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Patricia Stead

Photo of Patricia Stead

Former-Director, Organiser, Daredevil

At the age of 10, Patricia won a competition by raising the most sponsorship money in her class at school. She did this by smiling as much as possible when neighbours answered the door.  That smile has become a bit of a trademark: in one organisation, she was voted the worst liar as she couldn’t keep a straight face; she was ‘asked to leave’ a visitor attraction in Australia for giggling too much; and she was the recipient of ‘the bucket of water over the head’ at acting school on numerous occasions for grinning whilst ‘in character.’  However, Patricia still believes that finding things that make you smile is the best way to get through life.


Patricia’s 40th birthday present was a pair of serious-looking roller blades that she used to get from A to B for her role as Head of Culture in Hammersmith & Fulham as they were faster than public transport.   She once even received a round of applause from passengers sitting in their cars in a traffic jam for rocking a double spin before coming to a stop at a crossing.  At 50, Patricia took up high board diving, going on to win a few medals at national Master’s level competitions…as well as visiting A&E with concussion.


Patricia never knew what she wanted to be when she grew up, but she loved singing and dancing and was unsurprisingly drawn to performing.  It was about creating worlds with other people, becoming different characters, exploring relationships with other people.  That led her into a career in the cultural sector, realising quickly that making things happen for other people was much more fun than being the person out front.

The list of roles that Patricia has had in her career is long. From running an arts centre in a semi-rural part of West Australia, teaching French actors to pronounce “Thane” and Glamis” in a Parisian production of Macbeth, to writing Arts Council England’s first performance management framework, programming contemporary dance for Glasgow’s International Festival and creating a network of social leaders across the country with Clore Social Leadership, Patricia believes that the best part of working collaboratively is finding out who people are and what makes them tick, appreciating that having the right support is the only way to tackle the enormity of the challenges facing our country.

Patricia left the Collective Impact Agency in July 2020.

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