This week Creative Cardiff welcomed a new team member, Vicki Sutton. Vicki’s work will focus on the next phase of Creative Cardiff’s development. For you to get to know her a little better, we’ve posed our Cardiff People questions to Vicki to get her take on the city and its creative make up, narrative and potential future.

Vicki, originally from Swansea, is an actor by trade. She comes to Creative Cardiff from BAFTA Cymru where she organised more than 100 events per year for members and the public. Events are Vicki’s passion and she has worked internationally with a focus on bringing creatives together.

Can you tell us what you do?

I am the Project Manager for Creative Cardiff which is a new role that aims to help drive the network into its next phase of development. I’ll be working with Sara, Kayleigh and Beca to continue to nurture the network through a series of events, one off projects and new initiatives ultimately to further support creative individuals and organisations and help them to grow economically, socially, environmentally and culturally.

I want to increase the number of people who know about the organisation and to be the first point of contact for creativity in the city. I’ll be continuing the good work which has already been done and am thrilled to join the team!

I’m originally from Swansea, don’t hold that against me, Cardiff People! I left when I was 18, studied drama at Birmingham University and then did a postgrad at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London and spent five years working in London as a performer and then went on to work for an agent –representing comedians, actors, singers and DJs. Then I worked overseas as an Events Manager managing musicians performing across Europe.

Why have you chosen to work in Cardiff?

I got the opportunity to move back to Wales six years ago and I chose Cardiff as the city to come back to. I launched an office for an extras casting agency – Mad Dog Casting. From there, I grew my network of people and organisations and found a love for running events and for bringing people together as networks. Then I got a job at BAFTA Cymru running their events programme which led me to Creative Cardiff.

What inspires you about being here?

I spent 10 years living outside of Wales and when I came back, I was nervous of how Wales would be able to feed my appetite for culture and Cardiff really does. I find it a really welcoming and well-connected city. There are loads of creative people, places and organisations as well as sports groups and fitness classes – my other passion. For me, it is a city that just keeps on growing and pushing boundaries. There are still areas and communities of the city that I don’t know, new events popping up all the time, so it keeps me excited. Now I call it home.

In spite of being geographically quite small, it has got big ambition. It is providing a home to massive international productions, for example, or big touring theatre or dance companies and yet keeping its friendliness.

What challenges have you found in working in Cardiff?

I think there is still work to be done in bringing together different communities in Cardiff to diversify the creative output.

I think in terms of perception of where our creative industries are at, Cardiff should continue to be loud and proud and really show off what we have here. I think we’re getting better at shouting about ourselves, but people who don’t work in the creative industries perhaps don’t know the wealth of activity that is going on, so I think there is work to be done around that kind of public consciousness.

How successful do you think Cardiff has been at making itself a creative capital, particularly in your area of work?

In the last 10 years, I think Cardiff has been doing really well creatively and everything is definitely going in the right direction. I know from the sector I have been working in that film and TV production is strong in the city. One thing that I’m looking forward to in this new role is having the time and the purpose to get back into the theatre scene and finding out lots more about Cardiff’s other creative sub sectors.

In your opinion, which three things need to happen to make Cardiff a more creative city?

Richer creativity will come from different types of people and different communities being represented in organisations and within the content which is created here.

As someone who puts on events, venues get booked up really quickly and there is often a shortage so I would like to see more performance spaces.

And industry experience for students – there is still some way to go in bridging the gap between students coming out of education and going into industry, with regards to their skills and training, as well as supporting people in the mid-level of their careers too so they feel they can stay here and move to the next level.

Describe your favourite creative place to work in Cardiff.

I’m the type of person who is influenced and inspired by who I am around. I can sit at a desk anywhere, but I really feed off the people I am with. I like all of the interesting creative venues in the city like for example Chapter and coworking spaces too, but for me, it is about sharing ideas with who is around rather than the space itself. Being a Swansea girl, I do of course love the beach and being near the sea, but I can’t say I do a lot of that during the working week!

Can you pick one creative person in Cardiff who we should go and find out more about?

I’ve chosen Anja Conti who is one half of Flossy and Boo, a theatre duo. Anja is smart, intuitive and has got so much good energy. She and Laura (of Flossy and Boo) are creating their own content and performing it around Cardiff and the UK - they'll be at the Edinburgh Fringe this year too. Hats off to them!

What’s next for you? What projects are on the horizon? What new ideas are you working on?

We’re using my appointment to take some time to focus and reflect on our members, to get their feedback on where we are now and where they see Creative Cardiff going, working towards an announcement about our long-term plans at our fourth birthday in October. 

I’m new to the role and I know a fair bit about Creative Cardiff, but I really want to reach out to members (and non-members) to get their genuine feedback on how things have gone so far and what they might need from us. Now is the time!

You can email Vicki with your thoughts and feedback here

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