Saad Eddine Said

Saad Eddine Said is a curator who initiates and develops partnerships between communities, creatives, and institutions to reshape the future of towns and cities. His purpose is to re-think and re-imagine the potential of citizens as a societal foundation for leadership and decision-making. He is the CEO and Artistic Director of New Art Exchange Co-Director and Co-Founder of Citizens In Power and Co-Chair of Contemporary Visual Arts Network England

Saad, please tell us about your role:

I am the CEO and Artistic Director of New Art Exchange in Nottingham. My position is people focused and my main role is to make sure the organisation always stays mission-focused, that it is financially healthy and most importantly, that there is a structure and culture that supports the team to deliver excellence, innovation and excitement in all the work we do alongside our different partners, collaborators and stakeholders.

What was your journey into the arts:

I think the art world made its journey into my life and not the opposite. I grew up in Morocco, where arts and politics are blended. I come from a working-class background where ‘Who has and hasn’t access to privilege?’ was a key question that shaped my early years. I might have ended up being a politician, but I was offered a broken guitar by one of my childhood friends when I was 16. So, I started playing music and it saved me from what I could have become!

What inspires you:

People who defy the odds.

How does your experience contribute to CVAN London, and what are your goals for the London network

I joined CVAN National as a Co-Chair 18 months ago (I think) so my role is to support Paula and all regional directors in any way I can. I am focusing on the work around the Fair and Equitable agenda, but I also share the wider ambitions for CVAN to be a stronger network for the sector. I hope some of my experience and expertise will contribute to delivering this collective goal.

What three words describe CVAN London

Strategically positioned to influence

What are you currently working on and what does the future hold

We are developing NAE to become a national and international model and blueprint of citizen-led galleries and cultural institutions. We have been quietly doing and delivering key work around this ambition and we will be sharing more soon.

I think the future holds a combination of important global financial and societal challenges as well as exceptional local opportunities for innovation and for inspiring change. If you are in the arts, know that your work is important.

Thank you!

Saad Eddine Said