About Us

Meet the Team

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Karl Greenwood


Hailing from Halifax, Karl came to First Art after six years as Project Director of fellow CPP project, Appetite, in Stoke-on-Trent.

Karl has plenty of experience working with and putting on events and activities in communities across the UK, ranging from setting up outdoor art festivals to running community training programmes. His first taste of events organisation was the alleged ‘biggest unsigned gig in Britain’ in 2000, at which he also played.

Clearly, Karl never made it as a rock star, even after getting a music degree at Leeds University (but there’s still a glimmer of hope), so he decided to put down his guitar and surround himself around creative types instead. Karl got his first proper job in the arts with Multistory back in 2007. He’s not looked back since and barely picked up his guitar either.

Kate Learmouth

Marketing & Audience Development Manager

Twenty years’ experience of the arts, cultural, and heritage sectors, Kate has a good old mix of projects under her belt, having worked for the likes of the National Trust, Nottingham Puppet Festival, and Wirksworth Festival, amongst others as well as a magazine publishing company.

When not working or running around after a young daughter and cat, Kate steps into her artistic world, working in ceramics and mixed media. She has a fascination with old decaying things, especially rust (don’t ask). See for yourself if you fancy. 

One of Kate’s earliest artistic encounters was at Glyndebourne watching the opera of ‘Where the Wild Things Live’, together with trips to the Barbican Centre, V&A and Tate.

Vanessa Oxspring

Project Manager

The participatory arts and the cultural sector has been part of Vanessa’s professional life for over 20 years. She’s worked for well-known dance companies and organisations including People Dancing, Gary Clarke Company, and Rosie Kay Dance Company, together with Dance4, Made in Corby (another CPP), and Inspire: Culture, Learning and Libraries. As well as leading her own projects through her business Vcreate.

Often found twirling, swirling and shakin’ it, Vanessa is a professional dancer; she decided on a career in the arts at the age of 15 when she was chosen to be part of a tour round Russia with Leicestershire Youth Dance. She said this “opened her eyes to how the arts could take you to different places, experience culture and how dance could reach diverse communities”.