Highgate Festival is a community-based project, run by a small team of volunteers:
Alicia, who has lived in Highgate for 15 years, is a community activist, urbanist and educator and believes in the power of communities to make our cities better, fairer and greener. She teaches at leading schools of architecture.
Alicia is Chair of the Highgate Neighbourhood Forum and co-founded the Highgate Festival to celebrate neighbourhood and community. She ran the St Michael’s School gardening club for 9 years, and now advocates for more growing and nature in our cities and for the importance of bottom-up city making by diverse voices.
In response to the Citizens’ Assembly on the climate crisis recommendation to do more and bring existing community groups together to work on tackling the climate crisis; Camden Council opened a trial pop-up Think & Do community space for climate and eco-action on Kentish Town High Street.
The space aimed to give people in Camden the chance to take part in, run and grow activities that get people more involved in tackling the climate crisis. Alicia was responsible for the exhibition design and installation. The pop-up Think & Do ran for six weeks and closed on Saturday 7th December 2019. Due to its success, Camden extended its presence until May 2020.
For the Highgate Festival 2019, Alicia curated an exhibition on the Ladies Pond (where she swims year-round) and the Pink Plaque project that celebrates amazing women of Highgate.
Helen is a New Zealander, mother of five boys, medical doctor, wife of Highgate Vet’s Allan Rapley and a Highgate resident.
For the last 10 years she has owned and operated an extremely successful non-surgical Harley Street weight loss clinic in the same London location for over 50 years.
Helen is the creator and curator of HIGHGATE HITLIST, the free online listing of the best events published every week. She also designs the Highgate Vet’s window displays that never disappoint and are always worthy of a glimpse and giggle.
For the Highgate Festival 2019 Helen organised the very well attended open gardens, which will be expanded upon this year. Her responsibility in 2020 is to review and vet the Highgate Festival activities.
Maria, an Austrian, German and a bit of Italian has lived in Highgate for ten years. She is a proud allotment owner on Shepherd’s Hill growing artichokes, rhubarb, herbs and flowers.
You can regularly see Maria cycling up the hills of Highgate… the hills are alive.
She was a partner and co-managed a medium sized architecture practice for more than a decade before setting up her own studio www.room102.com.
Maria is a senior lecturer at the University of Westminster and aims to bridge the gap between academia and practice. She has built 1:1 pavilions with students as part of the London Festival of Architecture.
The London Festival of Architecture is the world’s largest annual architecture event and celebrates London as a global hub of architectural experimentation, practice and debate.
Maria is interested in public community space and how architecture can improve our lives and create a more sustainable way of living.
Peter runs his own television and radio production company EFSTV. It makes educational television programmes and videos for the world market. EFSTV also produces audio books.
Formerly an executive producer at the BBC, he also spent some years in West Africa as an officer of the British Council. Peter was engaged in cultural diplomacy.
In Nigeria, he was also the overseas representative of the Voluntary Service Overseas, organising and overseeing the work of British volunteers.
He has directed a number of festivals: the Aberystwyth Arts Festival, the New Universities Festival and the Sunday Times-NUS Drama Festival.
Currently, Peter is working with his son, Harry developing his electric bike shop: www.flyingdutchman.bike. In fact his son won the 2018 and 2019 Rollapaluza Urban Hill Climb along Swains Lane in the electric cargo bike division.
Peter has lived in Highgate for most of his life and takes an active part in local events. He is a member of the Highgate Neighbourhood Forum, and most of the other organisations that keep Highgate interesting and good to live in.
Andrea has lived in Highgate since moving to London from Canada 25 years ago. While a lot has changed in that time, the sense of community remains and is something special about living here.
An online communications professional, Andrea maintains the Highgate Festival website. In her spare time Andrea runs the food blog she created: www.tenmorebites.com.
She sees the Festival as a great opportunity to bring people together to discover and celebrate all that Highgate has to offer.
Kathleen is an American Brit who has lived and worked in New York, Washington DC, London and Europe with Highgate her preferred place to live work and dream.
She is a PR, marketing communications consultant who collaborates with clients of all shapes and sizes on projects large and small. She develops cleverly crafted and realistically budgeted campaigns that market people, places, products and communicate their messages to those that need to know.
Kathleen creates and manages events, installations whether conventional or quirky, be they “scheduled” or “unpredictable surprises”, immersive, interactive or simply and satisfyingly viewed. These include intimate soirees to huge conferences/exhibitions, annual awards dinners and banquets.
She conceived and coordinated the first live garden – the South of France Jardin in St Pancras International Railway Station’s Upper Level, across from Eurostar in situ for several weeks and designed by Clifton Nurseries.
A community enthusiast, Kathleen is on the committee of the Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum, a member of the Highgate Camden Safer Neighbourhood Panel and a member of the Highgate Festival team dealing with marketing communications, PR, social media and fundraising.
Connecting with her international community, Kathleen runs www.americaninengland.com for insiders and bothsiders.
Nicola is a Yorkshire lass who qualified as a solicitor in 1994 and worked as a commercial property lawyer in the City for 12 years.
She spent several years bringing up her two daughters in Muswell Hill and latterly, in Highgate. After spending too much time being on school PTAs (and eating copious amounts of coffee and cake!) she became involved in the campaign to stop the CPZ hours extension in Highgate which, in turn led to being on the Council of the Highgate Society, the committee of the Highgate Neighbourhood Forum and becoming involved in the wonderful Highgate Festival.
In Nicola’s spare time, she loves to walk her dog, talk and exercise – can all be done at the same time!
She feels the best thing about getting involved in the community has been realising the amount of things that go on in Highgate. Nicola feels it’s her mission to try and make sure everyone knows about it.
Sarah is Assistant Head, Community Partnerships Director of Highgate School.
Her first career saw her based both in New York and London, leading challenging local and global projects in the marketing and communications sector. Sarah’s second career took her back into education, where she started out as an unqualified teacher straight out of university.
She now leads Highgate School’s Chrysalis project, providing engaging educational opportunities to pupils in over fifty schools across London.
Sarah project managed the development and opening of the new state sixth form in Tottenham, LAE Tottenham which opened in September 2017 to provide a rigorous academic sixth form to pupils in the east of the borough.
She cycles up Highgate Hill every day from her home in Tufnell Park, runs, walks and swims on Hampstead Heath.
Sarah has a long association with Highgate Village, having spent time staying with close friends on Southwood Lane each year for ten years before she moved back to London in 2009.
Toby and his wife Jenny have lived in Highgate for the last eight years, and can be found walking their whippet Milo on the Heath most weekends.
Toby has worked in marketing and the media for the last 20 years at companies including the BBC, Channel 4 and The Guardian. He is currently working on a new business that encourages exercise to support mental health and positivity.
Toby counts himself very lucky to live in Highgate. With its proximity to Hampstead Heath, Waterlow Park and the centre of London, it is a great place to live. But it’s the true sense of community that makes Highgate so special.
He assists with the Highgate Festival website’s content and maintenance as well as developing the social media campaign.