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The Extend Leadership Programme

Biographies

England

Laura Aldridge
Project Coordinator at Siobhan Davies Dance since 2012, Laura manages the participation programme, which includes projects with primary schools, teachers and young people exploring ideas, concepts and learning through choreography and movement. Alongside this role Laura is a dance artist specialising in participation, with over nine years of experience. As a participatory dance artist Laura has worked within formal education and community settings, with children through to older adults, alongside mentoring and delivering professional training for artists and teachers. 

Polly Andrews
"I am currently the Education Officer for the Bath Preservation Trust which runs four museums including No.1 Royal Crescent. I am responsible for formal and informal learning programmes and I create opportunities for learners of all ages and backgrounds to engage with the museum collections. With a PGCE from South Bank University and 9 years teaching experience, I am currently a contributor to the development of a local history curriculum in Bath & North East Somerset. In addition, as the Coordinator of the Bath Museums Community Engagement partnership, I have established new projects with under-represented visitors, giving opportunities for access to culture and heritage through partnerships with organisations including Age UK. Having trained as an actor, I use drama as a tool for engagement in projects exploring the beneficial relationship between health, wellbeing, heritage and creativity."

Rachel Ayrton
"I’m currently Learning & Interpretation Manager at the King Richard III Visitor Centre in Leicester, and I’ve been here since the Centre opened in July 2014. Before that I worked for Leicestershire Museum service as Learning Officer for five years, developing and running the learning programmes across five local authority museums. One of the highlights of my time there was developing a live science stage show, which included explosions and audience participation to explore the science involved in coal mining. My background is in the arts, and I completed an MA in Visual Culture at the University of Nottingham in 2004. After graduating, I worked as Education & Outreach Officer at the Harley Gallery, an independent arts and crafts gallery in rural north Nottinghamshire. I worked with the artists and craftspeople based in the studios on site, and developed educational experiences linked to the Gallery’s programme of exhibitions."

Natalie Cain
Following a BA in History and MA in Museum Studies both at the University of Leicester, I developed a passionate interest in oral history. At West Sussex Record Office and Essex Record Office I was lucky enough to work on two oral history projects, focusing on memories of the home front and the development of modern Essex respectively. Through this work I discovered how much I enjoy making connections with people, and helping them to make their own connections to heritage and the arts, leading to a move into community engagement roles at the Imperial War Museum, and at Historic Royal Palaces. I now lead the learning programme at Tower Bridge, an opportunity that was far too exciting to resist. It has been simultaneously the most (enjoyably) challenging and most rewarding role I have ever had.

Debbie Chan
"I grew up in my parents’ Chinese takeaway in a market town that was lacking any contemporary arts or culture. The Aspex Gallery and my local libraries were places I spent a lot of time freely roaming and exploring as a teenager. I have to thank my secondary school art teacher for giving me the boost and confidence to follow my curiosity and enjoyment for the arts. I’m a creative consultant who has committed over 15 years to working in the arts sector, operating as a project manager, producer, fundraiser, facilitator and adviser. I’ve been fortunate to have worked on diverse projects, including commissioning site specific artworks for heritage locations, and working with young people to produce a short film that went on to win numerous awards.

I am currently Networked Narrative Creative Producer for FACT, Liverpool working with young people across Burnley, Wigan and Hull to have an influence on the decisions involving new art commissions by Re-Dock and Mark Titchner, with libraries and communities. Living with my husband and sons in the North West, I’m a creative, DIY crafter & self-taught Cantonese speaker who is interested in our different learning styles and the power of storytelling and creativity."

Elizabeth Fraser–Betts
Elizabeth Fraser-Betts is currently Arts Education Manager at Orleans House Gallery. Leading a dynamic education team she has developed programmes for a diverse range of audiences including early years, schools, young people, children and adults with disabilities, adults with mental health challenges and older people with dementia.

Prior to this Elizabeth was the Outreach Coordinator for Hackney Museum’s HLF project Mapping the Change which recorded the diverse heritage and local life in Hackney in the run up to the Olympics and also co-ran their schools learning programme. Elizabeth began her career at the October Gallery, a small gallery in central London showing contemporary art work from all around the World. Starting off as Education Assistant she quickly became manager of the education department where projects included raising awareness of global citizenship through World art, curating multiple education exhibitions and running a pop up shop. Elizabeth has also been involved in global projects around the world - teaching teachers for the British Council in Algeria and Oman; working on an educational project in the Kimberley’s, Australia and teaching English in Ecuador.

Sandra Greatorex
"My background is in photography, with a degree from the Polytechnic of Central London and over 12 years’ experience working in one of the world’s largest photographic archives at Getty Images. I began my career in creative education by working on the Creative Partnerships programme, before joining QUAD as their Education Curator nearly four years ago.

I am a passionate advocate for using the arts and creative approaches to teaching as a tool to support learning right across the curriculum. I am committed to developing schemes of work that place children and young people at the heart of our learning opportunities, include them in decision making about their learning, and support them to shape and influence our programmes at QUAD. I also believe that learning should be a lifelong opportunity, and that arts and cultural organisations have a duty to inspire the curiosity and unleash imaginations of all ages."

Kathryn Harris
"I am the Programme Assistant at acta Community Theatre in Bristol. acta specialise in supporting people and communities without privilege to create their own original theatre. As part of a small organisation, I have many different responsibilities including engagement, audience development, learning and outreach. I am very interested in culture-led community regeneration and hope to apply my learning to developing new opportunities back home in South Wales.

Prior to acta, I have worked primarily in Music Education, facilitating educational workshops and instrumental tuition. I studied the Bassoon at the Birmingham Conservatoire. I am also a Composer and Graphic Designer. My main focus is currently developing the National Festival of Community Theatre, which is taking place in Bristol in June."

Lisa Jacques
With eleven years of gallery education experience coupled with nine years of further and higher education experience, the learning programmes I develop are research based, participatory practice. My preference is a co-production method of development and co-construction method of delivery, to observe and consult in order to develop programmes that better suit and challenge our participants, my peers and myself. This has clear learning frameworks that can evaluate its user impact and provides innovative models of open ended engagement.

The research driven learning programmes are tightly integrated into the development and delivery of the exhibitions programme. The synthesis of curatorial and learning practices over the last decade has been a benchmark of my practice. This has led to a range of artist commissions over the past five years including Niki Pugh, Kate Owens and Maria Zahle. I have been closely involved in the development of the performance programme at New Walk Museum and Art Gallery reflecting the longstanding status of performance as part of institutional learning rather than curatorial.

Caron Loudy
Caron Loudy is a Senior Officer for Greenwich Dance, an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation with a specialism for dance. She is passionate about open access to art and manages programmes for schools, children, young people, adults and older people and has two decades of experience in programming, planning, and producing dance projects and events which involve engaging communities in arts and cultural activities. Initiation and nurturing of strategic partnerships is essential in her role. Following training at London Contemporary Dance School, Caron worked as a freelance dance artist and a member of a professional dance company performing, working in and out of schools. She has worked with a range of organisations leading successful projects for people of all ages, including disabled and non-disabled people and those with additional needs and developed successful programmes of cross curricular dance and CPD for schools as part of formal education. 

Katherine McAlpine
"I am a Public Programmes Producer at the National Maritime Museum, responsible for adult learning linked to the temporary and permanent exhibitions. Before this I was Public Engagement Officer for the Ships, Clocks and Stars exhibition on eighteenth-century longitude investigations at the NMM. My background is in public and schools engagement, and I have previously worked at the Royal Institution and Natural History Museum. She has an MSc in History of Science, Technology and Medicine and a BSc in Science Communication & Policy."

Lucy Shipp
Lucy Shipp is the Learning Officer at Watts Gallery - Artists’ Village. With over five years’ experience working in museum and gallery education Lucy is passionate about increasing access to the arts. She oversees the learning programme at the Artists’ Village, with a particular focus on work with formal education, young people and family learning. She studied Contemporary Crafts at University College Falmouth, graduating in the recession in 2010. Lucy is fortunate to have been given wide experience in the arts, gaining access to paid experience within the arts through the Culture Quarter Programme. In 2011 Lucy was awarded a Graduate Bursary Award through Raleigh International. Past roles have included working at the V&A, Tate and Dulwich Picture Gallery. She is passionate about the positive benefits of accessing and participating in the arts, working to create opportunities to increase opportunities for access and rise wider awareness of the positive benefits of arts engagement.

Naomi Shoba
Naomi is the Head of Youth arts at Ovalhouse. Ovalhouse is a home to experimental contemporary artists seeking to make theatre and performance that speaks to a world beyond the mainstream. Ovalhouse participation department specialises in ethical youth arts leadership and providing high quality arts opportunities to young Londoners. Naomi works developing and promoting theatre arts, youth leadership and emerging artists in London. She trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has worked across the Scotland as a performer and delivering participation projects with Companies including Ankur Productions, 784 Theatre Company and Off The Rails Theatre Company pioneering arts education practice and contemporary performance work. Before moving to London Naomi worked in the Scottish Highlands for Eden Court theatre directing performance and running theatre projects.

Joff Whitten
"I am currently the ACE Bridge programme manager for Norfolk and Suffolk, connecting children and young people with great arts, heritage and culture. I am also a committee member for the Heritage Lottery Fund, East of England. I have extensive experience working within the arts and heritage sector delivering programmes for learners of all ages and backgrounds. Previously I worked as the Gallery Education Manager at The Courtauld Gallery, London. Earlier in my career I worked at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, I have also worked for a touring orchestra, taught Art and Design at an FE college and delivered an early years programme for Sure Start. I am a practicing artist and musician, as well as being a trained educator with an MSc in social education theory. I enjoy the company of our cat and going for long cycles in the forest with my wife, our baby and our dog."

Scotland

Linzy Mc Avoy
Linzy is Learning and Engagement officer at Woodend Barn, Aberdeenshire’s leading arts organisation. New to the role she is responsible for managing the Creative Learning programme which spans across art – forms. She loves working for such a vibrant organisation and creating opportunities for people to engage in the arts.

Linzy is an experienced dance practitioner who has delivered projects for wide range of, community, education and cultural partners in the North East and beyond. Prior to working at the Barn she was Dance development officer at Citymoves Dance Agency where she focused on equalities and developing dance for children and young people. Passionate about developing her own practice she recently completed a Diploma in Dance Teaching and Learning at LABAN. She has also been accepted to do a Masters in Teaching later this year at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Louise Ritchie
Louise Ritchie is a Visual Artist and Graduate of DJCAD, Dundee. Louise is a Lecturer in Contemporary Art Practice at City of Glasgow College and Industry Panel Member for the Masters in Creative Media Practice, University of West of Scotland (UWS). Louise is a Past President of the Society of Scottish Artists (SSA) and a member of WASPS Curation Panel.   Louise is co-curator of New Bridges 11:11 International Exhibition with artists from Scotland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and The Netherlands and was invited to participate in the Tenth International Printmaking Symposium, Mojmírovce Castle, Slovakia, 2015.

Louise has completed commissions for Dundee City and Angus Councils and was creative facilitator for Ginkgo Projects and co-founder of artists’ network TRiGGER, for ArtWorks Scotland.  Louise has won several major awards including the Dundee Visual Arts Award 2015 and exhibited most recently in London, Slovakia, Belgium and Romania with 60 x 60 International Print Exhibition.

Esther Rutter
Esther manages Edinburgh UNESCO city of Literature Trust’s many projects from Robert Louis Stevenson Day in November to Story Shop as part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August. Since graduating from Oxford University with a degree in English, she has worked at the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere and the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, creating and developing their education and literary engagement programmes for schools, young people and adult learners. In 2014 she won the Museum Association Dragons’ Den competition for her innovative ideas for engaging adults with classic literature, and has travelled widely to learn about conflict resolution and cultural interpretation at the UN in Geneva and cultural organisations in Slovakia. Knitter, natterer, hill walker and singer, she loves a literary house and harbours a not-so-secret desire to inhabit John Ruskin’s Brantwood at some point in her life, by fair means or foul.

Justine Woycicka
"I was born in Poland in one of the most exiting cities – Wroclaw (VrocLOVE). I realised very early that I have stronger than average interest and skill in visual arts. I grow up surrounded by a crafty and musical family. I started my creative education at the Wroclaw’s Academy of Fine Arts but after 3 years of learning decided to challenge myself and moved to Scotland to continue my education at the Edinburgh College of Art. I started tutoring while being a student and quickly realised that I like sharing my knowledge and know how to inspire people. 5 years ago I began work in Learning Support Department for the Extended Inclusion at the local High School. This experience thought me a lot about the educational system and learning approaches. I gained enough confidence to start developing my own creative projects for the local communities and I still see it as the way forward for my professional career." 

Wales

Alice Burrows
Alice is the Programme and Learning Officer for the Performance programme at Chapter in Cardiff. She has always worked in the arts having developed a passion for music and theatre as a child. After completing a degree in Music and Sociology and a Masters in Arts Management at RWCMD, she worked in various arts organisations around Cardiff as a freelance project manager including Arts Active, the education and community engagement department for St David’s Hall and New Theatre. While there, she set up the first Welsh Proms Volunteer Scheme to give young people the opportunity to learn about and experience the various roles within a venue while watching some world class performances. At Chapter, Alice works on programming and developing the learning strategy for the performance strand. She also delivers bespoke literacy improvement projects for local schools incorporating the delivery of the Arts Award

 

 

Laura Aldridge

 

Polly Andrews

 

Rachel Ayrton

 

Debbie Chan (Photo: Stephen King)

 

Elizabeth Fraser-Betts

 

Sandra Greatorex

 

Lisa Jacques

 

Caron Loudy

 

Lucy Shipp

 

Naomi Shoba

 

Joff Whitten

 

Louise Ritchie

 

Esther Rutter

 

Justine Woycicka

 

Alice Burrows

 

The Extend Leadership Programme
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