I am an accomplished and versatile writer, with over 15 years’ experience of content creation, communications and engagement, gained in the arts, education and charity sectors. I currently divide my time between freelance writing and leading on the development activity at the arts charity English Folk Dance and Song Society, and its award-winning arts venue Cecil Sharp House in London. This builds on lots of experience in communications, creating copy and marketing strategies for various national charities and at the London School of Economics. I also write regularly about contemporary art and culture, and my writing regularly appears in publications including The Wire and at organisations such as Liverpool Biennial and The Tetley. I was an artist in residence at Wysing Arts Centre throughout 2018, and I am currently working on my first book for Faber & Faber. Writing is my first love and at the heart of everything I do. I work quickly, efficiently and I love new challenges - I'm available for freelance work now, so let's have a chat if you have any interesting projects coming up. As well as art, I also love music, food, fashion and I know lots of good jokes. I'm on Twitter @tessanorton and on Instagram @veryspecificvideotapesLocked Pro Plan feature
Co-Editor with Bob Stanley of a major book about The Fall: https://fabersocial.co.uk/2019/04/09/excavate-the-wonderful-and-frightening-world-of-the-fall/
Freelance interviews (inc. Metahaven, Marianna Simnett) and reviews (exhibitions, albums, books).
• As head of department and a member of the senior management team, I lead on fundraising activity for the English Folk Dance and Song Society (the only Arts Council NPO for the folk arts) and our award-winning flagship venue Cecil Sharp House in north London. • Write all fundraising copy for print, advertising and online (3 x campaigns a year) together with targeted Facebook and Instagram advertising. • Leading on £200k Arts Council Catalyst project to develop an individual giving income stream, and bringing in £105k in match funding for the organization (99k of 105k target raised with 6 months remaining). • Raised three times our target income through Shape The Future 2015 – a major individual giving fundraising campaign to restore the main space in Grade II listed Cecil Sharp House, a much-loved purpose built mid-century building in Primrose Hill featuring a bespoke Ivon Hitchens mural and a sprung dancefloor. • Led the marketing for a major arts commission, Sweet Liberties, delivered in partnership with the House of Commons and Folk by the Oak festival, featuring a launch event at the Speaker’s House, Palace of Westminster and a successful 6-date tour of music venues including Bristol Colston Hall and Sage Gateshead. The project received media coverage across the music sector and beyond, including features in the Times, The Independent, Mark Radcliffe on Radio 2 and on Radio 4's Front Row. • Refreshed the brand of Cecil Sharp House by commissioning a range of illustrators including David Doran and Luke Drozd – saving £8k p.a. on design agency costs by sourcing print directly. • Represented the organisation at various conferences and events, including an appearance on a panel at The Hub music leadership conference, and in an interview on The Wireless radio’s Folk Show.
• Co-editor, with Bob Stanley, of a major book on cult band The Fall, scheduled for publication by Faber & Faber in 2020 – featuring archive material and contributions from leading writers including Stewart Lee; • Artist/writer in residence at Wysing Arts Centre throughout 2018, working on a non-fiction book about art and parenthood, publishing in summer 2019; • Regular contributor of arts reviews and interviews to publications such as The Wire and This is Tomorrow; • Readings, events and panel appearances include Liverpool Biennial, The Tetley (Leeds), Flat Time House (London), Art Licks Weekend (London), Saltaire Arts Trail (West Yorkshire), [SPACE] (London). • Contributed accompanying essays to a series of exhibitions at Andy Holden’s project space Ex-Baldessarre.
Communications Manager for the LSE Cities urban design project.
MA, Cultural and Critical Studies
Artist in residence throughout 2018, working on a non fiction book about art and parenthood