Keynote Speakers

Jon-small-headshotJon Monie – Conference Host

This years event will be hosted by the fabulous Jon Monie

Jon Monie is a hugely experienced and versatile Presenter, Actor and Writer. Not only a familiar face on ITV West for more than a decade, Jon has also worked extensively in most genres of television – and across most networks. Religion for BBC1, live light-entertainment for BBC3, quiz shows for Endemol, pseudo-sports programmes for Sky… Throw in some radio, voiceovers and emceeing too… It’s a diverse CV. The one constant is Jon’s unique brand of banter and quick-witted humour. As a result of his projects, Jon has grappled with a multitude of activities including tank-driving and fire-walking, and has interviewed celebrities ranging from Shirley McClaine to Miss Piggy, Gene Wilder to the Spice Girls and Dame Edna Everage to Lord Richard Attenborough. On the acting front, over the past 15 years Jon has won great acclaim for his regular performances as the comic lead in Bath’s Theatre Royal’s highly regarded pantomimes, alongside panto legend Chris Harris. His typically varied roles include Wishee Washee inAladdin, Simple Simon inJack and the Beanstalkand Ugly Sister inCinderella.  Jon also performs as one half of the comedy double-act ‘Avent & Monie’ (playing at many comedy festivals and venues throughout the country including London’s Hackney Empire) and is a regular performer with comedy improv troupe Instant Wit.

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Equality in the Arts

hamida-ali-700x455Hamida Ali – Equalities & Diversity Officer – Equity

About Equity

Equity is the UK trade union for professional performers and creative practitioners. As a leading industry organisation, Equity is known and respected nationally and internationally for the work we do with, and on behalf of, our members working across all areas of the entertainment industry. Equity members form a cultural community that is of major importance to the UK in artistic, social and economic terms and Equity works to support them by negotiating their terms and conditions with all kinds of employers and employer’s groups. Our 5,000 Student Members are also able to access information and advice to help prepare them for work in the industry.


About Me

I have over 15 years experience as an equality and diversity policy specialist, advising senior leaders in a range of public services on delivering more accessible services and developing inclusive workplaces. I have worked in local government, criminal justice agencies and the BBC.


Clare MacNaughtonClare Macnaughton – Juno Theatre

In 2009 Clare ghost wrote the battlefield memoir ‘Immediate Response’, in-conjunction with a serving Royal Marine, Major Mark Hammond. The book was published by Penguin and in the second week of sales entered The Sunday Times hardback non-fiction best seller list at number 9. In 2010 Clare started the blog A Modern Military Mother to help explain life from the other side of the British armed forces. Married to a Chinook pilot (deployed on several occasions to Afghanistan), and acutely aware of the many mis-conceptions about military life that still go almost entirely unchallenged, she felt it was time to set the record straight. The blog is the voice of a military wife and feminist struggling to reconcile these seemingly completely contradictory standpoints. It has been shortlisted in the Brilliance in Blogging Awards 2014. Clare was also one of just three English journalists writing and broadcasting on behalf of solo non-stop yacht race, Vendée Globe, 2012-13. In 2015, Clare made her theatre debut was at The Rondo Theatre, Bath performing her own monologue ‘Tales from the Domestic Frontline.’ She is a founding partner and committee member of Juno Theatre.


kirsty01Kirsty Hoyle (Director, Include Arts, UK) –
Include Arts is a training and consultancy organisation, founded by Kirsty Hoyle, which specialising in arts and disability. We work with the arts and culture sector to improve access and promote equality through in-house training, consultancy and project management. Kirsty has over ten years’ experience working in arts and disability and has been at the forefront of theatre becoming more accessible for people with autism and learning disabilities. She worked as Access Manager for the Society of London Theatre and Theatrical Management Association, advising on access and inclusion for the UK theatre industry and across the West End. Kirsty also worked as Access Manager for the Unicorn Theatre (London) and developed a flagship Access programme which established the theatre as leaders in the field. She works as a consultant and trainer for organisations including: National Theatre, Ambassador Theatre Group and Cinema Picturehouse. In 2013 Kirsty ran the successful national Relaxed Performance Project, working with the Prince’s Foundation for Children & The Arts, which aims to provide access to creative, safe and inspiring public theatre performances for children with special needs, including Autistic Spectrum Conditions and/or learning disabilities and their families. Kirsty is also a trained in both Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) and Captioning (for deaf and hard of hearing audiences).

 Alison Farina – Butterfly Psyche Theatre

Alison Farina is a Bath-based theatre-maker, practitioner and playwright. She is founder and Artistic Director of Butterfly Psyche Theatre, an Associate Director at The Rondo Theatre in Bath and a Trustee of The Merlin Theatre in Frome, Somerset. Her practice focuses on new writing, heritage, family theatre and theatre with a social conscience. Alison’s work has been performed on the Isle of Man, Leeds, Bristol, London, Kent, Bath, and Reykjavik, Iceland.

Alison has worked with Dyslexia Action, The Rondo Theatre, Theatre Bath, Trowbridge Arts, and Wiltshire Libraries giving workshops for adults and young people and in 2105 created Words Alive! – a project for Bath and North East Somerset that brings memories and stories to life for residents in Care Homes.

Currently Alison is writer/director on Butterfly Psyche Theatre’s new accessible, multi-sensory family show, The Snow Child, which will premier in Bath this Christmas. Recent credits include: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (an adaptation of Anne Brontë’s classic for the theatre), Return to Wonderland, (an original follow-up to the Alice in Wonderland stories set against the First World War) and the 5-episode interactive Twitter script Temple Tales for Temple Newsam House, where she is working again in 2015 to write a new script for their visitors Audio Tour.

In 2014 Alison was short-listed for the Old Vic, New Voices TS Elliot Commission and the Salisbury Playhouse’s 2014 ‘Original Drama’ call-out.


Bath, Bristol & Wiltshire

 Tracy Sullivan – Trowbridge Arts & Wiltshire Arts Promoters

Tracy Sullivan has worked in the arts in Wiltshire for over ten years. Having been involved with community arts since the age of 12 she began working professionally in the industry at the Arc Theatre Trowbridge, a receiving venue on the campus of Wiltshire College. Having joined the team as a part time Marketing Officer Tracy went on to be Director spending a total of 6 years learning many the many ropes needed to run a small venue.
Tracy went on to to be the manager of WAP (Wiltshire Arts promoters) an organisation which worked to bring together those who were working in the arts across the county and find ways that the arts ecology could be made stronger by working together. There was a particularly onus on the funded organisations committing time and sometimes money towards activity and projects that would benefit the wider ecology. There hasn’t been any paid posts within WAP for a couple of years but it has recently launched a website aimed to promote Wiltshire’s thriving arts offer. do take a look and add your events!

Tracy is now the Director of Trowbridge Arts an Arts Council funded project she wrote to bring professional performance, visual arts and workshops to Trowbridge which she is in her third year of running. Tracy was also a founding member of the board working to develop Trowbridge Town Hall into a centre for arts and culture.

Tracy is a self confessed evangelist where partnership working is concerned and can often be found tweeting #togetherwecan so I’m sure will have plenty to share on ‘bridging the gap’.

IMG_4945-0Chloé Elwood – Executive Director, Bristol Old Vic

Chloé Elwood began her career Front of House at the Bristol Old Vic in 2001, leaving in 2002 to become Assistant to the Director at Oxford Playhouse. Moving to London after two years, she worked with independent producer and general manager Mark Rubinstein on West End projects including By The Bog of Cats, Whose Life Is It Anyway?, Otherwise Engaged, Sunday In The Park With George, Bent, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Magic Flute (Impempe Yomlingo) and La Clique (later La Soirée). She left in 2010 to take over the general management of War Horse at the New London Theatre and stayed with the newly-formed National Theatre Productions to general manage One Man, Two Guvnors at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and on a 45-week tour of the UK and Ireland. Since early 2015 she has been back at Bristol Old Vic as Executive Producer. She has two young boys and now lives in Bristol.

Local Keynote Speakers

 David Metcalfe – Co-Chair – The Cultural Forum for the Bath Area

David is a director and the co-chair of the Cultural Forum for the Bath Area CIC – an independent coalition of arts, heritage and creative organisations which acts as the collective voice for culture in Bath and beyond. The Cultural Forum aims to encourage cultural entrepreneurship, provide cultural leadership and promote cultural literacy. David is also a director of the Bath Bridge CIC, an independent city-wide advisory group concerned with positioning Bath as a place with a dynamic, beautifully inventive future, and which facilitated B&NES Council’s recent Cultural and Creative Strategy Review. David has a degree in History from Aberystwyth University (BA, 1975) and in Archaeology from Newcastle University (MPhil, 1978), and is a chartered public finance accountant (CPFA, 1987).

David is a specialist in organisational development, providing consultancy services to enterprises undertaking change and improvement initiatives. He has many years’ experience evaluating the use of resources by organisations at local, national and international levels, through his former work at the UK National Audit Office (1984-2005) and at the Wales Audit Office (2005-2010), which has led to significant impacts in improving value for money and business processes. David has written and co-authored numerous publications on a wide range of programmes and projects, including Sustainable Development and Business Decision Making in the Welsh Assembly Government (Auditor General for Wales, January 2010), The Arts Council of Wales: Supporting Major Capital Projects (Auditor General for Wales, January 2008) and Ministry of Defence: The Financial Management of the Military Operation in the Former Yugoslavia (Comptroller and Auditor General, December 1996). Between 1996 and 1998 David also spent periods on secondment to the United Nations Board of Auditors in New York, leading investigations into the worldwide activities of the United Nations Development Programme. With particular expertise in corporate strategy, business planning and capital project development, David has a keen interest in how organisations formulate, articulate and regenerate their corporate narratives. As well as working on projects for creative and cultural enterprises, David is currently an external assessor for the Arts Council of Wales’ national lottery-funded capital programme.

David is also a freelance narrative consultant, performance storyteller and folk-singer, specialising in the narrative interpretation of landscape, archaeology and history. He has co-produced several major storytelling shows and appeared in theatres, arts centres and other venues across the UK, working on his own or with the storytelling company, Fire Springs, which he co-founded in 2000. David runs workshops in story-making and in storytelling which explore imaginative pathways for bringing the past to life through the creative use of story in relation to places, sites, objects and events. He is the author of ‘Voices in the City’ in Storytelling for a Greener World: Environment, Community and Story-Based Learning (Hawthorn Press, April 2014) and co-author of An Ecobardic Manifesto: a vision for the arts in a time of environmental crisis (Awen Publications, December 2008). He has written a feature article for the Guardian newspaper about the rich folklore of the British Isles entitled ‘Bringing the Landscape to Life’ (September 2013), and given talks and presentations on story-making in relation to history and archaeology – including a paper to the Tyne-Forth Prehistory Forum at the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2012 entitled Ancestors’ Tales – retrieving memory from the landscape through oral storytelling. In 2011 he also released an album of traditional folk songs, Rogues and Ravens – songs of love and death.


Cultural and Creative Strategy Review

David has been actively involved in contributing to B&NES Council’s review of its cultural and creative strategy and in working to help set up a new strategic and operational framework to support the future development of the cultural and creative sector in the area. B&NES’s Cultural and Creative Strategy Review 2015-2010: Cultural Life, Creative Work (April 2015) refers to the Council’s wish to enhance economic and social benefits through continued investment in the cultural and creative sector. Central to the success of this aspiration will be putting in place a new Cultural and Creative Investment Board, to identify strategic priorities and possibilities for investment. Also crucial will be implementing closer collaborative working between the Cultural Form, Creative Bath and The Guild Coworking Hub, which is involving the creation of a new community interest company (Creative & Cultural Bath CIC) to be supported by B&NES Council’s Economy and Culture Team. David will be talking about recent progress on these initiatives and how he hopes the arrangements will work to benefit cultural sector organisations, their audiences and participants in the area’s rich cultural and creative life.



Penny Hay 1Penny Hay – 5x5x5=creativity, Child Friendly Bath & The Forest Of Imagination

Penny Hay is an artist and educator. Penny is part-time Senior Lecturer in Arts Education at Bath Spa University and Director of Research for 5x5x5=creativity, an arts research charity. Previously Penny was a primary teacher, advisory teacher for the arts and lecturer in arts education at Goldsmiths College, the Institute of Education, University of London, Roehampton Institute and the University of the West of England. Penny has worked extensively in arts education across the UK, she co-ordinated the professional development programme and co-designed the Artist teacher Scheme on behalf of the National Society for Education in Art and Design, that offered teachers the opportunity to develop their own creative practice, culminating in the first summer school at Tate Modern. Penny integrates her experience in arts and education with participative action research engaging individuals, institutions and communities. She also co-hosts the SW Research hub: Cambridge Primary Review Trust. Her doctoral research is focused on how, as adults, we support children’s identity as artists. Penny is a parent governor and active in supporting children’s rights. She is an elected Fellow of the RSA and has an award from Action for Children’s Arts for her contribution to arts education.


5x5x5=creativity is an arts-based action research organisation with charitable status that supports children and young people in their exploration and expression of ideas, helping them develop creative skills for life. Originally set up with groups of 5 artists, 5 educational settings and 5 cultural centres in triangles to work together to collect evidence of creativity and how best to support it. Since 2000, 5x5x5 has worked with over 250 settings across 10 Local Authorities. 5x5x5=creativity helps improve children’s and young people’s life chances by developing their confidence in themselves as creative learners and thinkers whilst inspiring higher levels of motivation and engagement in their learning. 5x5x5=creativity is now a nationally recognised and highly regarded long-term research project of vitality and innovation, influencing practice across the South West and beyond. Throughout the research there has been a transformation of practice in classrooms and across whole schools.


Forest of Imagination is a 4 day event initially at Bath School of Art and Design in July 2014 and in Queen Square in May 2015. Each space was transformed into an outdoor interactive ‘gallery without walls’, a space for contemporary creativity, where the urban meets the natural. The Forest of Imagination provides a creative ecosystem for art and participation. Forest involves a team of creative collaborators from 5x5x5=creativity, Grant Associates, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Herman Miller, artists, Bath Spa University, RSA and Imaginnovation.


Child Friendly City: Over the last 2 years, the idea for creating a Child Friendly Community has been initiated by a group of creative, cultural and educational organisations on behalf of many others that are regularly involved with children and young people in Bath and North East Somerset. B&NES is a magnet for child-friendly initiatives with the capacity and will to sustain and extend them. The Steering Group are committed to working towards Unicef Child Friendly Community accreditation and an International Festival of Childhood in 2017.



Lisa Lort – Bath Dance

Lisa Lort has been a freelance Creative Producer for Bath Dance since 2011 and is currently based between Dorset and Bath. Her passion for dance stems from her early childhood curiosity in exploring movement, which led her to study dance and related arts at the University of Chichester and further at London Contemporary Dance School. Lisa started her career touring with educational dance company Kipperfoot and as a Youth Dance Apprentice and then Animateur with Wiltshire Youth Arts Partnership. This fed Lisa’s view of dance as a universal language and increased her appetite to widen opportunities for people to discover dance. Lisa went on to become the Dance Officer and then Development Manager for Dance South Gloucestershire where she spent seven years creating dance opportunities at the heart of community settings. During this time she sustained her teaching practice, led on dance leadership training courses, became an Arts Award Advisor, mentored young people in care and achieved her Level 3 Introductory Award in Business for the Creative Industries (2009), became a qualified Action Learning Facilitator (2011) and completed a Level 6 Diploma in Dance, Teaching and Learning (2013). Lisa’s journey has also stepped outside the dance sector having led on several projects for Wiltshire County Council, including co-leading a Level 1 Youth Development Course, managing an online youth radio station and leading on Home Front, a world war two residential project for young people.


Today, as Producer for Bath Dance, Lisa is strongly committed to widening opportunities for people in Bath and North East Somerset to discover dance as makers, participants and observers and to raise the visibility and connectivity of what already exists in our dance and cultural community locally and regionally.


 Kerry Irvine – TheatreLab & Bath Spa University

Senior Lecturer on Acting BA and researcher at Bath Spa University, research interest are within Creative Industries, specifically strategies within the theatre industry that exist for new theatre product and entry routes for early career theatre makers. Independent Theatre Producer and Director. and Director of theatreLab , a producer led collective committed to the creation of new theatre product.

 Daniel Martin – Dancer

Dan first started Bboying over 8 years ago after being at risk of exclusion and having a one – off chance meeting with Director of Mentoring Plus Jamie Luck, being offered to take time off school to go to The Egg Theatre and try new artistic skills.

Jamie Luck has been supporting Dan for over 8 years, and still does to this day help nurture Dan’s talents and pushing Dan in the right direction to be the most successful person he can be.

Dan went on to train at Swindon Dance Youth Dance Academy, a Centre for Advanced Training studying Urban and was there for 3 years. This was one of the very best places Dan has ever trained at for Dance.

Being at Swindon Dance Youth Dance Academy, led Dan to gain experience performing at many events throughout the years and to also study Ballet and Contemporary Dance.

Through Swindon Dance Youth Dance Academy’s help and incredible support, led him to audition successfully and train in professional Ballet and Contemporary Dance at Northern School of Contemporary Dance & London Contemporary Dance School. Two of the biggest institutions in the UK, giving him the most unique skill set a dynamic, versitile dancer could possibly acquire.
Dan has been on the breakin’ scene for many years and is one of the biggest, most influential dancers in the city.

He is a member of the Physical Jerks bboying Company, who have won many battles around Europe and continue to perform all over the UK.

Dan has an extremely enjoyable character and thrives on passing on as much knowledge and experience as he can while continuing to develop himself in every way possible in order to help others to reach there true potential to the very best of their ability.

Dan’s charismatic, energetic and unique presence he brings to performances and workshops are what sets him apart from the rest.


Jane McleodJane McLeod – Actor, Dancer & Spoken Word Artist

Jane McLeod is an Actor, Dancer, and Spoken Word Artist. She received a BA Honours Degree in Performing Arts in 2009. During this time she performed in Full Tilt Theatre Company’s national tour of Taming of The Shrew, which completed its run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Since then, she has worked as a Stand-Up comic and performed gigs across the Southwest, as well as at the famous Up The Creek comedy club in London. In addition to working as a Presenter for Classroom Video and an actress for Suited & Booted she has also written, directed and performed in her own play Yona, which was performed at The Forum, Bath. Jane is also Co-Director of bath based Hepzibah Theatre Co. which will tour the UK in 2015 and leads Dance & Drama workshops for Characters Stage School, Musical Mash-Up and the egg Theatre, Bath.

image004image002Brian Madigan – A Band Named Brian

Brian Madigan has a long track record scoring to picture and other visual media. He has worked with some big names in the industry: award-winning film & TV director Iain B McDonald, award-winning CG animator Paul Smith and acclaimed theatre directors Andy Burden and Jon Nicholson, among others. Brian has also supplied music for a range of big-brand advertising clients – including Wilkinson Sword, Shell, Comfort, Nestle, Kit Kat and Felix – and is the UK’s leading provider of music for Dance education.

As a performer, Brian has worked in everything from pit orchestras to punk bands; this live experience adding great depth to his musical understanding and helping to inform his composition. Currently Brian performs solo as ‘a Band named Brian’ and plays drums and percussion in a variety of other groups and ensembles.

Brian has worked as visiting lecturer at Bath Spa University and provided music-for-picture workshops for the Diploma in Creative Media in Wiltshire. He has run music improvisation workshops in a number of settings, including theatre summer-schools, Dance courses and for volunteer workers in Africa.

Download a selection of recent tracks click here
Think Billy Bragg meets Johnny Cash with Jon Otway doing the introductions and Levellers shouting abuse from the shadows. Brian’s performance style is direct, open and engaging. He speaks from the heart and lays himself bare before his audience – leading them through tales of love, loss, celebration and psychosis, then pricking their social conscience with a twinkle in his eye.

“Like an Acoustic/Folk version of Tom Lehrer; good tunes, funny lyrics and intelligence.”

“Ballroom-blitz meets the levellers with a sprinkling of Neil Innes.”

“Great... lyrics are quite stand alone, in the tradition of Bob Dylan”

“Wit and wisdom indeed.”

“Middle Class Blues was like reliving my life in three and a half minutes.”

“...Love Cashier - makes me laugh after a bad day”

“Many people write songs – Brian gives birth to them – they're that personal.”


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