Vanessa is Executive Director of Cultivate, the organisational and audience development agency for the East Midlands. She began her career in the arts as the first General Manager at Perth Theatre and went on to hold key marketing and audience development roles as Communications and Marketing Director and managerial consultant to major UK companies including Traverse Theatre Edinburgh, Birmingham Rep, Nottingham Playhouse and Leicester Haymarket.
She worked with Arts Council England specialising in marketing and audience development and business planning for major capital projects. During this period she gained experience in a wide range of art forms and undertook business and organisational consultancy work for an extensive range of cultural organisations throughout the UK and abroad as well as the Arts Councils of England and Wales.
Vanessa specialises in governance, business planning and implementation, advocacy and developing skills and strategies for marketing, audience development fundraising and philanthropy. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, Chair of Origin –Art in Motion (Retina Dance), and has served on a range of arts boards including Riverside Studios and Dance 4. She was a business-planning trainer for the Independent Theatre Council and has recently produced a number of new plays including a one-man play "Just A Gigolo" and the carers in dementia ethno-drama “Inside Out of Mind”.