Day in the Life: Thanh Sinden

A portrait of Thanh Sinden
Ellie Grace Photography

What have you been doing today?

I have been on Clore leadership training and have a lot to think about and actions to take for my leadership responsibilities.


Is that a typical day for you?

The adventure I have as an independent consultant means I have very different days working with different clients. I could be facilitating and training change-makers to attending an evaluating performances, coordinating filming or speaking at conferences.


When did you start working with culture, health and wellbeing, and how?

I started working in bringing culture, health and wellbeing together through developing the Arts and Social Care project and a programme of activities called Arts in Mind over a decade ago. As a board member on CHWA and Arty-Folks – a charity supporting adults through mental ill health through arts I’ve seen the impact of culture on health and wellbeing. As chair of Museum Detox, a network for BAME museum and heritage workers I am particularly interested in looking at wellbeing through building resilience especially for people with additional emotional labour through the intersectional identities they have.


What was the last project you came across that inspired you?

Not a project as such but a book based on the work of Arty-Folks with young people called Unseen Stories. The book tells the stories of 9 young people from Coventry. It offers hope to young adults who are struggling to understand thoughts and feelings, to parents who feel at a loss how to help them, and will be invaluable for anyone working with young adults at risk of developing mental ill health. The root meaning of creativity is ‘to grow’. In this book young adults chart their journey of self-discovery and self-empowerment through the visual arts enabling them to talk about, understand, and own their mental health and well-being. All royalties from the sale of this book will be channelled back into Arty-Folks art programme for young adults with mental health needs who are struggling to transition into adulthood.


I am a talented values-led leader, who is passionate about making a difference and curious with the intersection between culture heritage and social impact. I work with teams and individuals such as the Museum Association, Tate, What Next? Movement, the British Council, many community organisations and activist networks, to foster the right conditions where inclusion and collaboration are embedded in teams. I champion and support culture change and organisational development to create and capture value that is of relevance in a changing world of cultural consumption.

I have worked at Culture Coventry and the Arts and Social Care Project at Wolverhampton. I chair the executive committee of Museum Detox, a UK network that champions fair representation and inclusion of BAME cultural, intellectual and creative contributions. My vision is to inspire collective action that builds a kinder, happier, more prosperous world for all. I believe the challenges to our work conditions, social and community environments can only be resolved through co-design, collaboration and embedding inclusion at the core. I believe in the power of arts and culture to facilitate these positive changes and model a better future through creativity.