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”.
Director of Programmes
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.
A driven and dedicated Chartered Institute of Marketing professional with extensive experience of working with both developing start-ups and global large scale corporations. Toni has worked both agency and client-side on large multi-faceted global campaigns, including bringing new products to market in new retail categories and strategic innovation in established categories, with considerable integrated marketing and stakeholder experience at Senior Management and Board level.
Her experience includes work in Education, Mental Health, B2B, B2C, IT, FMCG, Tobacco, Arts & Entertainment and charitable sectors, and a proven portfolio of managing large multi-million budgets, using strategic thinking to see return on revenue streams and winning and developing new products and business.
As an Account Director at Four Colman Getty, Chris has been publicising culture and the creative industries since 2008. He works with clients across the UK and internationally, with particular interest in regional festivals and in the meeting points of art and design with science, technology, enterprise and education.
He was nominated as a Rising Star by the Bookseller in 2015 for his work in publishing.
Chris first became involved with Threshold Studios by promoting Frequency, Lincoln’s Festival of Digital Culture in 2013 and has sat on the advisory board since 2014. He holds a first class BA Honours in History of Art from the University of Nottingham and an Advanced Certificate from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.
With a career that began in film education and film festival administration in Cambridge, Sarah has gone on to lecture at Anglia Ruskin University and University of Lincoln before becoming Head of the School of Film & Media.
At Lincoln, Sarah was the University lead for Frequency Festival and for the Arts Council-funded arts/digital/rights project 1215.today.
Her research is concerned with the ways in which cinema presents and contests issues of power, and Sarah’s main area of study in this context is Peruvian cinema and culture. She has recently published a book exploring the relationship between cinema, identity and political violence, and has a new project underway on media and feminist activism in Peru.
Sarah is currently Professor of Film and Media at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.
With a wealth of experience as a facilitator, producer, fundraiser, project developer and manager, Emily has worked for a range of cultural organisations.
Her career began as an actor and facilitator working on a wide variety of engagement programmes with a diverse range of participants and audience members. Throughout her career she has focused on helping to develop young people as decision makers and future leaders through youth-led participatory projects.
Emily is extremely passionate about empowering young programmers and performers and is keen to see young peoples’ voices embedded at a strategic level in all cultural organisations.
After running a bookshop in South London, Harriet undertook a psychology degree followed by a PhD. From starting out as a researcher, she then became a lecturer, taught child psychology, and is now a professor and part of the senior leadership team at University of Lincoln.
Harriet’s research interests have ranged from pregnancy to gardening (she is the author of Psychology of Gardening (Routledge).
In 2013 she was part of a team from University of Lincoln that developed ‘Digital Capabilities’ for the Chelsea Flower Show, a garden structure that responded to Twitter messages and went on to win a gold medal.
Following a move from Head of Psychology to become Director of Innovative Special Projects at Lincoln, Harriet became involved with the School of Film and Media and Frequency Festival. In 2015 she was instrumental in creating an event with Lincoln Co_Lab and Threshold for the 2015 Web We Want Festival at London’s Southbank.
Harriet is also a Trustee of a dementia charity and a community gardening charity.
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.