Introducing espaço agora now – Space [for] now

Monday, December 13, 2021 - 19:00 to 21:00

Introducing espaço agora now
Monday 13th of December at 7pm (Beirut time) / 6pm (CET)

A conversation through Zoom
Register by sending an email to


‘We all need spaces where we can reimagine who we are.’

Faustin Linyekula, choreographer  (DR Congo)


Zoukak invites artists and practitioners who are interested in the exchange of practice and opportunities of residencies, to join us in this conversation with Naomi Russel and Becky Schutt, founding members of espaço agora.

Naomi and Becky will be introducing the participants to the project “espaço agora”, exploring the idea behind it, its module, values, challenges, as well as the opportunities it holds for artists from across the world.

The conversation would be 75-90 minutes long, in the hopes of:

  • Welcoming all present
  • Sharing and exploring the espaço agora idea, model and underlying values
  • Articulating the problem(s) espaço agora is trying to solve and whether those issues are relevant to you and your work
  • Exploring if and how espaço agora could be of use / interest to your working practice

Hoping this will be an open and honest conversation as we continuously test and refine (and refine and test) the idea.

We thank you in advance for joining us in that spirit!

Founding team, espaço agora now: Naomi Russell, Patrick Dickie, Becky Schutt, Catarina Saraiva, Margarida Colaço
Independent board members, Stichting Pássaros: Irene van Affelen, Onno Paymans



espaço agora now is an ambitious project that reimagines public experiment and artist

development for the most imaginative artists of their generation in the performing arts. Our vision is for an international, 27 city network of large scale spaces that establish fresh connections with the public and local citizens, with founding cities in 2023 to include Lisbon, London, Rotterdam, Belgrade and Buenos Aires.

These spaces will give artists time, kinship, and resources to explore and test ideas at the earliest point in the creative process – through up to 70 residencies per annum, local artist faculties and civic dialogue. These will be welcoming spaces where together we can tackle the aesthetic and systemic questions that are urgent now.  

The backbone of the espaço agora model is an international community of artists. It is with this growing collective that we are co-designing the approach for the 27 residencies and venues, ancillary services, knowledge-sharing, and the underlying financial model. Ultimately we wish to ensure that our espaço agora sites are as nurturing as they can be and relevant to the communities in which they sit.


Founding Team

We have a founding team in place, based in different locations, currently numbering 5 people and with appointments being made for others to join us.

The team shares a commitment to reimagining a new arts ecosystem that grows on an exponential scale. Between us we have many years experience as Senior Leaders, Entrepreneurs, Producers, Artists, Funders, Strategists, Investors, Lecturers, Movement-starters. We are known for our innovative, generous approaches to transforming 200 world-leading arts organisations + ecosystems in over 30 countries and are fluent in start-up cultures, having worked with 22,000 creative social entrepreneurs in the global south and starting our own successful enterprises working across borders.

In December you will meet two of our members – Naomi and Becky:

Naomi Russell (General Director) is a creative producer and strategic advisor who has worked with many of the most influential performing arts institutions and artists across Europe. They include Nederlands Dans Theater, Royal Opera House, Holland Festival, Rambert, OPART Lisbon, Donmar Warehouse, Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Young Vic Theatre, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Wayne McGregor, Ivo van Hove and Peter Brook.

Her practice is now focused on supporting mid-career artists and makers and she’s currently creative producer for choreographers Marina Mascarell and Amos Ben-Tal, composer Vasco Mendonça, working on projects with Jamie Man, Lies Pauwels, Bushra El-Turk and Gorges Ocloo for LOD muziektheater and executive producer for SOUNDINGS a large scale site specific project and exhibition for the Groninger Landschap and Groninger Museum in 2023 with artists Theun Mosk, Robert Wilson and Andreas Hirsch. She advises institutions such as the British Council, Carlow Arts Festival, MACNAS and Scottish Ballet on programmes working at the intersection of culture and society and teaches Cultural Economics and Creative Entrepreneurship at Erasmus University, Rotterdam and the Art + Design Akademie, ZUYD Hogeschool, Maastricht.


Becky Schutt (Managing Director) was until March 2021 British Council’s Head of Developing Inclusive and Creative Economies (DICE), co-delivered in Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan,South Africa and the UK. Taking a ecosystem, co-designed and joyous approach, DICE built capacity for more than twenty thousands otherwise excluded creative social entrepreneurs and the intermediaries, journalists, and policy-makers who support them. Becky is former Fellow and Lecturer in Arts & Culture at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, Chair of Hoipolloi Theatre, and Founding Chair of the UK’s Relaxed Performance Project, catalysing an international movement to welcome people with severe autism and their families into theatres.

As strategist, she’s advised over 65 international organisations in 20 countries, including Tate and Plus Tate, Arts Council England, Art Dubai, State Tretyakov Gallery, Banff Centre, Crossing Borders Education,Amman National Conservatory, and National Museum Wales. She began her career aboard Artrain USA, a museum on a train that brought NASA’s art collection to communities across America.

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