Co-Director - Planning, marketing & audience development and financial management
Marg has experience of delivering six multi-artform festivals as director since 2012 and as co-director of Festival Stoke since the collaborative was formed. She brings strategic planning skills to the team in commissioning, managing delivery plans, organizing support services and marketing and audience development. Drawing in funding from a range of sources she has managed each festival’s budget. Marg has a varied career background in general management and service development and has extensive project management experience in the private, third and public sectors. When not working with Festival Stoke Marg can be found mostly outdoors, up hills or on the sea.
Co-Director - Lead Artist and Arts Advocate for community engagement and participation
As artist and partner at ‘Letting in the Light’ Anne has a wealth of experience in participatory, community, and visual arts. Anne has a gift of drawing out the best in people, be they participants or creative colleagues and naturally builds bridges between people and arts. She enjoys combining her love of art, of creative-making and of words, and finds collaborative working especially fulfilling and rewarding. Anne has years’ of experience creating beautiful, dynamic and high-impact artworks, many of which have been installed in public places. Her enthusiasm is reflected in her creativity and consequently her artworks are vibrant and dynamic. Anne’s zest for life extends beyond her creative work and she is an enthusiastic distance cyclist, coffee drinker and foodie.
Artist and Creative Practitioner, Making & Participatory Arts
In 2017 Rachel created a surprising small garden for 'Greening Church Street'; incorporating a recycled filing cabinet as a plant container, with picket fence and lawn, it created a stir in the town. During 2018 Rachel joined with artist Anne Kinnaird to deliver 'Greening Church Street' as part of Kew Garden's Grow Wild project. Incorporating recycled and reused items such as filing cabinets and colanders turning them into various planters and hanging baskets that add splashes of colour around the town, turning unwanted materials into homes for nature to flourish, 'Greening Stoke' in 2019 grew out of this.
Rachel works alongside Anne to deliver a range of participatory arts projects in hospitals, schools, and in public spaces across Stoke-on-Trent.
Social Media Lead
After years of working in the Pottery industry, in 2009 Val completely changed direction and started to dabble in the world of Social Media when she began to help her twin daughters market their entertainment business. During this time, she very quickly realised that she had a passion for all things “social media”. Over the last ten years, through intensive studying and hard work, Val has gained extensive knowledge of all social media platforms, keeping up to date with all the new trends and features. She particularly loves creating entertaining and informative Instagram stories during events to really engage audiences.
Having been widowed at a relatively young age, Val always aims to live a happy and upbeat life with lots of positive energy and she particularly loves the power of music.
Iona Mahima Jones
Diversity & Inclusion Advisor
Iona Jones is an equality and diversity specialist, having run her own company, Imagine Associates, since 2006. Iona’s clients have included the Royal Shakespeare Company, Cultural Diversity Network, My Community Matters, BBC Monitoring (in Ukraine and Azerbaijan), Staffordshire University and Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Trust.
From 2001 – 2006 Iona was employed as diversity manager for BBC English Regions. Previous to that, Iona worked as a probation officer for 12 years. She has a PhD in Ethnic Relations.
Iona is a board member at the New Vic Theatre, an associate with All the Small Things CIC and a director of Cobridge CIC. She has a level 2 certificate in British Sign Language.
Ceramic Designer and Producer
As an artist Denise has worked with the Festival Stoke team on a number of projects. She is currently working with us to design and produce the Festival Designs merchandising. A talented and exprienced ceramic designer in her own rights Denise produces fine china mugs and gifts under through her own business.