2017–18 Cohort

Wales

Louise Richards

Louise Richards is Community Participation Manager, Literature Wales, with responsibility for developing audience, reach and quality of provision specifically leading on social inclusion. This includes embedding and extending community engagement across all activity and working towards becoming more of a facilitator rather than delivery organisation. Her focus is on devising projects to discover, address and give voice to community concerns through critical dialogue. She believes strongly in the role of the arts to affect change. Previously as South Wales Literature Development Officer she was responsible for delivering a range of inclusive projects from award winning Petra the Penguin (creating books with parents, NIACE Inspire Award); Silver Hoodies (intergenerational film project, TPAs Award) and Captured Memories (poetry with people in residential homes, Arts and Business Award) to themed conferences and projects with LGBT, BAME and Asylum Seekers and Refugees. She has also worked in prisons, libraries and bookselling.


Scotland

Anna-Wendy Stevenson

Anna-Wendy Stevenson is the Programme Leader for the innovative BA (Hons) Applied Music degree with the University of the Highlands and Islands – the first multi-genre, networked practical music degree programme in the UK. From her base in the Outer Hebrides, Anna-Wendy has led many community engagement activities, developing local, national and international partnerships to facilitate learning opportunities for musicians whilst promoting Scottish and Gaelic music. Recent educational projects include: ‘Far Flung Corners’ -a collaboration and cultural exchange with partners Soundstorm Music Education Agency from Dorset, ‘Fuaran nan Eilean’ – a heritage research project in partnership with Feisean nan Gaidheal and ‘Òrain na Cloinne Bige – music for a new Gaelic language Early Years online app in partnership with the Multi Media Unit of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. A fiddler and composer, Anna-Wendy and has delivered performances and workshops in traditional Scottish music world-wide and recorded many albums.

Antony Mottershead

I currently work as the Arts Officer for the Orkney Islands, Scotland, supporting and further developing contemporary arts and wider cultural activity across the islands. I work closely with a range of partner organisations to deliver innovative projects across art forms. Previously I was Arts Development Assistant with Forestry Commission England, developing and delivering Forestry Commission England’s contemporary arts programme – Forest Art Works. Working with many leading artists and arts organisations on a diverse range of temporary and permanent commissions, exhibitions, residencies and performances. Prior to this I worked and undertook a curatorial internship at Oriel Davies Gallery, presenting work by emerging Welsh artists. In tandem I collaborated with friends on the development of Nearly Wild, a CIC that encourages people to explore the natural world Since studying Fine Art Photography at Falmouth I have continued to produce work as a photographic artist exploring contemporary landscape and environmental subjects and themes associated with landscape history and folklore.


England

Sophie Amstell

Sophie is currently Learning and Participation Manager at the Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival with responsibility for developing a programme of community engagement that reflects and develops the artistic vision of the Festival. Sophie has worked in the cultural learning sector for fifteen years for organisations including Hampshire Dance, Youth Dance England, and Brighton Dome and Festival. She particularly enjoys working with young people and creating progression routes and talent development. With an MA in Renaissance Literature she is also interested in work that explores the connections between heritage and the arts. Sophie has recently joined the Board of ZoieLogic Dance Theatre and is enjoying the challenge of this new voluntary role.

Martha Burns-Findlay

I am an arts educator specialising in museum learning. My professional practice is underpinned by my Masters of Education in Community Learning and Development which drives my passion to create collaborative, inclusive and inspiring learning opportunities for all. I am currently the Youth Projects Producer at Royal Museums Greenwich working across the National Maritime Museum and the Queen’s House, which are located in the heart of Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site in South-East London. I manage a multi-stranded youth programme, working closely with youth services, youth groups and secondary schools to provide young people with platforms to engage with our sites, collections and stories. I currently co-chair the Young People’s Programmers Network (YPPN). I have worked in the museum sector for over 6 years. Prior to my current job I worked for the National Trust for Scotland and Glasgow Museums, and I managed a heritage project for Glasgow-based youth arts organisation Depot Arts. In addition to my museum experience I hold a Master of Arts and a Diploma in Physical Theatre Studies. I have previously worked in drama education and I have taught English language learners in China and in the UK.

Lisa Byrne

I am currently Creative Learning Manager at Cambridge Junction and have worked in the arts for the past 10 years in a creative learning context. Previously I was at The Core at Corby Cube, a brand new professional arts venue in a small town where we really had to start from grass roots level to develop partnerships and sustain new audiences and participants. Prior to that I managed the Acting Out Programme, a ground-breaking work related learning programme at The Belgrade Theatre. I am passionate about working with young people and the community, understanding the power that the arts can have on transforming lives, with a particular focus on inspiring and engaging a new generation of artists, including extensive experience of engaging disadvantaged and vulnerable people in a number of different contexts, through theatre. I have acquired extensive experience as a teacher and facilitator and I also work as a Writer and Director.

Joanna Freeman

Joanna is Learning and Participation (Music) Projects Manager at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. She has managed small and large-scale performing arts projects and events at schools, community centres and arts venues including Southbank Centre and the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms. She has also developed formal partnerships with schools and oversees Trinity Laban’s new Youth Forum for young musicians. Jo previously worked nationwide, developing a strong career as an arts education project manager, producer, theatre director and workshop leader. This included work with Manchester Camerata, the Birmingham REP Theatre and Artis Education. Jo has designed arts education programmes for delivery in schools across the UK for One Day Creative Education, and is a qualified Arts Award Advisor. She has mentored young people aged 11-25 through Arts Award qualifications for Full Circle Arts, Ovalhouse Theatre and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. You can follow her on Twitter @JoArtsEd.

Sarah Green

Sarah Green works at the V&A, London as Learning and Interpretation Manager, for the V&A Gallery being built as part of Design Society, a new design museum opening in Shekou in 2017. She is responsible for developing and implementing an interpretation strategy and a learning and public events programme for the V&A gallery in Shekou as well as advising on the development of learning and audience engagement across Design Society more widely. She also provides training and mentoring for the new events team at Design Society. Prior to joining the V&A, Sarah worked for three years at The Courtauld Gallery managing the learning and events programme. She was previously Learning Manager for schools, colleges and universities at the Design Museum and managed a widening participation programme of workshops and events at Leeds College of Art and Design. Sarah has a degree in Fine Art from the University of Leeds was awarded an MA in History of Art from University College London in 2012.

Emily Hedley

Emily Hedley is Education Coordinator at Jerwood Gallery. Her current role includes: managing the Gallery’s schools learning programme Pearls of the Sea, which involves nine local schools; running Baby Sense sessions that target hard to reach areas of the community; leading Gallery based family workshops and creative sessions and providing future education programme planning. Emily trained in Early Years Practice, Contemporary Crafts Practice, and Art and Design at Brighton University, and has been working at Jerwood Gallery for five years.

Heather Kay

Heather Kay is the Schools’ and Community Projects Manager at the South London Gallery, where she has worked since 2011. She has developed the gallery’s work with more vulnerable groups, particularly through the Supersmashers programme for looked after children, the Creative Families arts and mental health programme, and work with special educational needs and disability schools. She has spoken at national arts and health conferences, and has published in the engage Journal: arts and health issue. Previous employers include Pump House Gallery, ArtsAdmin, Wandsworth Arts Festival and October Gallery. She holds a Diplôme National Supérieur d’Expression Plastique (MA) from Grenoble School of Art, BA Hons Fine Art from the University of Leeds and an Art Therapy Foundation Diploma from Roehampton University.

Natalie Kay

Natalie has 10 years’ experience developing educational arts and design initiatives across public, independent and charity sectors, and as a draughtsman, she exhibited nationwide and enjoyed residencies both in the UK and Morocco. As a qualified teacher, youth worker, Fine Art graduate and artist, she loves working with creative practitioners, communities and young people and has collaborated with research groups such as 5x5x5=creativity, Creative Junction and previous Engage programmes Watch This Space and Enquire. Natalie is currently Participation Curator for Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University – a role that affords the opportunity to work with some of the UK’s most exciting practising artist and designers, alongside University staff and students. She has previously devised and delivered projects for The Cultural Olympiad 2012, International Youth Arts Festival and Whitstable Biennale and has worked with multiple schools and organisations including Dorich House Museum, Kingston Museum, Embroiderers’ Guild and Royal School of Needlework.

Tara Lopez

I am Tour Manager for the East Midlands Caribbean Carnival Arts Network. This exciting and varied role involves the planning and delivery of touring and one-off projects across carnival performance and education. Working with partner organisations from across the country I programme activity which aims to take carnival arts to new audiences and reach areas of low engagement with culturally diverse art. A key part of my role is the development of our carnival arts education package. Working with schools and organisations across the region we deliver bespoke education packages which provide creative and culturally diverse learning for schools and offer employment opportunities for carnival artists. I am passionate about the role that culturally diverse art can play within education and the power it has to achieve social impact through understanding and appreciation. Within my role, I am able to push for this at both grass-roots and strategic levels.

Fiona MacDonald

Fiona endeavours to bridge design, participation and education in her practice, particularly from the point of view of young people. In her architectural training, she completed her studies at Edinburgh University and The Cass in London where her work was nominated for the Bronze and Silver President’s Medals respectively and won The Lighthouse Award. She established and now runs the National Schools and Young People’s programme for the Royal Institute of British Architects. Previously she has run architectural education initiatives for Open-City, The Building Exploratory and Design Education cic amongst others. Last year Fiona co-founded Matt and Fiona, an architecture education organisation which enables children to design and then build their own spaces, thereby opening up the conversation around who shapes our cities.

Sarah Phillips

Following a degree in Performing Arts and Jazz Music I was involved in community arts projects across Wales and the North West. I then retrained in youth and community work before embarking on a series of development positions in grass root charities for disaffected and ‘hard to reach’ young people. Subsequently my role at Historic Royal Palaces combines both passions for arts and culture, and advocating for young audiences, initially within its Outreach & Community Involvement team, evolving into a Producer role within its much increased Learning & Engagement department. I’m passionate about enabling change, widening access and facilitating meaningful personal development for young audiences. I aim to help foster a sense of connection and belonging to our sites, and promote individual expressions of this alongside mainstream exhibitions. I’m most interested in lifelong learning and effective progression to make it all count.

Jennie Pitceathly

I have 15 years of experience working in museums and a portfolio of knowledge and expertise in areas including leadership, curatorial, learning, audience and workforce development, communications, advocacy, fundraising and cultural tourism. Having worked in a regional role for 10 years, I have a wealth of experience raising the profile of cultural heritage and brokering significant partnerships in the North West of England. I possess strong interpersonal skills, a flair for motivating, negotiating, influencing and networking and this is backed by consistent delivery and high levels of efficiency. With a strategic overview of regional and national priorities, I thrive at identifying opportunities in challenging times. I strive to be an excellent advocate for the sector, campaigning for the transformation of the way museums and galleries approach visitors, exhibitions and activities. I am a respected and a trusted figure in the museum sector; well known for my passion, dedication, professionalism, enthusiasm and “making things happen”.

Jo Plimmer

I am a freelance arts project coordinator with twenty years’ experience of working in the visual arts, heritage and education sectors. I try to balance strategic thinking with hands on practice and believe passionately that creative learning is important for healthy humans. I have delivered gallery projects across the South West, South East and East Midlands, and public art programmes in in Gloucestershire, Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset and Bristol. Most recently I have coordinated Generation ART, a pilot project led by Engage, touring art created by children and young people aged 5 – 18, aiming to demonstrate the importance of art, craft and design learning for the next generation. The tour received 203,000 visitors and engaged 22,811 young people and families as participants. With a Foundation in Art and degree in Ancient History and Archaeology, I am very interested in projects which bring together contemporary art and heritage practice.

Natalie Walton

I am one of those very unusual individuals who knew from a young age what I wanted to do with my life! I wanted to be in arts education. Obviously I have questioned this many times since and thankfully keep coming to the same conclusion that this is a great field to work in and I can make a difference. I studied at Anglia Ruskin University and went on to become a Learning Officer at the Towner Art Gallery, Head of Education, Milton Keynes Gallery and Head of Learning at The Hepworth Wakefield. In 2015 I decided to take a plunge and go freelance working with varied organisations large and small. I have been a city and national co-ordinator of British Art Show 8, co-produced Wakefield Lit Fest and consulted on learning spaces. I am currently Learning and Outreach Manager for Arts Council Collection and Community Curator for Leeds Art Gallery.