Mary Helen Young is the Fundraising Consultant for Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature. She is passionate about supporting artists to internationalise their careers and has project managed diverse cultural initiatives over the span of her 16-year career in the arts.
Mary Helen began her professional career in Washington, DC working for the Smithsonian Institution and Liz Lerman Dance Exchange and recently served as Operations Manager for Visiting Arts from 2012-2017. Mary Helen holds a MA in Cultural Policy and Management from City University London, and a Bachelor of Music from Vanderbilt University and has consulted for Birmingham City University, British Council, On The Move network (BE), Music Tech Fest, Arts Catalyst, and Consorzio Marche Specttacolo (IT) on European fundraising and internationalisation strategies.
Reading for me has always been about being immersed in foreign experiences that I don’t have access to in my daily life. I recently read Jung Chang’s Wild Swans which left me inspired by the individual will power of a family of women in an oppressive regime. It also deepened my understanding of and concern for the people of China. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie gave me a window on the experience of recent immigrants in America, my home country, and how the protagonist dealt with shifting definitions of her own identity. The Spider’s House by Paul Bowles introduced me to the exotic atmosphere of Western transplants in the Arab world. Without the aid of the internet, guide books and ubiquitous flights as we have now, this book transports the reader to bygone era of the mystery that surrounded foreign locations and their cultures.
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