About Threshold Studios
“Transforming society by creating experiences that widen the diversity of voices in the arts and media landscape”
“Transforming society by creating experiences that widen the diversity of voices in the arts and media landscape”
Threshold Studios are UK-based media arts producers and educators. We are a social enterprise committed to talent and skills development in all that we do.
Threshold Studios has been producing new media art since 1998, with specialisms in moving image, digital and emerging technologies. We also produce and curate high-quality, no barriers festivals with a commitment to democratising arts engagement – enabling those who might not regularly attend gallery spaces to experience surprising and playful art that has meaningful relevance to their lives.
As educators we foster new talent and devise initiatives to offer routes into the arts and media industries, with a particular focus on those from diverse backgrounds and those who are currently under-represented in these industries.
As a consultancy we play a strategic role in the development of the arts and creative industries, mentoring individual artists and creative organisations through periods of change or development. We also work with Universities, businesses, and local authorities to design creative projects that engage both existing communities and new audiences.
Barry Hale MA
Director and Co-Founder
A professional filmmaker for 30 years, with more than 200 film credits as artist, producer, director or writer, including rock videos for major UK and US record labels, artists’ shorts video installations, commercial promotional films and award-winning community access workshops productions. Barry’s work has had numerous international screenings and exhibitions, from Las Vegas to Latvia, from the ICA to the belly of a Stockholm ship.
He is the Co-Founder and Creative Director of Threshold Studios and Festival Co-Director of Frequency Festival of Digital Culture.
For fun, he listens to CD’s of the sounds of ice melting, or washing machines being pushed down stairs.
Uzma Johal MBE
Producer and Co-Founder
Uzma’s background is in broadcast documentary and television production. She has extensive experience of working in the arts and creative media industries.
As a Co-Founder and Director of Threshold, she drives the ethos and vision behind the organisation. A passionate advocate for social change, Uzma’s work has always prioritised participation, innovation and development of creativity in media, technology and the arts in the UK.
Uzma sat on the Arts Council England Area and Regional Councils for the Midlands for eight years. She is currently focusing on brokering partnerships with the HE sector to unlock opportunities for meaningful and sector specific apprenticeships and collaborative production in new and emerging technologies. She continues to provide mentorship and coaching for creative talent as part of her portfolio of work.
She was recognised on the 2016 New Years Honours List and received an MBE for her contribution to the Digital Economy.
She was once described as “a more glamorous Yoda”.
Head of Production, Talent and Skills
As Head of Production, Sam manages Threshold’s production slate and is responsible for making sure creative projects happen on time and on budget. An experienced arts production manager, Sam leads the production of festivals within the East Midlands and beyond.
She also leads the delivery of talent and development schemes and internship opportunities for the next generation of creatives.
Throughout her 12 years with the organisation, Sam has lead projects with young people across the region using a variety of art forms, installed art exhibits in a plethora of spaces, ended up locked in a venue, solved countless problems (see point before), produced many schedules and project ideas, as well as extended Threshold’s networks of freelance artists, filmmakers, practitioners and experts.
She continues to grow partnerships with other agencies and organisations to increase the reach and impact of their work, alongside Threshold’s, as well as to deliver new opportunities and programmes.
Her interests include (but are not limited to) Excel, art, health and safety, and tea drinking.
Creative Engagement Manager
Bo Olawoye has been working as an Engagement Curator for contemporary arts galleries and spaces since 2001. Her approach to learning is to empower people through creativity to explore issues that affect their everyday lives. Prior to joining Threshold Studios, she has worked for The Bonington Gallery at Nottingham University, Nottingham Contemporary, Tate Modern London, Backlit Gallery/Artist Studios and New Art Exchange. She continues to work as a freelancer across the UK.
Sophia is responsible for making sure creative projects are fun and exciting, but also takes care of the more serious management of things like time scales, working with partners and doing other very important production related things!
Sophia has a board range of experience in curatorial practice within arts and heritage work across the East Midlands and beyond.
Over the last few years, Sophia has led projects, curated exhibitions and designed and delivered workshops with people of all ages. This has been underpinned her ethos to make art accessible and a unique, meaningful experience for all.
Sophia’s ambition as a new member of the Threshold team is to be able to extend upon her experience and develop and create even more opportunities for all in the many different shapes and squiggly lines of the arts , to offer mentorship for the next generation of creatives and to advocate for art that is accessible, inclusive and diverse.
Her interests include (but are not limited to) art (in its many forms), ballroom & latin dancing and being keeper of all the diaries!
Follow her adventures on Twitter @skyprianou26
Jo Heldreich BA FCA
Jo is a chartered accountant with strong technical accounting and IT skills backed up by 16 years of practical experience and a logical, hands on approach to getting the job done efficiently. She has a track record of delivering timely, accurate and relevant financial information to a wide variety of audiences, and experience of forming successful relationships at all levels of business.
In 2014 Jo made the decision to set up her own company, Beehive Accountancy Services Limited, with the aim to deliver a high quality outsourced finance function to small businesses. The company provides a range of accountancy services from bookkeeping and payroll, to management reporting and high-level financial advice. Beehive specialises in providing professional services to the not for profit sector where Jo has spent most of her career, both inside and outside of practice.
Anthony Wills FCMA CIPFA
Tony is currently Chair of Threshold Studios. He is also on the Board of City Arts.
Previously he was Chair of the Board of Nottingham Playhouse, and remains a Member serving on its Risk Group. Prior to joining the Playhouse he held a senior position at Arts Council East Midlands contributing business and financial expertise to the organisation and its clients.
Tony trained as an accountant and after holding a number of key financial roles entered management, initially as a Chief Officer at Leicester City Council and after taking the City Transport department into the private sector was Managing Director of the plc.
A career spent in the Public, Private and Health sectors has put to good use proven analytical strengths to develop and implement strategic plans which allied with strong leadership resulting in successful outcomes.
Most recently his organisational development skills have been used to help arts organisations faced with the difficult challenge in the current economic climate of ensuring their sustainability and to forge effective relations with stakeholders.
Dr Lisa Mooney
Dr Lisa Mooney has worked in Higher Education for over 25 years where she has continually worked at the interface between interdisciplinary scholarship and business.
She regularly writes on the shifts and changes brought about by collaborative research practices in academia and industry, and specifically how the arts and humanities disciplines might be better enabled to interact with the new demands of the knowledge transfer environment.
She is Pro Vice Chancellor Research at the University of East London, and is actively involved in both national and international networks concerned to raise the impact and profile of the arts and humanities beyond the academy.
Lisa is also an active Board Director of the New Art Exchange Gallery and currently holds a Research Fellowship with the Design Innovation Academy in Delhi, India. In both positions she strives to develop a coherent and productive relationship between cultural organisations and academic research, ensuring brokerage between the two communities supports the generation of innovative ideas and investment.
Stephen Smith BA FIOD
Stephen Smith is Chief Executive and founder of EMB Group, a leading economic development, business improvement and quality management company. Since 2006 EMB has provided a variety of high value services worth over £200m for both the public and private sectors including Investors in People, ISO accreditation, UKTI international trade, Business Link and many EU funded activities, in addition to numerous commercial services for business.
His earlier career was in brand marketing with global corporations which included TV advertising and multi media campaigns, followed by general management positions in the greeting card and logistics sector, the latter as Managing Director of a high growth £134m pharmaceutical distribution company. Stephen is also an experienced non-executive director, having held current and past roles with The University of Derby, the NEST pension Employers Panel, British Chambers of Commerce, North Northants Development Company, and the Princes Trust. He is a fellow of the Institute of Directors (IOD) and a recent IOD Director of the Year.
Chris Baker is an Account Director at leading independent communications consultancy Four Colman Getty, where he has been promoting culture since 2008. His clients include Foyles bookshops, London Art Fair, New Designers, Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival at Plymouth University and FutureEverything – Manchester’s innovation lab for digital culture.
He has worked with Threshold Studios on Frequency Festival since 2013. Before joining Four Colman Getty, Chris was Press Officer for The Lightbox Gallery and Museum in Woking, Surrey, and graduated with a 1st in Art History from the University of Nottingham in 2005.
Sukhy Johal MBE
Sukhy Johal MBE has over two decades of experience of working across the public, third and commercial sectors.
Prior to starting his own management consultancy, Sukhy led the East Midlands’ Cultural Consortium working directly to Central Government, innovating and driving change through the Regional Cultural Strategy. Central to this was framing collaborative working across a breadth of areas including economic development, social and physical regeneration and regional and international profile. Much of this was achieved through supporting businesses to develop new approaches in addressing existing and emerging challenges.
His style and approach has been to establish long-term goals, through a range of workshop, training, and executive coaching and project development techniques that engender confidence which lead to innovation. With a breadth of senior experience across public (local and central government), private, higher education and third sectors, Sukhy has a unique insight into the competing perspectives within which business needs to operate, and has a track record of successfully unlocking untapped potential and achieving critical breakthroughs.
His work now focuses on supporting businesses from start up and at critical points of their development, supporting entrepreneurs, management to navigate and future scope strategic opportunities. This is then grounded by robust business modelling / planning and devising effective delivery and execution plans.
He is committed to his voluntary work and is a Founding Director and Co-Chair of The New Art Exchange Gallery in Nottingham. A consistent area of expertise and focus has been in promoting cohesion and working proactively within diverse communities in building their social capacity and unlocking potential.
Sarah Walker is an all rounded and creatively focused integrated marketer with over 16 years first class business experience in both client and agency roles. Her recent top class experience gained at Xbox (Microsoft) has led her to become a partnership and business development expert come matchmaker.
Sarah has always had a passion for the arts and is now interested in bringing her wealth of experience to benefit the marketing and partnership program for Threshold Studios and Frequency Festival.
Threshold Studios is dedicated to the development of culturally diverse arts and media sectors and associated creative industries. We feel passionately that these industries should fully represent our diverse communities, our heritage and the unique identities we each choose to identify with for ourselves.
By establishing and advocating for key working practices that reward knowledge-sharing and collaborative working, we are encouraging those that work with us to strive for change in the wider working practices of the sector.
We believe in the importance of enabling the authentic voice to be heard and in the importance of sharing our individual and collective stories with each other.
The principles of Cultural Equity are at the core of our organisation: the encouragement and collaboration between people of diverse social, economic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
These principles are the foundations of our relationships with participating individuals, communities, practitioners, partners and stakeholders.