Jonathan May is a creative programmer, producer, writer and cultural broker. Jonathan has specialisms in festivals, and digital innovation within arts, creative economy and cultural practices. Jonathan’s work spans the live performance and visual arts, moving image and lens-based media. With experience across arts charities, institutions and commercial studios, Jonathan brings a deep knowledge on the relationship between culture and creative economies, and an exceptional global network across artforms and organsiations. Jonathan has a particular programming expertise in digital placemaking; harnessing the use of new technologies to create compelling immersive experiences that resonate with the public in the ‘experience economy’.
As a programmer and producer Jonathan leads an interdisciplinary and multi-lingual teams to create ambitious cultural events and collaborations that forge unlikely communities. He has led international, interdisciplinary programmes with festivals and organisations such as Abandon Normal Devices, British Council, Marshmallow Laser Feast, Photoworks, and LIFT. From building-wide takeovers in abandoned buildings of Bogota, installations in Mexico nightclubs and public artworks on São Paulo skyscrapers, Jonathan have over ten years’ experience producing live and interactive online experiences and events internationally and within major UK institutions including Tate Turbine Hall, British Museum and Whitechapel Gallery.
Jonathan is regularly invited to mentor creative teams and artists working at the intersection of arts and technology with organisations such as CPH:DOX, Somerset House Studios, and Silbersalz Science & Media Festival; mentees and artworks he has supervised have been recognised with awards such as the Lumen Prize and Stanley Picker Fellowship.
As a writer, researcher and broker in the creative economy, cultural and arts policy space, Jonathan has extensive global networks and experience delivering research, strategy and development programmes that explore and uncover the working of cultural ecosystems in creative cities and regions. He has led strategic research, collaboration and development programmes globally, with a particularly strong track record in the Americas, Europe, South Asia, Southwest Asia and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Major collaborators, clients and partners include Arts Council England, Arts and Humanities Research Council, Barbican, British Council, Clore Leadership, European Cultural Foundation and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Central areas of expertise include digital innovation and placemaking, strategic cultural interventions in cities, co-creation and participatory programming, mapping and network building, and creative entrepreneurship.
Jonathan was born in Gloucester (UK), 1983, studied Drama at Liverpool John Moores University. He graduated with distinction a master’s degree in performance studies at Goldsmiths University, London. Jonathan is a Clore Fellow, and Trustee of Strike a Light, Gloucester.