Following graduation, with a BA (Hons) History of Design, I worked freelance in theatre in a number of roles including stage manager, designer and company manager for professional companies and productions. My work history also includes Co-ordinator for East Sussex Health Authority's initiative Hospital Arts and development work for the Grace Eyre Foundation. I am a trustee for SpeakOut advocacy service and for Komedia Productions Ltd. In 2007 I joined the steering group for the Outside In inititative at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester and since 2009 have been a member of the Arts Commission in Brighton.
My background is in drama and performance art. Since completing my training at Middlesex Polytechnic in 1984, I worked extensively across the South West of the UK (and for two years in the Turks and Caicos Islands, BWI) facilitating arts projects for diverse communities with a range of community arts companies. I became more and more inspired by the artistic work created by the learning disabled community, and from 1988 began working extensively in the large (and horrible!) institutions for people with a learning disability around Bristol, Bath and Cardiff. I have been part of the Carousel team, leading its direction, since 1993. I remain passionate about the quality of learning disability led film and performance art. I enjoy working in partnership with Carousel’s artists with a learning disability to steer, develop and deliver our inspirational and thought provoking national and international programmes of work. Since completing my MA in Arts and Cultural Management in 2004, I have found as much creative pleasure in developing our organisation as I have in co-founding and supporting the Oska Bright Steering Committee to develop their work internationally.
I have been working with Carousel since 2006. Having gained a BA (Hons) Drama, I worked professionally as an actor and singer as well as working for an independent television company as Production Manager. Since moving to Brighton I juggled the demands of raising a family with varied freelance work and also gained a post graduate diploma from Sussex University in Arts and Cultural Management. I managed the Arts College faculty at Heathfield Community College for 2 years, worked as a consultant for the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and as a Creative Agent for Creative Partnerships, East Sussex and Hastings for 6 years.
Back in the early nineties, when my hair was short, I started playing bass. I have been a musician ever since and have enjoyed writing, recording with lots of bands and have been fortunate enough to play many gigs throughout the UK. and Europe. After graduating with a degree in Popular Music and Recording from the University of Salford, I worked in Manchester for Connexions, and then for a community arts project called Music Stuff. It was here where I gained valuable experience developing and delivering creative projects for groups including young offenders, looked after children, primary and secondary schools and people with learning disabilities. I joined the Carousel team as the Shut Up and Listen! Music Coordinator in July 2011.
Having completed a MA in Arts and Cultural Management in 2008, I worked for Brighton community arts charities Same Sky and AudioActive in helping to deliver projects to a wide range of community groups. For the past 15 years I have played drums and percussion for several groups, travelling throughout Europe and the USA to perform and record many kinds of music – from chaotic punk to (slightly less chaotic) Afro-Brazilian folkloric music. I manage and perform with the Brighton based band Fanfara (a Balkan-style brass band), and I have worked as an assistant director and music tutor for other large-scale community bands in the South East.
Lizzie Banks - Oska Bright Creative Assistant
Whilst studying for my BA Hons in Critical Fine Art Practice, I began getting involved in community arts. Throughout my degree and since, I have facilitated a wide range of workshops for socially excluded people and young people with varying abilities. I have worked as a freelance journalist for regional newspapers, writing album, single and gig reviews. I've played in bands and have featured on an album which was released for charity. I am extremely passionate about the arts and assisting people to express themselves freely, in a creative way. I am excited to be working at Carousel and being able to meet so many talented people.
After graduating with a degree in fine art from Leeds, I spent some time in Paris as a musician, before moving to Brighton in 2003. I became re-engaged with the visual arts through working on theatre and opera as a designer and stage manager, and since then have worked as a freelance artist and producer, helped develop collaborative art-spaces and exhibitions, and worked in a wide range of settings both independently and for Creative Partnerships. In 2006 I co-founded Figment Arts, which is an arts organisation working with those who face barriers to accessing the Arts. I have a strong belief that people with learning difficulties should be in charge of their own creativity. Increasingly my work has been to enable Artists with Learning Disabilities to produce, share and celebrate their work. I am really excited to have joined the Carousel team in May 2012.
I am a freelance arts producer working for a range of companies and artists. My involvement with Carousel began in 2001 when I covered two maternity leaves, managing and marketing High Spin. I returned in September 2006 and currently work one day a week providing the press and marketing function across the organisation. As a producer I work for choreographer/film-makers Liz Aggiss, actor/writer Tim Crouch and writer/actress Sue MacLaine. Over recent years I have worked for Arts Council England South East, Chichester Festival Theatre, South East Dance and Brighton Dome and Festival. I’m on the advisory board of theatre company Spymonkey, review for Total Theatre and am an Arts Council England arts assessor.
At Carousel I will be finding ways to raise the money that we need to run all of the exciting Carousel projects. After finishing my degree in Psychology (BA, Hons) at The University of Sheffield, I have had experience volunteering for many different charities including Amnesty International and The Big Issue. I have had experience writing for magazines, newspapers and websites about music, film, books and dance, which means that I have a passion for the arts. I am really happy to be working for Carousel and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of the artists we work with.
Katie Windsor - Music Facilitator
Since graduating from the University of Kent in 2006 I have worked for a variety of arts and music organisations including independent record labels in Canterbury and Brighton in production and press & PR roles. I have also worked at Spitalfields Music, Live Music Now and Trinity Laban in London, co-ordinating music education and community outreach projects. I played bass guitar in a number of bands from 1997 to 2007, which gave me plenty of experience in writing, recording and performing music. I completed Carousel’s Volunteer Training Programme over the summer of 2010 and became the Music Apprentice for 2010 -11 in September.
Steve Tovell - Music Facilitator