Board of Directors

Miles Harrison – Chair

Miles works in leadership and organisation/governance development and is an independent meeting facilitator. He has particular expertise and experience in the not-for-profit and public sectors. Since 1990 he has designed and delivered bespoke governance and leadership development programmes for a range of not-for-profit and public sector organisations in the UK and abroad.

He previously worked for the leadership development organisation Common Purpose as Programme Director and for the Scottish Arts Council as Senior Development Officer (National Lottery), later running the Advancement Programme – a scheme to help organisations achieve lasting positive change. He is an accredited Action Learning Set facilitator and has run training programmes in coaching and mentoring.

Graham Main – Vice chair

Graham Main is a cultural producer specialising in performance, site-specific and community arts. He has been a key player in the transformation in Dumfries & Galloway’s cultural industries leading on policy development in Youth Arts, Emerging Artists and art form development of Performing Arts. He has worked across Europe in areas of cultural policy and production with major portfolio companies in a variety of producing roles including Dublin Fringe Festival, Dublin Opera, St Patricks Festival, Communidad Madrid and Dublin City Council. In 2014, he led on the Creative Place Award partnership bid for Dumfries.

As Executive Producer, he leads Electric Theatre Workshop’s portfolio which includes Big Burns Supper and Carlisle Fringe Festival, Dumfries Youth Theatre and Dumfries Community Choir, and the award winning Associate Artist programme which has supported over 35 young people in Dumfries & Galloway to develop pathways in the Creative Industries. In 2011, he worked in partnership with The Stove to create Make Performance, which formed part of the Rural Talent Development programme, with Bryony Kimmings and Selina Cartmell.

In 2004 he developed the first ever European interactive platform for performing arts which ran in 2005 and 2006 and brought together emerging artists from 20 different partner countries.
Graham trained at the George Street School of Art, Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and at The Moscow Art Theatre in Directing. He is currently undertaking an MA with Queen Margaret University in Cultural Policy. His research area is the ecology cultural participation in Scotland’s rural communities.

Credits as a theatre maker include, Loaded, Red or Dead, Blood Orange and We Can Be Heroes. Most recently, Le Haggis was awarded Spirit of the Fringe at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe.

Simon Hodgson – Treasurer

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.

Amy Conachan

Amy is a stage and television actress. Since graduating with a BA in Acting from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2015, she has worked with various companies such as Graeae and Play, a Pie and a Pint. From 2014-16 she played Laura in Birds of Paradise Theatre Company’s hit comedy ‘Wendy Hoose’ by Johnny McKnight. She then joined the cast of Channel 4 soap ‘Hollyoaks’; playing science teacher, Courtney Campbell.

Jai Hutchison

Jai is a community dance artist and choreographer who has recently relocated back to Scotland after working across Hertfordshire and London prodominantly within inclusive dance. Jai has a vast amount of experience working with young people both in schools and in other community settings delivery dance workshops often as part of the school curriculum, and also as an Arts Award adviser incorporating different art forms.

Now based in Edinburgh Jai is a student at Queen Margaret University where she is studying MA Arts, Festival and Cultural Management. She is an advocate for the arts for mental health, which was the focus of her first MA in 2012, and is currently an intern at Art in Healthcare, who are based in Edinburgh.

For 5 years as a producer and artistic director Jai ran her own organisation ‘Insights Platforms’, which supported a variety of performing artists by creating opportunities for them to deliver workshops and teach within their practice, and also to present their works at performing arts festivals and independent Insights Platforms across the U.K. including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Camden Fringe, Dance Live in Aberdeen, RADA, Northern School of Contemporay Dance and The Holy Biscuit art gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne. Jai is passionate about creating opportunities for performing artists in order not to disengage from their practice, and is currently working on the Insights Platforms relaunch for 2019.

Michael Richardson

Michael is a theatre maker, arts educator and arts manager who has worked across theatre, musical theatre and opera.

Michael has had a significant impact in the youth theatre sector. In 1994 he founded Shrewsbury Youth Theatre and has been a Regional Development Worker for the National Association of Youth Theatres. From 2004 to 2010 he was Artistic Director of West Lothian Youth Theatre, and during the same period he was a founding Trustee and later Chair of Promote-YT, the umbrella organisation for youth theatre in Scotland. His book Youth Theatre – Drama for Life was published by Routledge in 2015.

Michael has been working increasingly with the Deaf community for several years, and in 2015 began a practice-based PhD at Heriot Watt University exploring the participation of Deaf people in theatre.

Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambaksh

ISPA Fellowship England 2017-2019

Touring theatre company leadership & management, and directing

Artistic Director (CEO) and Founder of ZENDEH, an award winning national touring Theatre Company “connecting the personal with the political” since 2004. Awarded an Amnesty International Commendation Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2005. ZENDEH is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation based in Newcastle, working nationally, internationally, and locally. Strategic and consultancy work includes: Facilitator and Founder Member of Creative Case NORTH since 2011.

Directing based roles in theatre buildings

Awarded an Arts Council England Trainee Directorship at the CURVE (Leicester Haymarket Theatre) in 2001 – 2002. Staff Director at Derby Theatres (Derby Playhouse) 2002-2003. Associate Director Theatre Workshop Edinburgh 2005 – 2007.

Performer/Actor includes:

Theatre Uncut (2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe at Summerhall); BLANK by Nassim Soleimanpour, Aurora Nova (2016, Edinburgh Festival Fringe at Summerhall); CINEMA by Steven Gaythorpe, ZENDEH (2015, Edinburgh Festival Fringe at Summerhall Northern Stage & Tour); Horizontal Collaboration by David Leddy, Fire Exit (2014, Edinburgh Festival Fringe at Traverse Theatre); Rabbit, Red Rabbit by Nassim Soleimanpour, Aurora Nova (2012, Edinburgh Festival Fringe at Summerhall).

Academic experience lecturing and directing

Visiting Lecturer, and Visiting Director of: Drama and Theatre Arts (Directing); Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh 2003 – 2007.

Education at graduate level

1999 BSc Hons in Media Technology from the University of the West of Scotland (University of Paisley).

 

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