Testimonials from people who I have been fortunate to work with on cultural events and creative projects.
David Reeves BBC Broadcaster: Michelle Dee is a talented journalist dedicated to the culture community of Hull. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Michelle for a number of BBC projects, both in local radio and national for BBC Radio 4, where she showcased superb communication skills with the wit, personality and heart that drips into every piece of her work. If I’m ever looking for a voice that best reflects the spirit and soul of the East Yorkshire arts scene then Michelle will always offer an inclusive articulate and expressive opinion. Nick Quantrill Crime Writer: Having known Michelle and her work for over ten years, there’s no one I trust more to produce well-considered, insightful and enthusiastic copy about the Hull’s art scene. Michelle has really taken the time to get to know my work and it’s that commitment and knowledge which sets her apart.
Andrew Quinn Hull Museums: Michelle has always been an integral part of the local cultural scene for as long as I can remember. She’s always there, supporting nearly every gig, exhibition, screening, festival, event and other oddity I can think of, always promoting, encouraging, and seeking out what’s new and interesting and making sure everyone else knows about it. She’s an invaluable and reliable part of the city’s creative activity, and has always been willing to chip in and volunteer, help out and get involved in many of the projects I’ve been involved in over the past decade. (I can probably vouch for her assitance with projects I’ve been involved at in : RED Gallery, Hull Time Based Arts, Slack Video, Hull Film, Hull Art Lab, Artlink, The New Adelphi Club, Hull School of Art… most things)
Lewis Young The Adult Teeth Recording Company Michelle Dee has an incredible passion for the Hull music and arts. She has helped countless acts on the local scene, but from a personal point of view, she has promoted every single act on my record label without being asked or paid hard cash for her time. Be it through a well-written article on thisisull.com, social media postings or old-fashioned word-of-mouth, Michelle has directly encouraged both record sales and gig attendance for my label – a huge help in an over-saturated and sometimes despondent marketplace. Michelle devotes herself to promoting and writing about the Hull scene, and the scene benefits hugely from her work.
Richard Gilbert Mollusc Records: Michelle has always been my ear on the ground and a great referrer of the best of Hull’s up and coming musicians. She has an enthusiasm for live music that I wish there was more of in this town of Hull. I see her out and about supporting most of the time when I go to events.I also find her music reviews intelligent, insightful, well written and most importantly, correct. She is also very approachable and is well connected with the broader local arts community.
Dave Windass Playwright: Michelle Dee, of thisisull fame – a tireless ambassador for the arts in Hull – has also written feverishly and positively about the [Heads Up] festival.
Andrew Pearson Ensemble 52 Director: I had the pleasure to first meet Michelle in 2007 when she braved a riverside warehouse in October to review my production of Disposable People. Since then she has been blogging, reviewing and more importantly encouraging people to attend cultural events across the city. Michelle is on the pulse of all artistic activity in Hull and will be a huge asset in helping to engage audiences and grow capacity toward 2017.
Jo Ashbridge Choreographer Dance Practitioner: Michelle began supporting my performance event Danza! in 2012, taking it upon herself to promote it through social media and the various websites she is involved with. The help she gave had such a positive effect that the following year I wrote her into my budget as media specialist for Danza! 2013. I was extremely impressed with her work again and I could rest assured that she had all promoting work taken care of. She gave me a great deal of help and advice throughout the planning, running and evaluating of the event and went far beyond what was required of her. She also reviewed the event and was subsequently invited to review the Hull Dance Prize 2013, showing her skill by successfully critiquing an art form she is relatively new to. She is an advocate and staunch supporter of the creative arts in Hull, dedicating much time and effort to bringing activities to the attention of the general public and I will definitely be hoping to work with her again in the future.
Tom Steer – Founder Open Umbrella Theatre: Michelle Dee over the last decade has worked tirelessly for little or no money to promote cultural activity in this city. Without Michelle’s contributions to ThisisUll the city’s cultural infrastructure would be nowhere near as strong. Michelle Dee is a champion of local, national and international artists as they pass through Hull. As a native Hullensian returning to this city as an arts practitioner Michelle’s kind help has enabled myself and Open Umbrella Theatre to go from strength to strength. Her honest advice, press releases and reviews have raised our profile and increased our audience members massively. Michelle’s recent review of Tracks provided sufficient evidence for us to gain national funding. Ms Dee is not just a journalist but an enabler of the arts and should be treated as such. Many of the cultural events I have attended in the last 8 months I would not have done had it not been for Michelle’s recommendations. In short I hope Michelle continues to do what she does for this city and that her work is showcased not only on the brilliant Thisisull but on larger platforms as well.
Darren Rogers Artist: That article worked wonders, I have about twenty odd people get in touch. A hell of a lot of them outside of my circle of friends.
Anna Bean Artist: Michelle Dee is a gifted wordsmith. She has attended and reviewed quite a few of my creative projects over the last few years for which I have been very grateful. Due to her skilful use of vocabulary I recently asked her to write some words about my art work for my website. I was thrilled and enchanted by the piece she expertly wrote. Michelle has a clear critical sense, she is knowledgeable, passionate and enthusiastic about the arts, she genuinely engages with the subject she is reviewing. She has a concise writing style that is precise and enlightening.
Catherine Ackroyd Director Mapa PR: Michelle really has her finger on the pulse in the local arts scene, has a genuine social conscience and desire to write about culture in all its forms. The strain on the mainstream printed media has resulted in the traditional critical review virtually disappearing. Michelle saw the gap, stuck with her vision – and is now a truly credible commentator.
Carolyn Mendelsohn Artist: A few years ago I came across a wonderfully written, beautifully crafted and thoughtful review of a short film I had made “The Way of Things” . It was a lovely surprise as I hadn’t realised it was being reviewed. I hadn’t ever met the reviewer Michelle Dee.
This year I had work in a solo exhibition in Hull and I invited Michelle to see it. What I think makes Michelle a phenomenal writer and reviewer is that she goes way beyond the first impressions. She has an acute eye and mind and delves deeply . She writes with knowledge and has wonderful style – both as a writer and an individual. Michelle is a fabulous wordsmith and a really engaging person too. I would love to work with her again. Thanks Michelle.