Birmingham, UK
The Space

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The Space Team

Helen Spencer

Commissioning Executive

Helen is a Commissioning Executive for The Space, an organisation that aims to increase the audience for, and the impact of, publicly funded arts and cultural events. It helps develop digital skills across the UK’s arts sector to enable them to distribute their work online to audiences both nationally and internationally.

Since joining The Space in 2016, Helen has worked with over 50 large and small-scale organisations commissioning a wide range of projects including Complicite’s The Encounter (winner The Stage Innovation Award 2017), Rosie Kay’s 5 SOLDIERS and Artichoke’s London 1666.

The works have been distributed across a range of platforms including cinemas, BBC TV, Opera Vision, The Guardian, El Pais, Le Figaro, Periscope, YouTube and Facebook.

Helen joined The Space from BBC Comedy where she was the Creative Director of the Salford Sitcom Showcase helping talent win commissions across radio, TV and online.

She also worked as an award winning Senior Producer/Director across Current Affairs and Factual Entertainment and has made television programmes worldwide for BBC, ITV and Channel 4. As Director of Creative Media in an online and gaming company Helen worked with a range of museums, galleries and cultural organisations developing projects using technology in innovative ways.

At heart, Helen enjoys the art of storytelling, giving voice to a diverse range of people and producing engaging content to be shared digitally.

Helen has worked as a consultant for the National Film and Television School, Northern Way and as a trustee of Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle.

Joe Bell

Head of Audience Development

Joseph is a Creative Digital Producer with a particular interest in immersive media and digital history.

Over the years, he has developed and produced a range of innovative and award-winning work, much of it during his 7 years at the BBC. He has also worked as a freelancer – engaging brands, broadcasters and heritage & arts organisations to develop and produce a range of audience-focused digital projects.

Recent credits include a series of arts projects through The Space, the ‘Global Values: Where Do You Fit?’ quiz experience for BBC Tomorrow’s World and the highly successful Dan Snow-fronted ‘Passchendaele 100’ and ‘Cambrai 100’ campaigns for the Royal British Legion.

Sarah Toplis

Commissioning Executive

Sarah is a Commissioning Executive for The Space and specialises in developing projects that lie at the intersection between art, design and technology.

Her experience spans producing ambitious large-scale public arts, interactive installations, artists’ films and a wide range of online/cross-platform projects. Formerly Digital Producer at Southbank Centre, Commissioning Editor at Tate and Editor for Getty Images Reportage, she has worked with range of museums, galleries, festivals and creatives. She has also worked independently as a freelance Producer working with artists, creative studios and commercial clients including Intel, Nike and Nissan.

Sarah recently attended NYU’s Tisch Art School ITP programme so she could focus on exploring the imaginative use of new creative technologies across art, design and social change. She is interested in how technologies can bring creative disciplines together to create innovative work and bring new audiences to the arts.


John White

Chief Operating Officer

John was previously managing director of Amuzo, a BAFTA-nominated, multi-award winning games agency. He oversaw the production of games for clients including LEGO, CBBC, Disney, GMTV and Warner Bros, which collectively achieved more than 700 million game plays as well as #1 rankings in the Apple app store in 117 countries.

Prior to his role at Amuzo, John was commercial director of B2B marketing agency, VLP, where he set up its interactive division, gaining clients including Railtrack, Hays Plc and the Richard Rogers Partnership.

Sarah Fortescue

Sarah is a distribution consultant with a background in marketing and development for arts and third sector organisations. She is Head of Distribution at The Space, where her projects have featured on the BBC, Channel 4, Sky Arts, The Guardian and Buzzfeed.

Recent projects include Antarctica: The First Dance (Corey Baker Dance), Golem (1927 Company), Unspoken Spoken (Candoco), A Christmas Carol (Assembly), Atomos (Studio Wayne McGregor) and Rumpelstiltskin (balletLORENT).

Sarah’s ambition is to make excellent art available to all.

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