Clare has been an independent producer working primarily with arts and culture since 2014. She was co-founder and co-director of Mission Models Money (2004-2014), a network of thinkers and doers from the UK and elsewhere, whose goal was to transform the way people working with arts and culture used their resources to create great experiences which had deep public value. Prior to that she has had an extensive career in arts and cultural management and policy which started with the British Council in 1981. From 1991 to 2003 she specialised in fundraising and partnership development with a portfolio of diverse clients the largest of which was Laban where, from 1994 to 1999, she led the development of their award winning Hertzog & de Meuron building. In 1999 she moved to set up the capital campaign for Hampstead Theatre‘s new building. In 2001, she joined Arts & Business (A&B) first taking the role of Director of Development and then becoming their first Director of Policy & Communications. She left A&B in 2005 to set up the third phase of MMM.
In addition to her work with arts and culture, she is co-director, with her sister, of Scotland’s first social enterprise offering moving, downsizing and ageing in place solutions for older people – The Home Straight, ELLi (Assisted Living Technology) Ltd a new company designing and manufacturing beautiful items of adaptive equipment for older people and Vanora’s Cottages, which specialises in offering self-catering holiday accommodation for less able older people and their families. She is also co-founder of Alyth Craft Tourism.
She has served as a Trustee and Director on the Boards of a number of arts and cultural organisations and higher education institutions, most recently as one of the founding Directors of Alyth Development Trust which she served on until the summer of 2017 and the new Cateran Ecomuseum. She is also a member of the Local Action Group for the Perth & Kinross rural LEADER programme and a Circular Tayside Ambassador.
She was born in Tanzania and lived there and in Kenya until her early 20’s. She currently lives in Perthshire in Scotland.
Donna is director of NEoN Digital Arts Festival Scotland’s only international digital arts festival based in Dundee. NEoN aims to advance the understanding and accessibility of digital and technology driven art forms and to encourage high quality within the production of this medium. NEoN has organised exhibitions, workshops, talks, conferences, live performances and public discussions and established itself as a platform to showcase national and international digital art forms. By bringing together emerging talent and well-established artists, the festival aims to influence and reshape the genre. NEoN are committed to helping our fabulous city of Dundee, well known for its digital culture and innovation, to become better connected through experiencing great art, networking and celebrating what this corner of Scotland has to offer in the field of digital arts.
Donna was also founder of Dundee’s Fleet Collective, which operated until 2018 and which provided affordable studio space for people to work both collaboratively and individually on multidisciplinary creative projects.
In past roles within the University of Abertay and Duncan of Jordanstone Collage of Art and Design, Donna developed new strategic policies for disseminating knowledge through a cross-disciplinary multi faceted arts programme within an educational context. The projects and core programmes were designed to enhance and work with the university’s cultural and corporate strategies, delivering major exhibitions combined with other research projects, talks, events, seminars and film programmes.