The Space, the commissioning and development agency promoting digital engagement across the cultural sector, announced today that Sarah Ellis, Director of Digital Development at the RSC, has been appointed as its new Chair. Sarah joins as Fiona Allan, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Birmingham Hippodrome and President, UK Theatre, steps down as Chair after a four-year tenure. Sarah will work closely with Fiona Morris, Chief Executive and Creative Director of The Space, to build on the existing work of the organisation and develop new opportunities, driving digital innovation in the arts, cultural and heritage sectors.
Sarah is an award-winning producer and, as Director of Digital Development for the RSC, has spearheaded a number of digital innovations in theatre. She is currently leading the Audience of the Future programme, a £16m investment as part of the government Industrial Strategy Challenge which involves 15 specialist organisations and pioneers in immersive technology, including The Space, with the aim of shaping how audiences will experience live performance in the future.
The Space is also announcing the results of an independent evaluation of its work, which shows that it has significantly exceeded targets for its founding programme from 2014-2018, supporting cultural organisations to develop their audiences online and build digital skills and capacity for the future.
Sarah Ellis said, “I am hugely excited to take on the role of Chair for The Space enabling me to build on the exceptional work that Fiona Allan has Chaired and Fiona Morris and her team have done over the last four years. Digital innovation in arts and culture is at a pivotal moment with an increasing number of new ways in which audiences can experience live performance using new and emerging technologies. Culture develops as technology advances, and there are more and more opportunities that can be developed and experimented with to bring this technology to global audiences. As we test these opportunities, bringing together new partnerships and sectors that have not worked together before, the potential is huge and there to see. We just need to grasp it and grow its potential. I look forward to exploring what is possible with The Space team.”