Meet the Trustees

Meet the people that make up our Board of Trustees and the experience they bring to their roles

Anusha Subramanyam. Photo Jessica Milberg

Anna Christoforou


Anna is a public relations consultant with over 20 years’ experience of creating communications strategies and directing high profile PR campaigns for leading Arts organisations, global brands and business innovators, including the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, 14-18NOW, Nike and Ocado.  

Originating from Brighton she is a passionate advocate of the city and since 2006 has worked with Brighton Festival on campaigns that have helped establish it as a key event in the international arts calendar.

Vanessa Lefrançois


Vanessa is a freelance consultant working in the arts and cultural sector, with experience in senior roles including Joint Director and CEO of Oxford Playhouse; Artistic Director and CEO of the Brewhouse Theatre & Arts Centre, Somerset; and Director of Recreational & Prevocational Dance at The Place, London.  

Vanessa spent the first 15 years of her career working internationally as a freelance choreographer and director for opera, theatre and dance companies. A former Trustee of Akādemi, Vanessa sits on the OxLEP Culture and Visitor Economy Sub-Group and Tourism Task Force.  

Vanessa has an Executive MBA (with Distinction), Bayes Business School (formerly Cass); BA (Hons) in Arts Practice and Cultural Studies (First), Coventry University; and trained at London Contemporary Dance School and Alvin Ailey, New York.

Isabel Mortimer


Isabel is a certified Personal and Executive Coach CPCC and a graduate of the prestigious Clore Leadership Programme. 

Isabel is the former Principal Dancer and Resident Director for Matthew Bourne's New Adventures Dance Company and enjoyed an extremely successful 22 year career as a professional dancer and choreographer. 

Isabel is an experienced executive coach supporting clients and specialising in leadership development, cultural change, and enabling positive team dynamics.

Lily Norton


Lily is an autistic dancer, teacher, artist, writer, and audio describer and is proud to be a South East Dance Trustee, as a young, non-binary, queer, disabled artist. 

Currently working with Stopgap Dance Company as Content & Access Artist, Lily is committed to inclusive dance and creating new ways to making dance and choreography accessible to more people.

In their current work role, Lily coordinates Stopgap Dance’s online communications and produces accessible digital creative content, whilst encouraging more people to take part in the company’s artistic, educational, and online projects. Lily’s key interests are: inclusive artistic practices; and weaving processes of care, creative access, and disability justice into projects and organisations.

Maureen Salmon, Chair

Chair of the Board of Trustees

Maureen Salmon MA, SFHEA, FRSA, Cert Mgr & FCMI is a leadership, strategic and organisational development consultant with 30 years’ experience in the cultural, public and third sectors. An activist in racial and social justice, this work underpins all of Maureen’s professional practices. 

As the founder of Freshwaters, an agency offering fresh thinking, new ideas and approaches to sustainable futures, Maureen operates in the international arena, particularly within the African diaspora context. 

A certified chartered manager of the Chartered Management Institute, an experienced coach and accredited emotional intelligence assessor, a post-graduate educator, PhD supervisor and knowledge exchange practitioner at the University of the Arts London, Maureen is also a senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

Maureen’s work has been recognised through Women of the Year Award 2000 Millennium Festival of Women’s Work, and as finalist in the European Union Women of Achievement Awards 2001.

Subathra Subramaniam


Subathra is the Artistic Director and Joint CEO of Akademi, the UK’s leading South Asian Dance organisation, and a choreographer and educator working at the meeting point of dance, culture and science.

Having spent over 20 years as Artistic Director of two South Asian dance companies – Angika and Sadhana Dance – Subathra is experienced at creating work for theatres, festivals and alternative spaces. Subathra’s works are a result of in-depth cross art collaborations with award winning artists alongside extended periods of research undertaken with scientists and academic institutions.

Vicky Sword-Daniels


Vicky is the Arts Council England Programme Lead at Julie’s Bicycle, a non-profit organisation mobilising the arts & cultural sector to take action on the climate and ecological crisis. 

Vicky has 15 years’ experience working at the interface between research and practice in the field of climate and disaster resilience. Her background is in interdisciplinary and applied research, complexity-informed approaches to monitoring and evaluation, and knowledge exchange. Vicky is fascinated in the connections between culture and climate action, and passionate about using evidence to support learning and to foster impact. Vicky holds a Doctorate in Urban Sustainability and Resilience.

Sian Thomas


Sian is the Deputy Director of Finance, University of Sussex and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. 

She has worked in a number of audit, financial management and financial control roles in the accountancy profession and in industry in the UK and mainland Europe including the BBC where she was Head of Finance in a commercial subsidiary and took a lead role in process improvement. 

Louise Zandstra


Louise is the Director of Finance and Enterprise at the Charleston Trust, an artists’ house museum and gallery in East Sussex. She is responsible for the financial management of the trust and leads on commercial income generation. 

Louise trained as a chartered accountant in London and, after qualifying, moved into the charitable sector and she has held senior finance roles in a wide range of theatres and arts organisations, including the Liverpool Everyman theatre, the Lyric Hammersmith theatre and Brighton Dome & Festival.