Strike a Light, led by Creative Director Nicola Benge, hosts a dedicated group of Community Interests Company Directors who include specialists in an extensive range of  related professional areas from Production Management to Arts Production to Teaching, and Administration.

This way of working means that we are flexible and adaptable, creating a bespoke team for each project. This has led us to a more efficient and economical way of working. We are a practical, friendly, and approachable team  – we care about what we do and we it shows!


Nicola Benge set up Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage in 2010 to explore creative ways to work with memories with groups and organisations across Sussex. 

As a committed and professional project manager and producer, with many years experience of facilitating arts and heritage projects and roles, I love collaborating with partners, clients and staff to manage projects, activities and events for successful delivery.

I also work as a freelance arts and heritage manager for national organisations and charities including English Heritage, V& A Museum, Age Exchange and Royal Voluntary Service amongst others, using these skills and my enthusiasm and focus to inform my work as a producer – through exhibitions, resources and events.

Dr Sam Carroll managed Strike a Light’s Ale and Hearty project from August 2013 to January 2014 and also took on the role of Heritage and Education Resource Facilitator, producing the learning resource and booklet “Ale Tales”. 

Sam specialises in Life History Research with a wide range of experience in both the academic and community arenas across many research projects as trainer, tutor, project worker, project manager, student mentor and consultant. She has taught on post-graduate programmes at the University of Sussex and open courses at the Mass Observation Archive.

She has been the Community Heritage Researcher for the AHRC funded Gateways to the First World War Engagement Centre (University of Kent) and is also the Administrator for the Centre for Research in Memory, Narrative and Histories (University of Brighton).

Clare Hankinson has collaborated with Strike a Light on creative heritage projects in Brighton since 2010 as event organiser, project coordinator, and fundraiser. She is currently the Audience Development Manager – Older People for Fabrica, Brighton to engage older people with contemporary art.

Through this and her parallel Project Manager role, she works with artists and facilitators to explore different ways of meeting and engaging audiences, through exhibitions and events at Fabrica, other arts venues and in the community.  She is also a freelancer and artist in her own right.

Cath Tajima-Powell worked on Strike a Light’s Ale and Hearty Heritage Lottery Funded project and more recently the Afrikaba project. She has a wide base of experience working in accessible heritage events and  community projects as well as art festivals and  creative industries.

Direct engagement and good communication are the keystones for her contribution on many successful projects such as Coastal Currents Arts Festival, Stade Development, Ale and Hearty, the Martlett (HLF projects),  and Heritage Open Days. As founder of a popular local lifestyle magazine and brand she also has excellent marketing and fundraising skills.

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Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage is a community interest company. We focus on exploring life stories and history through creative projects.