such as Crisis at Christmas, The Roundhouse and the BBC. He’s also provided freelance media production for a variety of companies from radio to film.