Managing Director, Opus Independents
© Gary Butterfield
Opus is an independent social enterprise founded in Sheffield in 2008 with the slogan 'Creating for Common Good'. Centred on participation, creativity and activism, the company's projects include Now Then Magazine and the Now Then App, Wordlife, Opus distribution and Festival of Debate.
Now Then bucks the downward trend in independent publishing with a monthly free-to-pick-up print magazine covering arts, culture and politics, written entirely by Sheffield-based citizen journalists and built around the work of a different featured artist each month. In common with all Opus projects, Now Then is funded by local businesses, third sector organisations and local government exclusively, allowing the magazine to shout about the things that make Sheffield unique.
As well as housing content from the printed magazine, the Now Then App also features app-only breaking news and syndicated content from its independent media partners, including openDemocracy and The Canary, on top of exclusive offers, discounts and digital loyalty cards from local traders. Now Then is also published digitally in Manchester.
Wordlife is the poetry, prose and creative storytelling arm of Opus, promoting exciting new writing through live events and open mics, traditional printed publishing, and innovative use of new mediums, including 'poem films' designed for large-scale projection and ground-breaking virtual and augmented reality experiences.
And as if this wasn’t enough, Opus also coordinates Festival of Debate each year in collaboration with over 50 partner organisations across the city.
James Lock is Managing Director at Opus, taking a strategic view of the company's projects, as well as sitting on the boards of Cohesion Sheffield, Healthwatch Sheffield and Voluntary Action Sheffield. James embodies the intent of Opus to collaborate on creative and inventive projects throughout the city to bring voice and choice to its citizens and promote equality in our urban environment.