Emma Rushton – early-stage ideas lead

Emma’s work sits between the worlds of education and creativity. She has a 25+ year career as a visual artist, exhibiting internationally, and as a university lecturer. Often working collaboratively, as an artist she creates spaces where others are invited in – to think about social politics in relation to lived experience, democracy and citizenship. Emma has worked at numerous universities, including 20 years at the University of Leeds in Fine Art. As an educator, she supports students and young people to self-organise, think creatively and build self-confidence, autonomy and expertise. Emma is currently setting up her own social enterprise art-in. putting art into spaces whilst providing an income for artists.

At Kindred, Emma leads on early-stage ideas – introducing young people or new entrepreneurs to Kindred through the development of a micro-granting strand to support people at the beginning of their STO journey. She also led the recruitment and support of Kindred’s Kickstart apprentices, aiming to introduce young people to the world of socially-trading organisations, and supporting emerging entrepreneurs as part of the Kindred community. Both are designed to widen participation and create a pipeline of new and exciting ideas for the social economy.

Emma captures STOs’ work in photos and helps to prepare them for the money panel process. She is an informal counsellor, helping organisations and individuals explore ideas, grow and become part of a fairer, kinder local economy.