Our Team Members

Chiara Raicovi

Chiara works for Artburst from Monday to Wednesday. She started working for Artburst during her placement for Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and, after the end of her studies, she was hired on a part-time basis as a Facilitator/Administrator. Chiara is a musician, so she really enjoys bringing her instruments along for various sessions and loves to play her flute for the children.

Rosie Thompson-Agnew

Rosie works on Mondays and Fridays and she is one of our most experienced Facilitators/Administrators. She is in charge of a variety of projects, but rumour has it that her After School Art Club for KS2 is the coolest in the whole of London (ask her students!).

Young Persons’ Committee

Artburst has a Young Persons’ Committee made up of 10 young people from Hackney Secondary Schools and Academies. All previous participants in Artburst workshops or projects, each of these students has shown a commitment to the company and undertaken a 2 week work placement before being invited to join the Committee. Our Young Persons’ Committee regularly join the Management Committee to share ideas about the development of Artburst, and often act as an invaluable sounding board for new project plans!

Interns & Volunteers

Artburst also work extensively with interns and volunteers, from young people looking for work experience placements, to grown ups wanting to develop their skills or change careers. We work closely with Inspire! and the Central School of Speech and Drama to arrange placements where candidates can gain experience ranging from arts administration to workshop delivery. To find out more about volunteering with Artburst see our Volunteers & Interns page.

Workshop Leaders

We have an experienced team of over 50 actors, artists, musicians, dancers and speech therapists who lead and assist our workshops. All our facilitators have specialist skills and prior experience of working with young people, and undergo additional training with the Artburst team prior to working on one of our projects. Our facilitators bring an amazing range of individual talents and boundless enthusiasm to Artburst’s workshops. If you are interested in working with Artburst as a facilitator, take a look at our workshop leaders page.

Jane Bell – Project Manager

Part-time, Monday. Jane has over 25 years experience in the voluntary and community sector. She has developed numerous successful and innovative community arts and regeneration projects in Hackney supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, BBC Children in Need, Inspire, The Learning Trust, Hackney Voluntary Sector Grants, the Department of Business Innovation and Skills among others. Since joining Artburst in 2011 Jane has increased networking and new partnerships, particularly focussing on approaches to engage, and create impact for, disadvantaged families. Jane managed the Speak Out project, funded by Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities programme and involving around 200 young people from Hackney and their families each year.

Her current role involves creating and sustaining community partnerships to develop projects according to community needs, applying for funding, creating monitoring processes and reporting on outcomes and impact for children and families on Artburst projects.

Penny Embden & Amy Bicât – Directors

Penny and Amy met at the age of 4 and many years later in 2006 they formed the company Artburst. In the intervening years Amy trained and worked as an actor, designer, writer and Performing Arts teacher whilst Penny went to Art College, worked as a jewellery and costume designer and lead mural projects with young offenders in partnership with charity NACRO. Penny later studied Art Psychotherapy at Goldsmiths University and Amy completed a Certificate in the Therapeutic & Educational Application of the Arts at the Institute for Arts and Therapy in Education. In 2006 the two combined their skills and mutual passion for empowering young people through the creative and performing arts to form Artburst. From humble beginnings in a warehouse in Hackney Wick, the company has gone from strength to strength, recently relocating to a new home in Angel, north London.