Naomi Russell

Executive Leadership Program - Amsterdam Class 15

Naomi Russell
Creative Producer & Strategic Consultant
My experience and deep interests:
I am based in: Amsterdam

I’ve worked most of my career in the cultural sector, with a strong lean toward the performing arts. After studying musicology and performance at university/Conservatorium, I worked in politics for two years before setting out on a career in arts management.

My first two roles in organizations shaped me enormously. The first at the Almeida Theatre under the artistic leadership of Jonathan Kent and Ian McDiarmid was one of the most purpose-driven environments I’ve had the privilege to be part of. The second at the Young Vic, working with Artistic Director David Lan and with him played a big part in transforming  the Young Vic to be the UK's most vital force in theater.

In 2007 I established an agency Wonderbird, which I led for 10 years. We advised many world-class cultural institutions on strategic development, growth, and change. This is what brought me to Amsterdam, now my home.

Crossing sectors, crossing borders, constantly being on a (preferably vertical) learning curve has defined my approach to work and life. I’ve worked with 100+ different cultural organisations in 8 countries, and firmly believe that artists have something to say to society and we need their voices.

Currently working as a freelance strategic advisor and creative producer, I teach creative entrepreneurship at the Maastricht Academy for Fine Arts & Design and Erasmus University Rotterdam. I love to travel, read widely, and practice yoga and pilates to keep everything in balance.

Right now I am increasingly preoccupied the topic of how we create new eco-systems to develop and nourish performing artists. What does it mean to truly put artists and communities center stage? What are the reimagined models? Can we create capital + structures that are owned by artists?

I have the seed of an idea I want to develop  and during THNK I put that to the test!