Aerian Rogers, David Kennedy, Simon Pell - North East influencers

PUBLISHED: 10:52 21 March 2011 | UPDATED: 19:02 20 February 2013

Aerian Rogers

Aerian Rogers

A profile of people from all walks of life who influence those around them for the better and make a positive difference to the North East

Aerian Rogers artful ambition

Areian Rogers is Head of Development for BALTIC, the landmark international centre for contemporary art on the South bank of the River Tyne in Gateshead.

Aerian was Development Manager at the British Museum in London, but the challenge of working for BALTIC attracted her to Gateshead three years ago. She has overseen the creation of a three-year strategy to improve the commercial appeal of the gallery.

BALTIC will host The Turner Prize 2011, the first time the exhibition has been hosted by a non-Tate gallery, and Aerian will play a central role in making The Turner Prize a success.
She lives with her partner in Newcastle and enjoys taking part in open water swimming and triathlons.

She says to be successful you need empathy, honesty and ambition. You have to have a drive to achieve things but retain an understanding of the pressures people are under. Its important not to forget that everyone sets out with the best of intentions.

David Kennedy - driving force

David Kennedy says he has his paternal grandmother, who raised him from aged 12, to thank for his appreciation of home cooking and his career path.

David opened Black Door on Clayton Street, Newcastle, in 2003, and in 2006 the Brasserie Black Door at the Biscuit Factory in Newcastle, the year before he was crowned North East Chef of the Year.

Now after nearly eight years of the Black Door Group, David has created NE2 Food Social, based in the Biscuit Factory, and serving innovative, locally sourced food.

David is keen to nurture upcoming talent and is a driving force behind the North East Culinary Trade Association, and a keen supporter of Northumbria Larder, the North East food group.
I have always been clear about my aims and my ideas - and I dont compromise.

If you have a genuine passion for cooking and food, I believe your interest will fan the flames of passion in others.

Simon Pell - theatre anorak

Theatre designer says: I have always been a bit of a theatre anorak, but as I have got older I have become a compleat theatre anorak - sets, sets, sets is all I can think about

Simon worked in London from 1981 to 1987 as a scene painter at the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare, and in the West End, then moved temporarily to Barnard Castle in County Durham, but loved it so much he stayed.

Since then he has designed over 150 theatre productions, and was resident designer at the Gala Theatre in Durham from 2006 to 2010, which included the massive outdoor production of The Durham Mysteries last May.

He has been Artistic Director of The renowned Castle Players in Barnard Castle since 1987, and has directed most of the acclaimed outdoor summer Shakespeare productions at The Bowes Museum.

He is about to tackle Much Ado About Nothing, which will be performed in July on a brand new site at the rear of the museum with covered seating.

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