Olivia Franklin, 25, is a freelance writer and project manager based in Folkestone, Kent (UK). Olivia considers it her vocation to make a difference to the lives of individuals and communities through arts and culture within the place she lives.
As a born and bred Folkestoner, Olivia found her feet at humanities college Dover Grammar School for Girls, before heading to London to study English Literature at King’s College London, and graduating in Summer 2018. Driven by her shared interest in predominantly writing, history, archaeology and event curation/producing (rather the mix), Olivia gained experience throughout her last year at University by being part of the production committee for the 23rd Congress of AMMPE(World Association for Women Writers & Journalists) in London and Kent, as well as a documenter for Canterbury Museums & Galleries. Around this time, in longing to draw together her roles and interests directly through a sense of place - something which Olivia has always felt compelled to do - the pull of Folkestone’s regeneration and growing arts/cultural scenes, drew her, unexpectedly, back to her home town.
After trialling writing some thought-pieces about some of the events happening under Folkestone Fringe in 2018, Olivia was employed as Media/Communications Manager, which later developed to be Artist Project Coordinator, to present day, Project/Studio Manager. Throughout, Olivia has worked on the Marketing, Curation, Production, Documentation & Evaluation of numerous community arts festivals/happenings in Folkestone – such as Salt Festival of the Sea & Environment, Profound Sound – Folkestone,Magic Carpets (a Creative Europe platform in which FF represents the UK amongst now 20 partner organisations based across Europe), Normal? Festival of the Brain, Folkestone Fringe’s Folkestone Triennial Programme 2021, as well as many, many other one-off events & activities (to name a few; The Walk's Little Amal, LADA DIY, Last Friday's Folkestone). Now, Olivia manages the Folkestone Fringe team and is largely behind what the direction, the big thinking behind the organisation, as well as its outputs, ethics, and aims, look like.
In October 2019, Olivia was also approached by Living Words founder – Susanna Howard - after conversations about her experience, work and interests. Following on from these conversations, Olivia took up the position of freelance Producer, Editor & Writer with arts & literature charity Living Words (working mainly with those living with a dementia, mental ill-health, and terminal illness). Since then, Olivia has been working predominantly on film/song/book distribution, marketing and copywriting for the charity, event managing and producing for such as well as on tv/film sets, a podcast venture and festival delivery under Normal? Festival of the Brain 2020/21, to present day, through which her role has developed to be a Project Manager for a Kent-wide, cross-sectoral platform entitled ‘Flux’, which aims to give different groups of marginalised young people the tools to express themselves, and support their mental health, in new ways through the arts. Olivia will go on to become a trained Living Words writer, and will be able to utilise the homegrown ‘Listen Out Loud’ methodology 1-2-1 with others.
In 2019 also, driven by her passion for place-making, Olivia ran vintage and makers market 'Folkestone Marketplace'at Folkestone Harbour Arm until December 2021, which grew exponentially over the three years in becoming a staple tourist and shopping attraction for the South-East.
From the start of 2020, and through a wide development of skills and experience, as well as an establishment of her own portfolio of transferable work offers, Olivia took up the opportunity to be a freelance Producer for Strangelove – Time-Based Media Festival for many months. Alongside this, she is now a practicing freelance website developer and copywriter for various individuals, such as internationally renowned composer John Woolrich, photographer and artist Mick Williamson, and writer and educationalist Myra Barrs.
She is also now approached for her expertise, connections, and knowledge around such areas of work for all that is mentioned above, as well as for support with cultural calendars and for making such engaging through the arts for Folkestone’s communities. Throughout this time, and an area Olivia seeks to expand on, she has written a number of reviews and thought-pieces for the organisations she works for, for others active in the town, as well as for independent magazines such as the Folkestone Foghorn.