Wearing a number of different hats; Tara Lopez is an individual working in the arts, committed to supporting young people, artists and work that moves us toward a more representative sector for all…

Whilst studying Dance at De Montfort University, working on research projects such as British Dance and the African Diaspora, and volunteering with diverse led arts organisation Serendipity in Leicester, Tara fell in love with the East Midlands. The strong sense of community arts, the warm hello’s as you walk down the street, and the variety of cultures combining to create vibrant cities… just some of the reasons she decided to stay and make her own mark on the region.

Upon graduation, after a short time experiencing the world of PR & marketing, Tara decided to bring her passion for the arts, love of working with people, and newly polished communication skills back to a professional role in the arts sector.

Her aim: to support young people, artists and community groups across the region to connect with new opportunities and achieve their full potential. 

Working with the East Midlands Caribbean Carnival Arts Network (EMCCAN) across a range of touring, artist development and education projects; she was able to support the organisation in reaching new audiences and artists in reaching new heights.

Today, Tara can be found occupying two roles. The first as Development Officer (East Midlands) with Voluntary Arts England; a role which sees her connecting with community groups and organisations to support every day creativity, becoming the bridge between the organisation and the people on the ground.

The second as Creative Producer with The Spark Arts for Children; an exciting opportunity to build a new four-year programme pushing to make theatre for children and young people more representative of the world we live in today through a series of artist development, commissioning and producing opportunities.

Outside of these roles she continues to support a number of artists and organisations to ensure they continue offering real, life changing opportunities to young people in and around the East Midlands. A large part of this is being on the advisory board of Baby People; a social enterprise company that uses art and culture to promote community development and support the needs of the most deprived in our communities. 

For as long as she can remember, Tara has been interested in and passionate about all areas of equality, diversity and inclusion; particularly representation and unconscious bias. She has spent a great deal of time researching and discussing these topics and continues to do so today both professionally and personally.

As an alumnus of the Extend Cultural Leadership Programme, she has become part of a wider conversation on the topic and she is keen to take up any opportunity to further discuss and take action on a national and international scale.

Over the years Tara has been lucky to receive mentoring and support from leaders in the arts and culture sector such as; Pawlet Brookes, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Serendipity; Donna Fox, Chief Executive of EMCCAN; Hannah Fox, Project Director of Derby Silk Mill, to name just a few. It’s thanks to people like this that she is able to continue pursuing her passion in the sector. 

… And of course whenever there’s an opportunity, Tara loves to share her first love; dance!

Interested in finding out more about Tara’s journey in to the arts? Check out one of her posts ‘What does it mean to realise you’re ‘other’? here

‘Performing alongside the Regional Youth Forum in EMCCAN production ‘Carnival Clash’ at Nottingham Playhouse 2017.’ Image courtesy of Black Tomcat Photography & EMCCAN