Marie McPartlin is director of Somerset House Studios, a new experimental workspace for artists, makers and thinkers in the centre of London with over 200 residents. The studios are a platform for the development of new creative projects and collaboration, promoting work that pushes bold ideas, engages with urgent issues and pioneers new technologies. She began her career in music as live music programmer at the Spitz venue in London and later associate programmer for contemporary music at the Barbican under the Cultural Leadership Programme. She co-founded London Word Festival in 2007, for which she received a Paul Hamlyn Breakthrough Award for cultural entrepreneurship. She was previously director of Kinsale Arts Festival in Ireland, and over the last 12 years has worked independently as a producer and programmer with Sydney Festival, Frieze Projects, the Roundhouse, the National Trust and Create.