After visiting the pop up Playlab and seeing the great work being done there, I was able to catch up with Emma who established and runs PlayfulAnywhere that has also been responsible for the immersive take over of the old Border’s store, and the Playbox shipping containers that seem to crop up all over the place. I believe her job title is Chief of Play. Prior to this Emma was known for running the online magazine the Culture Vulture and as an events manager for things such as the Northern Art Prize and the opening of the Howard Assembly rooms.
Often it seems that play, fun, and conviviality can be quite undervalued, or even hard to achieve, when putting on or making spaces for creative activity but Emma prioritises these things above all else - building something that doesn’t necessarily even need to be understood or viewed in artistic terms, and maybe is better as a result.
Playlab is open everyday 10am–4pm until 6 May at 21 New York Street, LS2 7DT, Leeds.