Graham Main – Co chair
Graham Main is a performing arts producer based in South Scotland who has led the development of new rural performing arts audiences through flagship projects including Electric Theatre Workshop, Big Burns Supper and DG Unlimited. He is the lead facilitator of Dumfries Community Choir, Dumfries Youth Theatre and the Creative Sparks programme which brings creative experiences to over 600 people a week in Dumfries & Galloway. Recent credits include the award winning cabaret Le Haggis.
In 2003 he developed the first ever pan European Fringe Festival platform for young people which ran for two years in Ireland, and brought over 350 emerging European practitioners from 16 different partner countries together to create and share performance together. He worked under the direction of Wolfgang Hoffman at Dublin Fringe Festival as the lead curator of the international programme, produced with the Communidad Madrid (Madrid) on an extensive three year creative learning project which supported the government’s ambitious bilingual project through live performance, was Executive Producer for Dublin Opera Festival, under the direction of Bernadette Greevy. He has been a leading voice in re-shaping the performing arts infrastructure in Dumfries & Galloway, and is a board member for Dumfries & Galloway Unlimited which has led the transformation of Dumfries & Galloway’s Engagement to the Arts strategy. In 2014 – he piloted the first Make Performanceproject – which was part of Creative Scotland’s Rural Talent Development strategy, which saw six pieces of development being shaped by international performance specialists.
He has led policy redevelopment in South Scotland, and recent directing credits include Blood Orange (2014), we can be Heroes (2013), Red or Dead (2012), Roses in December (2011). He is currently studying for his PGCert in Cultural Management at Queen Margaret University, and studied Performing Arts at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and George Street School of Art.
Marianne Maxwell – Co chair
Marianne joined the National Theatre of Scotland in January 2006 as Marketing Manager, becoming Audience Development Manager in 2009. In 2012 Marianne became a Producer at NTS and has produced the award-winning Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, Dear Scotland and Let The Right One In.
Beginning her arts career with 7:84 Theatre Company, Marianne has a strong background in engaging with audiences and participants for touring theatre. Her role at the National Theatre of Scotland involves finding creative ways for new, diverse audiences to discover live theatre, connecting those audiences to the best artists in the world and building relationships that last.
Joining Scotland’s renowned ‘Theatre Without Walls’ at its formation, Marianne has played key roles in marketing, communication and social media campaigns, led the Company’s branding process, established its Audience Development function, pioneered work in access & equalities and created and delivered some of its most innovative projects. In 2011, she devised and delivered a totally original digital project called Five Minute Theatre.
In a bid to broaden access to the arts, Marianne has created a number of initiatives including First Nights which has made it possible for thousands of young people to go to the theatre for the first time; a national Deaf Theatre Club; a team of brand ambassadors called Champions; and established relaxed theatre performances for those with autism as an integral part of the NTS programme.
Marianne is actively involved in the cultural sector as a mentor, an advisor, panel member, public speaker and board member.
Simon Hodgson has been Director of Carers Scotland since June 2011. He is a member of the Senior Management Team of Carers UK and is responsible for all aspects of the organisations work in Scotland. In the last four years this has included policy work on new legislation that impacts on carers’ lives, promoting the potential benefits of technology – telecare and telehealth – in assisting carers, and giving carers a voice through the first three Carers Parliaments.
He has a long career in the Scottish voluntary sector. His previous role was Director of Policy & Communications with Scottish Refugee Council managing a team whose prime purposes was to improve public understanding about why people seek refugee protection in Scotland and to ensure that policy and legislation in this area was based on accurate and up-to-date information.
The team was responsibility for research and policy development, external training, membership and external affairs, events and conferences, publications and information leaflets, arts development – including co-ordinating Refugee Week – and media, the website and other new media channels.
Prior to this he worked for Oxfam in Scotland for 15 years in a variety of roles, including a secondment to Croatia at the start of the Bosnian war and latterly as the Campaigns and Communication Manager. He was a founding board member of NIDOS, the Network of International Development Organisations in Scotland.
Christine has worked in the arts and voluntary sectors during the past 15 years including roles in production; programming, events as well as youth work, completing a Post Graduate Certificate in Community Learning and Development in 2006. Working as Performance Programmer for Paisley Arts Centre for the past 6 years, Christine has worked in partnership with a range of local and national partners to develop an exciting programme of theatre, music, comedy, dance and film for audiences in Renfrewshire. Christine successfully completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Arts Cultural and Festival Management in July 2015.
Having completed three years at Langside College where she studied a ‘New Opportunities’ course for two years and ‘Transitions to Mainstream’ for her final year, Jodie has joined the Birds of Paradise board as our young persons representative.
Jodie involved in dance since the age of 15. She is part of an inclusive dance group called ‘Make Music Move’ which is run by Paragon Ensemble. Jodie is very clear in saying that dance is her passion.
Jodie has been a participant of Birds of Paradise’s ‘Be BoP Ensemble’ for a considerable while. She values it as a place where people of all ages come together to make theatre, expressive themselves and, most importantly, have fun!