2013–14 Cohort

Eleanor Farrington

Eleanor Farrington is a senior programme manager with a specialism for arts and education. She has developed individuals that she works with, built and maintained dynamic teams, addressed organisational needs with strategic solutions and implements integrated programme, business and financial management. Eleanor has led a wide range of partnerships, activities and events in the public realm using effective marketing and communications strategies to promote access and build audience engagement. Previous partners include with the BBC, Action for Children, the Institute of Education, Gateshead College, South Tyneside Libraries, Museum of Modern Art (MOMA, New York), The Townhouse Gallery (Cairo), Machine Project (Los Angeles), and Pro Helvetia (Zurich).

Eleanor has worked directly with artists, children, young people, their families and communities in arts, cultural and education settings for 10 years for a range of leading organisations. These include Seven Stories, National Centre for Children’s Literature, Newcastle University, Great North Run Culture, Serpentine Gallery, and Camden Arts Centre. She is a fully qualified teacher and currently has a teaching and mentoring role at Newcastle University. She has developed and commissioned new artworks, films and publications including co-producing a limited edition artist’s and children’s publication, Colour this Book. She is the North East Representative for Engage the National Association for Gallery Education and Co-Director of Dot to Dot Active Arts.

Anna Smalley

During her degree Anna volunteered at a number of museums in a variety of different departments which gave her an insight into how museums worked, from large regional to tiny local organisations. After her Masters she gained a place on the prestigious Wordsworth Trust internship programme. She lived and worked at the Trust for almost a year, during which time she gained an in depth understanding of how a museum operates on a day-to-day level. Anna spent time exploring different departments, including Visitor Services, Education and Curatorial.

Towards the end of the internship she successfully applied for the temporary post of Learning Assistant at Tullie House. When a colleague left on maternity leave, she interviewed for the post of Learning Officer and was delighted to be selected. A year later her colleague returned and they now job share the role. Anna also successfully interviewed for the role of Education Coordinator for a six month HLF funded engagement project linked to an up-coming summer exhibition on George Howard and she works on this one day a week.

Kenn Taylor

Kenn is an Arts Project Manager, writer and researcher with a particular interest in culture, community, participation and the urban environment and also arts and health, especially projects relating to people with dementia. He has undertaken projects with a variety of organisations including FACT and National Museums Liverpool and audiences ranging from young refugees to families and older people in sheltered accommodation. His work has resulted in outcomes varying from training programmes, exhibitions and online initiatives to discussion events, interpretation projects and creative workshops.

Kenn’s research and writing on engagement and participation has been published in outlets including The Guardian, the Museums Association and Liverpool University Press and he has also lectured and delivered training on these subjects. In addition, Kenn is a member of the Future Station steering group at Metal Culture, which has worked to develop Edge Hill Station as a local creative hub.

Noelle Cobden

Noëlle Cobden is currently the Head of Creative Learning at Horsecross Arts, Perth. Prior to joining Horsecross Noëlle held the post of Head of Traverse Learning at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh from 2009-2013 (she also held the post of Learning and Participation Officer at the Traverse from 2007-2009). Noëlle was the Street Arts Coordinator at WHALE Arts Agency, Edinburgh from 2010-2013.

Before joining the Traverse Noëlle was Learning Projects Assistant at Shakespeare’s Globe, London. Noëlle studied BA (Hons) Drama, Applied Theatre and Education at Central School of Speech and Drama (University of London). As part of her degree Noëlle worked with a number of community-based theatre companies as well as with the Metropolitan Police on their Safer Schools project.

Dianne Spottiswood Miller

A mid-career professional with an MPhil in Art, Design & Architecture in Education (with distinction) from Glasgow School of Art/University of Glasgow (2007) Dianne spent the 1980s exploring her first career as a fashion/textile designer with her own retail outlets.

In the 1990s she developed a career as a tertiary lecturer in fashion design, retail and marketing studies – which included a two year period as programme leader for an HND in Fashion/Textile Design on the island of Mauritius, before moving in to the arts development field in the new millennium.

Melissa Lewis

Melissa was born in Peterborough and lived there with her parents and siblings until she left to attend Leicester University to study a degree in the History of Art. She has always had a passion for art and history, probably as a result of spending lots of time visiting museums, galleries and stately homes when growing up. After her degree she continued to live in Leicester and worked for the adult education charity NIACE until starting her Masters in Museum Studies also at Leicester University.

Melissa then worked for Fenland Museum Service before moving to Nottinghamshire to start her current role working for Nottingham City Museums and Galleries. She lives just outside of Nottingham with her husband and daughter. In her spare time she volunteers at a breastfeeding support group and continues to enjoy visiting local and national heritage sites as a member of the National Trust.

Emily Wyndham Gray

Graduating with a BA in Fine Art in 2007, Emily has gone on to work in artistic production, public art projects, curation and as an arts manager. She has worked both rurally and in urban settings, crossing artistic disciplines, engaging audiences and developing programming. Her experience has included working as a studio assistant to sculptor Laurence Edwards, as production assistant to artist Sumer Erek for the public art project The Newspaper House, to working as a Gallery Assistant for the contemporary commercial gallery Limoncello in London.

Through participation in internship programmes Emily gained experience in working for residential arts organisations, and over the last five years has taken on management roles such as Associate Director at Salem Art Works in upstate New York, and Creative Producer role at Scottish Sculpture Workshop, where she has since become the Curator of Facilities and Programmes.

Emily Hutchinson

Emily is an arts practitioner and project manager with extensive experience in programming, planning, managing and delivering arts projects. She trained at The Central School of Speech and Drama and gained a BA (Hons) Drama and Education. Emily has worked in a freelance capacity, has led an arts organisation, and has taught drama at secondary level. Emily also has a number of directing credits for Sheffield Theatres.

Emily was the Assistant Director on Handful of Henna, Suitcase City and Confessions of a City; and Director and creator on The Beauty Inspector (a production created with adults with learning disabilities) and co-director and creator on Behind the Curtains: A Midsummer Night’s Dream – The Mechanicals Quest. Emily currently works at Sheffield Theatres as Creative Projects Manager. Her role involves extensive project planning and producing projects and arts events with young people, adults and artists on both a local and national scale.

Eleri Evans

Eleri Wyn Evans is Learning Manager at National Museum Cardiff and has responsibility for art education. She started her career teaching art in a Welsh medium secondary school and then became the head of department. Drawn to museums and galleries she was attracted by their potential for life-long learning.

Eleri is now responsible for developing, delivering and evaluating art learning and works with artists and gallery educators on various projects such as Start and Artes Mundi. Eleri is passionate about making art accessible to everyone and deonstrates this both within her work and in her interests outside the gallery.

Annie Sheen

Annie graduated with first class honours from Cardiff University Music Department where she focussed on Ethnomusicology and singing performance. After completing her degree she developed a strong freelance career as a singer and animateur working for companies such as Welsh National Opera Max and Dumbworld Opera Company. After realising her true passion lay in music participation she has since worked as a freelance workshop leader, producer and project manager. In 2011 she produced The Marriage of Figaro for Opera’r Ddraig, Cardiff’s innovative young opera company, while developing her own performance based summer school model for children and young people in west Wales.

Annie spent fourteen months working full-time for Town Hall Symphony Hall as their project manager (Children and Young People) where she devised and delivered a number of education and learning projects. She now lives in London working as a projects manager for Trinity Laban’s Learning and Participation team. You can follow Annie @AnnieMusiced

Rob Crisp

Rob Crisp has spent ten years encouraging others to be creative. He studied Creative Music Technology at Huddersfield University, simultaneously beginning his facilitative career in adult education teaching Music Technology and Video. Having completed his degree he moved onto the arts and mental health charity Hoot as Studio Manager, where he realised the hugely positive impact that the creative arts can have on people and their well-being.

After leaving to complete a PGCE, Rob spent time as a freelancer working in and out of schools to hone his focus as an enabling workshop leader, creating collaborative works in music and film for Leeds College of Music, the Youth Music funded initiative PowerPlay and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, amongst others. Now back at Hoot as Coordinator for the ambitious cross-artform project Making Waves, Rob is also a key member of Youth Routes, empowering young people through vocational opportunities in the arts.

Gaby Lees

Having graduated in Fine Art in 1989 Gaby went on to take a masters degree in the Conservation of Fine Art in 1993, specialising in works of art on paper, and gained a Post-Graduate Certificate in Secondary Art & Design Education in 2002. She has worked as a teacher in secondary schools and as an artist in residence in primary and secondary schools. She has also worked extensively in community settings, adult education and teaching young adults with learning difficulties.

Gaby has been in her current role since May 2007, covering as Acting Learning Manager for the gallery and the Yorkshire Museum & Gardens from December 2010 to December 2011. She considers herself extremely fortunate to work for an organisation which places learning within the curatorial team, giving her full access to the collections and to the exhibition planning and curatorial process. Gaby is happily married with two teenage children.

Margaret Stewart

Margaret has lived in Aberdeen for 35 years. She spent four years at Gray’s School of Art studying Fine Art Printmaking and the last thirteen years working for Aberdeen City Council, the last ten of those years as a Community Arts Officer, a job she loves! It involves engaging communities in arts and cultural activities with all the things that make that happen such as fundraising, building partnerships, managing staff, evaluating projects, developing project ideas along side artists and communities.

Projects Margaret has initiated include a temporary public art project with a community group that have informed Aberdeen’s Public Art Plan, and setting up heritage groups that take on the role of cultural ambassadors for their communities. She is interested in challenging people’s perceptions of involvement in art and in developing interesting ways to engage with marginalised communities.

Charis Charles

Since an early age Charis trained in ballet and contemporary dance, continuing her training at Central School of Ballet and The London Studio Centre. Over the next six years Charis performed works by Michael Popper, Mark Baldwin, Ramon Oller, Tom Roden, Gary Clarke, Anthony van Laast, Viviane Newport, Kerry Nicholls and Jan de Schynkel. Charis then moved on to join site-specific touring & education company Ascendance Rep.

Realising her passion and natural flair for teaching, Charis made the transition into full time education working with groups of all ages, races, backgrounds including both able-bodied and disabled people, those with special needs, learning difficulties or behavioural difficulties, young people who can no longer access main stream education and young offenders. Charis became the Education Manager of Phoenix Dance Theatre in 2008 and has a real drive to ensure that education work delivered by the company is of the highest quality. Since her appointment Charis has developed the department and raised funds to enable the team to deliver workshops to up to 3,000 participants per year and reaching up to 20,000 people over the past two years through mass participation.

Jessica Callan

Jessica is a trained visual artist whose art practice would be best described as ideas-based; therefore she uses the most appropriate medium to realize the concept. She has worked with painting, sculpture, installation/site-specific/multi-media, video, sound, and performative artworks. Jessica has a BA (hons) Degree in Fine Art from the National College of Art & Design, as well as a MFA from Birmingham Institute of Art & Design. She attained a PGCE in post-compulsory education 16+, at Glyndwr University, Wrexham.

Jessica works as a self-employed artist, exhibiting her work, whilst she develops and delivers projects for organisations. She has worked on a seasonal part-time basis since 2008, and has developed and delivered outreach projects for the Andrew Logan Museum of Sculpture for the last four years. Jessica has lived and worked in Wales since 1997.