Our team

Engage’s team work remotely or from other sites on a part-time basis, and are best reached by email. Contact Engage.

  • Staff team

    • Jane Sillis Director

      Jane is the Director of Engage, which she helped establish. Before joining Engage in 2005 she was a consultant specialising in audience engagement working across the UK and internationally. Clients included Tate, the National Gallery, the British Council, Clore Duffield Foundation, DCMS & DFE and Look Ahead Housing and Care for whom Jane ran an arts programme with homeless people. Jane was Head of Education at Whitechapel Gallery and has also worked at Ikon Gallery, the Museum of London, Science Museum, the British Council and in a local authority. Jane was a trustee of Iniva and Chisenhale Gallery.

    • Sian Lile-Pastore Engage Cymru Coordinator

      Sian joined Engage in 2023 and is passionate about visual arts and education in Wales. She enjoys collaborating, working with artists and bringing people together and is committed to making the visual arts more inclusive and welcoming. Prior to joining Engage, Sian worked at Amgueddfa Cymru as part of the learning team and also works as a yoga and meditation teacher. She welcomes communication in both Welsh and English.

    • Hannah Gaunt Creative Producer

      Hannah leads a UK-wide programme of training and professional development opportunities for the visual arts engagement workforce, with a particular focus on Engage’s role as an Investment Principle Support Organisation for Arts Council England. Outside of Engage Hannah is a Network Coordinator for Greater Manchester Arts. In her spare time Hannah is a Non-Executive Director of Everyday (Wigan), a member of the Artworks Alliance Oversight Group, and also volunteers as a Coach and Mentor.

    • Karen Drake Finance and Operations Manager

      Karen started at Engage in 2022 and is involved in all things numbers, governance and HR, with responsibility for the finance team and operations at Engage. Her career has been varied and includes work as a freelance creative business mentor and creative producer, director of a Community Interest Company gallery and shop, and she previously worked at Spike Island, Bristol and the University of Bristol. She is also Chair at a youth mental health charity.

    • Liz Blake Membership and Operations Assistant

      Liz joined Engage in 2022 and is especially interested in accessibility, having written their dissertation on designing museum spaces for autistic visitors. They are a volunteer with the Young Archaeologists’ Club, a founder of Mxer, Manchester’s oldest nonbinary group, and a crafter.

    • Sarah McNally Programme Coordinator

      Sarah coordinates the delivery of our UK-wide Explore training and the Extend Leadership Programme. She is also leading on a new national initiative to support career pathways for under-represented young people, New Routes. Sarah’s career has been underpinned by a focus on advocacy for inclusion within the arts. Sarah is a creative practitioner and mentor within the visual arts, specialising in community outreach. Previous employers have included The Hepworth Wakefield, Minor Entertainments, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and Flatpack Film.

    • Rebeca Valls Moragas Marketing Officer

      Rebeca develops and manages the strategy and everyday operations of Engage’s marketing and communications, alongside completing a Masters in Museum Studies. Previously a journalist, she has written in Spanish, Catalan and English for news platforms in England and Spain. Her start in the museum and gallery sector was through a range of internships and and roles including supporting funding bids for museums. Outside of Engage she is a portrait artist and photographer, fire performer, and digital advisor for the Ancient Technology Centre.

    • Sarah Robinson Frood Engage Scotland Coordinator

      Sarah has worked across the creative and cultural sector for over 10 years with experience of both delivering engagement and training while also working strategically within the public sector. Sarah’s training as an architect has further diversified into the commissioning and designing of public art alongside culture organisation development and planning. Sarah has a strong focus on placing people at the centre of her work and ensuring that the impact of her work is positive for those involved.

  • Board of Trustees

    • Professor Anita Taylor Chair

      Anita Taylor is an artist; Professor & Dean of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design at the University of Dundee; founding Director, Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize (est.1994) and Drawing Projects UK (2009). Drawing is central to her practice – in the studio, education, research, and public engagement – as a vital means of communication, expression and investigation.

    • Damien McGlynn Trustee

      Damien is the Director of Create, Ireland’s national development agency for collaborative arts in social and community contexts. Previously, he worked with Creative Lives (formerly Voluntary Arts), Tate and National Galleries of Scotland, and collaborated with Engage on sector training events through the Artist Rooms programme. Damien is also a trustee of Réalta, the national body for arts and health in Ireland.

    • Andrew Lawson Trustee

      Andrew is Interim HR Director at Beechwood Park School in Hertfordshire and has been a trustee of Engage since 2017. Andrew has significant HR experience within retail, restaurants and fast-moving consumer brands, high-growth entrepreneurial start-up businesses, social enterprise and charities.

    • Janie Nicoll Trustee

      Janie Nicoll is a Glasgow based visual artist with a socially engaged as well as a studio based practice. She is a former President of Scottish Artists Union (2014-17) and is currently Campaigns and Projects Manager.

    • Julian Nettle Trustee

      Julian had a long career in the NHS as a senior leader of hospitals in London. He has had a life long interest in visual arts and trained as an artist in Canada and London. As well as a practitioner Julian brings expertise in organisational development and governance to Engage

    • Angharad Palin Trustee

      Angharad is a solicitor and Notary Public. She worked in a number of leading law firms before setting up her own legal business a decade ago. Specialising in charity law, she helps the board with legal and governance issues using experience gained from her work as a lawyer and on previous trustee boards. Angharad has a special interest in social responsibility and environmental issues.

    • Ffion Rhys Trustee

    • Laura Gabe Trustee

      Laura Gabe is the Senior Development Manager at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, responsible for the fundraising activities and alumni relations for the leading theater school. Laura’s fundraising career has spanned across art galleries, national Museums, and varied charitable causes as an in-house fundraiser and as a consultant. Laura is passionate about engagement and accessibility for the creative sector and was Non-Executive Director of Rising Arts Agency for six years.

    • Pinkesh Shah Trustee

      Pinkesh is an ACMA CGMA qualified accountant with over 12 years’ industry experience. With a wealth of skills and knowledge gained through education and employment they are fully conversant with all aspects of business financial requirements. Pinkesh thrives in a multi-faceted and fast paced environment and have the leadership skills to drive a business and its employees forward. With the ability to implement strategic financial business plans to aid with business development, reduce costs and improve profitability. Adaptable, resilient and equally adept at working independently as part of a cohesive team. They are highly motivated and my strong work ethic means they are methodical and analytical in my approach, and they ensure accuracy while delivering exceptional results. In their spare time, they like watching and playing cricket and spending time with their kids to ensure a balanced life with work and family time.

    • Ally Zlatar Trustee

      Ally Zlatar is the founder of The Starving Artist, an initiative that helps broaden perspectives on Eating Disorders and Mental Illness through the artistic voice. Her “This Body of Mine” campaign explores migrant experiences through creative voices and has helped support individuals and artists from refugee-seeking backgrounds globally. Ally Zlatar has received the highest accolade a young person can achieve for their humanitarian work; winner of The Princess Diana Legacy Award 2021, Y20 Award Finalist for Diversity and Inclusion (Youth 20 by G20 Summit) and also special recognition from The British Citizen Award 2022. She holds a BFA in Visual Art & Art History from Queen’s University & an MLitt Curatorial Practice and Contemporary Art from the Glasgow School of Art. Her Doctorate of Creative Arts is with the University of Southern Queensland focusing on embodied experiences of eating disorders in contemporary art. Zlatar is a Lecturer at the University of Glasgow (Anderson College) and has taught at KICL London, and the University of Essex (UEIC).

    • Bernard Hay Trustee

      Bernard Hay is Head of Policy at the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre, an AHRC-funded centre that supports the growth of the creative industries through independent research and policy advice. Previously he has been Head of Research and Practice at the Design Council, the UK’s national strategic advisor on design, and a researcher and education curator at the Design Museum, where he helped to establish the Future Observatory programme. From 2019-2023 he was an Associate Lecturer at University of the Arts London. He is also a Trustee of Engage, the national charity promoting participation in the visual arts.

    • Dr. Vivian Ching Trustee

      Dr. Vivian Ching adeptly navigates dual roles as an artist and seasoned business academic, seamlessly bridging creativity and industry for a positive impact at Engage. Known for her abstract paintings that stir powerful emotions through vibrant colours and symbolism, Vivian has held 18 exhibitions globally since 2012, including a pioneering collaboration with Canon to become the first Hong Kong artist to showcase artwork in space. Her work has earned coverage in 80+ international mainstream media outlets including Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Tatler, Time Out and Cosmopolitan Magazine’s 30th Anniversary Edition in Hong Kong. Vivian is also the Course Leader for the MSc in Project Management programme at Ravensbourne University London, and she continues to leverage her multi-faceted background to enhance art-based learning with Fortune 500 clientele. Concurrently, Vivian serves as Member of the Court at the University of Bath.

    • Chris David Trustee

      Chris is a financially oriented, strategy and planning professional. The are a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (RSA), Treasurer at Creative Lives and the RNLI (West London). Their career includes work in charitable arts, pharmaceuticals, tech and consulting sectors, delivering functional expertise in business planning, finance, marketing and operations.

    • Marianna Michael Trustee

      Marianna’s background is in the arts, with over ten years experience in various roles, and the past 3 years as a creative arts and employment mentor for students and recent graduates. They combine disciplines with experience in film, theatre, fashion and arts sectors to research, develop and produce engaging and thought-provoking projects, with diverse knowledge to support multidisciplinary projects. Marianna has been a contributing writer on fashion, Artificial Intelligence, Sustainability and the Luxury Fashion Market for Not Just a Label and other publications, and act as a consultant and assistant for short periods to support creative work for various independent theatre and film projects. Marianna aims to research, develop and produce/support projects that are engaging and accessible.

    • Peter Rigg Trustee

      Peter has engaged in youth participation initiatives since being elected a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) in 2017. He has actively represented a youth voice with organisations including SYP, Future Leaders Network, and the British Youth Council. He has also represented a youth voice at the international level, and has worked to advance a youth perspective in the Council of Europe, the United Nations, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. He is currently studying for an MLitt degree in International Security Studies at the University of St Andrews.

  • Council (made up of our Area Representatives)

    • Gem Smith South West Area Representative

      Gemma Smith has worked in the arts for 10 years. Gemma works with Take A Part, as the lead producer of CECE at High View School and is the Forum Coordinator for Plymouth Cultural Education Partnership. Gem says; I wanted to become an Engage rep to expand the reach and profile of the projects taking place in Plymouth and to develop connections beyond the region around this type of work.

    • Bettina Wenzel South West Area Representative

      Bettina has worked in independent and institutional contexts across the arts in Germany and the UK and enjoys connecting communities with art production and making. She has been living in Cornwall for over a decade and understands the joys and challenges of working in a hyper-rural environment. She is keen to support Engage members in making the most of their membership.

    • Rebecca English South West Area Representative

      With over 10 years experience working in the cultural sector, Rebecca has led on a number of national initiatives for organisations such as the Victoria & Albert Museum. Originally trained as a secondary art & design teacher, Rebecca has worked extensively with schools and teachers, including leading on national and regional CPDL. Rebecca also holds a BA Hons in Graphic Design and an MA in Contemporary Curatorial Practice.

    • Sarah Jarvis South East Area Representative

      Sarah is Head of Learning and Engagement at Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village, overseeing programme, partnerships and projects to support learners to engage and connect with creativity, art and ideas. Previously Learning Curator at Watts Gallery, and in the Learning team at Tate. Sarah studied MA Museums and Galleries in Education (IoE, UCL).

    • Sophie Bennett South East Area Representative

      Sophie is the Producer of Inclusion at MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, and heads up their Inclusive Practice in the Arts programme. She has worked in the field of inclusive arts for many years and has a background in facilitating dynamic visual arts projects for diverse groups across various settings.

    • Heather Thomas South East Area Representative

      Heather is the Head of Learning and Engagement at The Lightbox in Woking, Surrey where she works with children, young people and adults in heritage and creativity. She has specialisms in areas of children and adult mental health projects and creativity for people living with dementia. She has also been a consultant on various external learning and access projects. Prior to this she worked as a freelance artist, theatre programmer and arts events organiser.

    • Helena Garcia Carrizosa London Area Representative

      Helena Garcia Carrizosa, has over a decade’s worth of experience working in a variety of museum and galleries settings across Europe, with a key focus on stakeholder engagement and management. She is currently completing her doctoral studies at the Open University with an emphasis on participatory research with disabled people.

    • Joanna Salter London Area Representative

      Joanna is a Fine Art graduate with over 20 years engagement practice and on the ground working knowledge of the Museum and Heritage sector. Passionate about inserting contemporary art and creative practice into traditional and non-traditional settings, Joanna leads the Participation Team at Royal Museums Greenwich which strives to build meaningful community, creative and digital engagement with local and national audiences.

    • Emma Curd North West Area Representative

      Emma Curd (1990) is an artist, facilitator and action-researcher. After undertaking a PhD in contemporary art and collaboration (2015-20), she specialises in co-production, voice and empowerment work with communities. Currently, Emma works with a focus on young people on learning projects exploring mental health, identity, self-esteem and belonging.

    • EvaD Ould-Okojie North West Area Representative

      EvaD currently works in Greater Manchester and has been in the arts and heritage sector for eight years starting as an apprentice. She is passionate about supporting meaningful engagement with all audiences but has a specialism in under 5’s. She is also a member of Museum Detox.

    • Morgan Stockton East Midlands Area Representative

      Morgan is Gallery Education Coordinator at Leicester Gallery, De Montfort University, managing the family programmes with a professional interest in Early Years, co-creation and play. Alongside this, Morgan works in freelance learning and engagement roles across the East and West Midlands with Ikon Gallery, Talent25, Nottingham Contemporary, Moonbeams and The Little Storytellers.

    • Abbie Canning East Midlands Area Representative

      Abbie Canning is Education Curator at Fermynwoods Contemporary Art, and an artist educator who specialises in working with vulnerable and marginalised groups, working across digital media, including AR/VR technologies, photography, video and animation – and delivers projects in community, health and education settings. Abbie is passionate about supporting vulnerable and marginalised groups to engage in creative activity and was recently selected as one of 12 recipients of the National Lottery Portraits of the People Award for championing the arts sector

    • Jennifer Sobol Yorkshire Area Representative

      Jennifer Sobol is a Learning and New Focus Manager. She has 15 year’s experience working at Impressions Gallery Bradford, a charity that helps people understand the world through photography and acts as an agent for change. In 2012, Sobol devised and developed New Focus Impressions Gallery’s award winning young people’s collective. Ten years, on New Focus is still supporting young people, from some of the most deprived areas of England, who would never usually have the opportunity to work in the arts. Members have gone onto work for cultural organisations including Channel 4, BBC, National History Museum and Magnum Photos. Jennifer is passionate about education in the visual arts; alongside her work, she runs Impressions’ learning programme, and has experience of teaching pupils and students from reception to university level.

    • Angie Thompson Yorkshire Area Representative

      Before working in the arts and heritage industry, Angie worked in child protection, social care and for a national children’s charity. She has 20 years’ experience working with children and young adults here in the UK and abroad. Angie is a postgraduate in the fields of youth and community development, museums and galleries, socially engaged practice, specializing in youth engagement, advocacy, co-production, youth arts and youth voice. She works for Leeds Museums and Galleries and, based at Leeds Art Gallery offering one to one workshops, events, curation and weekly sessions for all young adults aged 14-24. Angie most enjoys working alongside young adults and finding out about their interests then collaborating with them to select artworks, collections and exhibitions which they find interesting and making a creative response. In her spare time she loves wild swimming, photography and visiting as many tearooms as she can.

    • Rachel Craddock Yorkshire Area Representative

      Rachel is a Freelancer Practitioner working in Yorkshire. Over the last 12 years she has worked across a range of Museums and Galleries, predominantly with young people and marginalised communities. She is currently developing her portfolio as an artist facilitator, with an interest in visual thinking strategies, co-production and evaluation.

    • Nicole Heidtke Scotland (Highland and Islands) Area Representative

    • Louise Tolcher-Goldwyn South Wales Area Representative

      Louise has been an art educator for 26 years. After art college she exhibited her own work and taught on a freelance basis in schools, arts organisations, and community groups. In 2003 she became Senior Education Officer at Llantarnam Grange where she remains, heading up their creative learning programme.

    • Antony Mottershead Mid Wales Area Representative

      Antony develops and manages Sidney Nolan Trust’s creative programmes, exhibitions, learning, and collections and archive. He trained in Fine Art Photography and has worked in the arts & cultural sector for over 10 years. Previously he was Arts Development Officer for Orkney Islands Council and helped develop Forestry England’s national arts programme Forest Art Works. He is a Clore Emerging Leader and an Engage Cymru Council Member.

    • Jo Munton Mid Wales Area Representative

    • Olivia Glasser Special Interest Representative for Freelance

      Olivia is a Manchester-based freelance artist educator and facilitator, who creates frameworks for people to use art as a tool for situating themselves within and asking questions of the world. Previously working in arts development, her current focus is on providing opportunities for children and young people to collaborate with artists on co-created, ambitious work, which emerge through problem solving, play and engaging with unconventional materials. Recent partners include Art Assembly, the Chester Contemporary and Curious Minds. Olivia has also taught art & design programmes in higher education for over 10 years and is Associate Lecturer at the School of Arts & Media at the University of Salford.

    • John Whall Special Interest Representative for Digital

      John is a Digital Participation Artist, Curator and Producer, and is the Participation and Outreach Lead at MBD (Metro Boulot Dodo) in Leicester. He provides specialist sector support through digital skills, knowledge and experience, to help participatory, learning and socially engaged organisations to realise their digital ambitions. John’s work is also about the collective approaches to sector development and is the Specialist Interest Digital Representative for Engage.

Scotland and Wales Development Groups

The Engage Scotland Development Group members are:

  • Sarah Robinson Frood, Engage Scotland Coordinator
  • Lee McCulley, Adult Learning Officer, National Museums Scotland
  • Janie Nicoll, Freelance Artist/Arts Educator (Engage Board Member)
  • Nicole Heidtke, Lead Artist/Arts Programmer, Templar Arts and Leisure Centre (Area Rep -Highland and Islands)
  • Kirin Saeed, Freelance Disability Equality Trainer

The Engage Cymru Development Group members are:

  • Gwenno Jones, Freelance
  • Sian Lile-Pastore, Engage Cymru Coordinator
  • Grace Todd, National Museums of Wales
  • Thomas Goddard, Artist
  • Jane Sillis, Engage Director
  • Jo Marsh, Arts Lead, Wrexham County Borough Council
  • Louise Tolcher-Goldwyn, Senior Education Officer, Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre (Area Rep – South Wales)