Maria Graduated from Hope University, Liverpool, with a B.A Honours in Creative and Performing Arts. She has a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. She is hoping to embark on a Drama Therapy Master’s programme in 2017.
Maria has been at the Black-E since 2009 when she joined our staff as the Youth Work Manager. Her responsibilities as Deputy Director are wide-ranging, including not only responsibility for the Youth Programme and shared responsibility with the Director for the overall cultural programme, but also shared responsibility for the line-management of all staff, including both fund-raising and hires, and also for the creation and implementation of strategic plans and policies to take The Black-E forward. Maria plays a leading role in advocacy, and in networking, liaising, and working with other arts organisations and with public and other bodies.
Maria’s passion derives from both personal experience and her background in the community arts. As a director and actor she has created both dramatic performances and installations, on the issues of mental health and domestic violence (including for Nwoko, the drama company which she both founded and directs). Maria delivers workshops in the community that inform and empower groups and individuals from marginalised communities.
During her time at the Black-E Maria has created and developed the Youth Circus programme, Gymnastic programme and Saturday Creative Clubs. Creative work with young people suffering disadvantage and encountering discrimination is at the heart of all her beliefs and actions, particularly leading the creative and innovative celebration of neuro diversity with young people diagnosed with mental health problems.