Julian Knight

Creative Director

Julian is a social entrepreneur with fifteen years’ management experience in the arts sector, and particular expertise in devising and developing participatory projects which use creativity to enhance educational achievement, aspiration, and social cohesion. He strongly believes in the life-changing role that the arts can play in enriching the lives of all children and young people, especially those facing challenging circumstances. Through Creative Futures Julian is building a raft of partnerships and programmes which is inspiring children and young people, enabling their creativity to flourish, and bringing positive change to society.

Vanessa Stansall

Creative Producer 

Vanessa is an experienced teacher specialising in Early childhood music and makes music with children in nurseries and teaches early years piano and musicianship. She holds an MA (Distinction) in Education (Early Childhood Music) from the Centre for Research in Early Childhood and a PGCE in Music from the Institute of Education.

Having started her career as a secondary school music teacher, she has subsequently worked as both a music and general teacher/practitioner in a number of primary schools and nurseries. She also worked in Spain where she led multi-arts projects with young children and as Education Assistant at the New London Orchestra, working on education and community projects.

Vanessa loves working with young children because she learns so much from them – about music and about life! She has spoken at conferences and events by MERYC-England, EuNet MERYC, Music Mark, Sound Connections and Tri-Music Together.

Sabrina Scolaro

Creative Programmes Manager

Sabrina is a practising artist with a varied career within creative industries. During a demanding 15 year career in the music industry promoting bands abroad, she attended Chelsea College of Art and Design part-time and graduated with a BA in Fine Art. She regularly takes part in indie art fairs and has work in private collections.

Over the last six years she has been teaching drawing, painting and ceramics in an art school in NW London. Through teaching, she has witnessed the transformative impact of a creative education in students aged 5 to 95 and is keen to help broaden cultural engagement in schools and local communities.

Sabrina is currently reading Arts Policy and Management MA at Birkbeck University.

Lori Gargani (currently on Maternity Leave)

Creative Producer

Lori is a Creative Practitioner with a demonstrated history of working in the field of Theatre in Education, Edutainment and designing learning experiences for children. She holds First Class Honours degree in Performance Design and Practice from Central Saint Martins and a Certificate in Therapeutic Play from the Institute of Arts in Therapy and Education.


Lori has undertaken various creative roles over the past few years, including being an Activity Designer at KidZania London – an immersive role-play city for children; volunteered as a Play Therapist in primary schools; designed youth programmes for St John Ambulance and founded her own Theatre in Education business called Props and Goggles. Through these experiences, she has become passionate about using the arts to enhance learning experiences, improve health and wellbeing and bring communities together.


Tonique Lemard

Project Assistant

Tonique has been working with Creative Futures since 2013. She started off as a volunteer and now works closely on the Building Stronger Community Families project, supporting families and encouraging mums and dads to attend the drop-ins. She enjoys working with the team, meeting new families and seeing the benefits they get from these groups.

Katie Mason

Creative Producer (Sounding Out project)

Katie is a developmental psychologist, researcher and musician with over 12 years’ experience in developmental, cognitive and educational research. Her work focuses on how children acquire language, thinking and problem-solving skills (known as executive functions), and the underlying mechanisms that make some activities particularly effective in supporting these areas of development. She completed her doctorate at University College London in 2017, where she designed and evaluated the effect of a music-based intervention on deaf children’s executive function skills. Katie has always been driven to explore the potential for music training to grow and reinforce key cognitive skills throughout the lifespan, and is dedicated to conducting research with a collaborative approach, working with Deaf and hearing teachers, musicians, artists, other practitioners and young people. In 2018, she co-founded the research group ‘Music and Cognition’ with Alice Bowmer, which aims to understand and explain the impact that music and the arts can have on young people’s development.

Our Ambassadors

We are delighted to have three high profile Ambassadors who have come on board to support the charity in achieving positive outcomes for children and young people through the arts.

Riz Ahmed

Actor and MC

“The arts are how we make sense of the world, ourselves, and each other. It is therefore crucial that young people have the access and support needed to express themselves through the arts, and have a hand in shaping our culture. Artistic expression at a young age builds character, bridges, and a belief in the power of your voice – and it is these voices we need to amplify if we are to build an inclusive society that empowers the vulnerable and reflects the aspirations of the next generation. Creative Futures work with top level artists and educators to help make this goal a reality.”

Joanne Harris MBE


“Current research suggests that three in ten households in the UK have no books at all. And yet, access to books is maybe the most important factor in achieving academic, personal and professional success. Reading develops intelligence, creativity and critical thinking skills. Reading fiction helps develop empathy and understanding – rare qualities in today’s world. The same is true for music, theatre, and other expressions of creativity in the arts. These things help us make connections with other human beings; they give a much-needed context to our place in the world and in society. They can greatly enhance quality of life for people of all ages, and be appreciated on any level. In these times of political and social unrest, we need the arts and what they bring to our lives – joy, communication, empathy, and the sharing of our common human experience - more than ever before.”

Matthew Xia

Theatre Director and DJ

“Music and the arts have been instrumental in creating opportunities for me and many others from disadvantaged backgrounds across the UK. I found my confidence and learnt to process the world when I joined my local youth theatre, I developed a voice when I started writing lyrics, and learnt how to express the inexplicable when I started making music. Creative Futures insist that similar transformative opportunities are available to all young people, especially the more vulnerable.”