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 husband in Belper and has three daughters and four adorable grandsons.
Julie Batten (she/her) Director
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. She studied Theatre at Dartington College of Arts in Devon, receiving a first class honours degree. She joined the team at People Express through a paid graduate internship, after which she took on the role of Arts Engagement Co-ordinator. She is a trained Arts Award adviser at all levels. 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 is also currently a trustee for Arts Derbyshire and South Derbyshire CVS. Kalila currently lives with her partner and their puppy, Bernie in Swadlincote.
Kalila Storey (she/her)
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.