Christina Wigmore is the Business Development Director at Soft Touch Arts. She is responsible for fundraising, marketing and developing and managing a wide range of creative projects. A big part of her role is making new partnerships across the public and private sector. This aims to make the charity more sustainable and to bring new ways of funding programmes. Soft Touch Arts’ programmes make a huge difference in the lives of young people across Leicestershire that need additional help and support to reach their potential.
Soft Touch has been lucky to have the support of Arch Creative over the past 5 years. The proposal of a documentary and festival about 1960s, Mod-scene Leicester was instantly appealing. Exploring one of the UK’s first youth sub-cultures was personally inspiring for Chris, who used to run an independent fashion shop in Leicester’s Silver Arcade. It has a synergy with Soft Touch too, as many of the young people that the charity work with don’t fit into the mainstream.
Chris saw the potential to widen the project into a project involving community, social history and heritage. Her influence developed the focus on heritage-at-risk in the stories and memories of former Leicester Mods. Shaping A Generation has inspired young people to create their own ‘inspired by Mod Culture’ fashion, music and design exhibition through Soft Touch Arts. Co-director, Sally Norman has also been involved in the project – liaising with the Heritage Lottery Fund and organising creative workshops with different groups of young people to create the Modified exhibition which will run in tandem with the main exhibition at New Walk Museum.
With support secured from the Heritage Lottery Fund and BID Leicester and New Walk Museum’s involvement as a partner, the project has captured the imagination of cultural and business leaders in the city. Through working with Arch Creative and Shaun Knapp as curators and designers, it’s grown into an exciting, one-of-a-kind project for Leicester.