Julie Batten- Director
Julie’s career in the arts started when she was four years old, with a passion for ballet and dance. After gaining a BA Hons Degree in Creative Arts (Theatre and Contemporary Art) Julie went on to become a freelance lecturer for South East Derbyshire College, set up a small scale touring theatre company that created and performed original work called Cloak and Dagger and worked as a freelance dance and drama practitioner. Julie became Director of People Express in 1992 as a job-share, also working for disability led organisation East Midlands Shape, and took over the post full time in 1994. Julie discovered the world of ‘participatory and community arts’ at an inspirational conference in Dublin, and has been passionate about and committed to the principles of community development and empowerment through the arts ever since. Julie currently lives with her partner in Belper and has three daughters and two adorable grandsons.
Hema Mistry- Programmes Manager
Hema has a degree in Media and Cultural Studies. Whilst studying for her degree she took a year out to work at BBC Radio Leicester. During this time she volunteered with several arts organisation including The Spark Festival and Phoenix Arts and developed a further passion for the arts. Since graduating, she worked freelance across the East Midlands for Lakeside Arts Centre, Charnwood Arts and Creative Industries Network. She also worked as Arts Development Officer at Blaby District Council, where her projects included Arts for Health (a project for improving mental health) and Creative MIM’s (working with mums experiencing postnatal depression). This work kick-started her interest in participatory arts and working with different communities. She is an Arts Award Advisor at all five levels. Hema loves working with people and seeing them on their different journeys. She lives in Leicester and is mummy to a spirited little girl!
Julie Goodwin- Finance and Administration Officer
Originally from Coalville and having lived in Swadlincote for over 25 years Julie has a degree in history and over 30 years experience in Office Administration, Management, Problem Solving, Payroll and Accounts. She started working for People Express in 1994 and enjoys meeting People and the variety of projects undertaken by People Express – seeing the journey that people who take part in projects take and the changes it makes to their lives. She is often the voice on the end of the telephone and deals with the paperwork side of things but does get out to some projects to see the artwork produced and it never ceases to amaze her after all of these years.
Kalila Storey- Arts Engagement Officer
Kalila grew up in South Derbyshire, and has been involved with People Express since she did her work experience placement with the organisation at the age of 15. Since then she has been away to study for a Theatre degree at Dartington College of Arts in Devon. On her return she entered a year- long graduate internship with People Express, after which she entered the role of Arts Engagement Co-ordinator. She is an Arts Award Advisor at Discover, Explore, Bronze and Silver level. She would say the the best part about her job is the wonderful people in the diverse communities she gets to meet on a daily basis and have the opportunity to work alongside. Kalila currently chairs Arts Derbyshire.