WHO WE ARE
The Amplify Project is led by Patricia Cumper and Pauline Walker. We’re both writers and we share a fascination with the people, the process, and the art and craft of writing so we’ve invited Black writers for the stage, page and screen to tell us about themselves, their work, what inspires them and why they write.
The discussions that led to setting up The Amplify Project began before the pandemic, before the summer of George Floyd, before the world assumed its current shape. We both saw similar patterns in the publishing and theatre industries: Publishers saying they couldn’t find Black British writers, who felt that there wasn’t a sufficient market for the work they were receiving.
We wanted a practical response to these concerns, one that we could shape ourselves and reflected our interests, as writers ourselves, in the lives, work and practice of Black British writers, not just when their latest book, play or programme came out but as thinkers and artists in their own right. So we set up the podcast and accompanying website.
If you like what you hear, please spread the word and recommend The Amplify Project podcast to your friends and colleagues. All the episodes can be found on your favourite podcast platforms; listen, like, comment and subscribe.
Joining Patricia and Pauline for Series 2 are:
Marketing Manager, Jennie Gentles
Jennie has over twenty years experience of working in the arts. She values the arts and strongly believes creativity is a strong catalyst for social change. She’s passionate about audience development and supporting organisations to grow and diversify their audience base. She has a strong commitment to harnessing digital communications to support brand development and social engagement.
Career highlights include working in the commercial and voluntary sectors with leading organisations such as MGM, Sony, United Artists, Virgin and more recently Hoxton Hall and Horizon Showcase. Added to this, she has been privileged to support several freelance artists to devise strategic marketing and communications plans as well as hands-on delivery of campaigns for organisations and festivals including Amina Khayyam Dance Company, Shoot Festival and Horizon Showcase.
She’s mentored several early career arts marketing professionals and has been a board member of the Arts Marketing Association, Bristol Old Vic and Vice Chair of ACE Dance & Music.
Publicist, Tolu Rachael Akisanya
Tolu has a BA in Public Relations and is an experienced publicist with over ten years’ experience in the industry. With a multifaceted career history, she has worked with some of the UK’s top organisations, spearheading and contributing to several successful campaigns across entertainment, creative arts, sport, consumer, and finance.
Administrator, Annika Brown
Annika has worked in theatre venues for over fifteen years and is an experienced senior manager. In 2021, Annika was featured as one of twenty five Black Champions of Theatre by the Alfred Fagon Awards for her contribution to the industry. Annika is part of the collective, Black Womxn in Theatre, that saw over 250 black womxn come together for the #WeAreVisible photoshoot at the Globe Theatre in 2019, and the #AllofUs campaign in 2020 which supported black and brown people who were made redundant during the pandemic. More recently, Annika was Operations Director for Woolwich Works, where she, along with the senior management team, opened the new cultural district in the heart of Woolwich riverside in September 2021. Annika is currently the Company Secretary for Crystal Palace Park Trust who are set to become custodians of Crystal Palace Park in 2023.