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Sarah Monk, podcast producer and presenter.

Sarah started Materially Speaking in 2019 to feature the community of artists and artisans working near Pietrasanta and Carrara in northern Italy who came, as did Michelangelo centuries ago, because of the local marble.

They tell their stories - where they come from and their inspirations - through the materials they choose. More recently Sarah has also interviewed artisans in Paris, Venice and Liguria.

woman recording audio with a furry microphone and headphones

Sarah Monk, 2023

The seeds of the project go back to Sarah’s childhood, where her father Christopher Monk, was a craftsman carving wooden serpents, a 16th century musical instrument. Meanwhile her mother packed and sent the instruments all over the world and cooked endless meals for visiting musicians. This lifestyle was the backdrop to her youth.

In 2017 Sarah made ten audio stories about railway workers and commuters for Kings Cross Story Palace (PDF). Previously she was director of Culture Files in Philadelphia, USA, producing an online guide to the arts and culture of the region. For two years she also wrote and presented a live weekly arts segment on NBC10 TV, What to do at the Weekend.

Aged 24, her passion for music led her to found Prelude Entertainment producing concerts for corporate hospitality. She built it to become a preferred vendor for venues including the British Museum, Royal Academy of Arts, Natural History Museum, Science Museum and Tate. Prelude was sold as a going concern after 20 years.

old photograph of child surrounded by instruments

Sarah practising as a child

Sarah, 2005 presenting on NBC in Philadelphia, USA

Other career stops include marketing at EMI records; household staff for Elton and Renate John; PA to comedian Frank Skinner; researching how film and theatre directors’ train for the Directors Guild of GB; event manager for the Japan Festival, and a short, but eventful, stint in industrial relations.

In 2023 she was a filter judge for the British Podcast Awards. She is a board member of NW Live Arts, London based concert producers who bring different musical traditions together in neighbourhood venues. She has a BA in Economic and Social history from Bristol University. 

She lives in North London but spends several months a year in a mediaeval village near Pietrasanta where the last 500 metres of the journey must be made by foot over century old cobblestones.…

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