Sophie Hayles


Sophie is an experienced international arts professional in the public and private sectors – as a project director, relationship manager, strategist and fundraiser. She has held positions in London, Brussels and Aarhus and undertaken freelance work in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Ireland and the UK. Currently based in Belfast, she is Chair of the Board of Creative Exchange Artist Studios, Committee Member of Barnardo’s NI and mentor to a number of leading arts professionals through Arts & Business Northern Ireland.

She was Strategic Development Manager at Aarhus European Capital of Culture 2017 where she designed the organisation’s fundraising strategy, Strategic Relations Manager at the Whitechapel Gallery where she managed key relationships including Arts Council England, local businesses, national policy initiatives, and programmes such as the government-led Tech City agenda. Previously she was Global Project Consultant for the British Council’s multi-million pound arts initiative Cultural Leadership International – working with more than 80 cultural-sector partners in 25 countries, as well as successfully fundraising for its pilot year. She began her career as Arts Manager with the British Council in Brussels, and setting up the private visual arts organization ROLLO Contemporary Art. Sophie was a Clore Leadership Programme short course fellow in 2012; she has a MA in Modern and Medieval Languages from the University of Cambridge, an MA in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, and is fluent in French and Italian