Abi established the MA Arts Management, Policy and Practice at The University of Manchester and is the Programme Director for postgraduate programmes in the Institute for Cultural Practices. She is involved in a range of teaching, research, knowledge exchange and public engagement activities concerning the value of the arts and relationships between culture, policy and place. She speaks regularly on these topics at academic conferences and sector symposia. Within the University, Abi is affiliated to the Manchester Urban Institute and a Co-Investigator on the AHRC Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre. Among her responsibilities outside the University, Abi is a trustee for arts charities, Abandon Normal Devices and the Macclesfield Barnaby Festival. An adopted Maxonian, she is passionate about the town and giddy about its culture and people, especially during Barnaby.
Nicola has been in Macclesfield since 2016, and enjoyed her first Barnaby immensely while settling into the town. Nicola joined the board in late 2017 and in 2018 enjoyed programming the ‘Women’s Town’ and serving beer and gin in the Barnaby Tap. Nicola works with the Centre for Ageing Better and enjoys arts events that bring together her love of being outdoors and experiencing things from new perspectives.
Manny is Headteacher at Tytherington School, Macclesfield. Born, raised and educated in South London, he attended a comprehensive school and then went to Corpus Christi College, Oxford where he read Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE). Prior to joining Tytherington School, Emmanuel was Deputy Headteacher for Raising Standards in a semi-rural school in South Oxfordshire where he had oversight of achievement at Key Stage 4. Prior to this, he taught in an inner city comprehensive in East Oxford. He has been Headteacher at Tytherington School for just over three years. His leadership was described as “inspirational and dynamic” in their most recent Ofsted inspection. His outside interests include Arsenal Football club and charity work. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Poynton, Cheshire.
Nigel joined the board in 2019 and is a Chartered Accountant turned self-employed IT consultant. He graduated from Manchester University having studied Computer Science & Accounting and has lived in Macclesfield since then. He is also interested in heritage railways and digital photography.
Born and raised in Macclesfield, Lauren is the Development Administrator for Manchester International Festival. Lauren is an alumni of the University of Manchester’s MA Arts Management programme, and is passionate about the accessibility of arts and culture. Previous organisations Lauren has worked for include: the Bridgewater Hall, Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme (RTYDS), Kendal Calling Festival and Paradise Green (Edinburgh Festival Fringe). Lauren also frequently networks with Young Arts Fundraisers and acts as a representative of the Young Trustee Movement, a movement campaigning for the rise of trustees under 30.
Alan moved to Macclesfield in 2017 and loves it! He has significant operational and programme management experience, having worked in a number of locations in Europe and elsewhere. As well as Barnaby, Alan works with a number of other organisations with the objective of contributing to the community he has adopted. In his spare time, and when allowed, Alan enjoys hiking, theatre, travel and trying to maintain his ability to run 5k’s, though he has no ambition to run a 10k just yet.
Becky is Creative Producer with Creative Manchester (part of The University of Manchester) and Manchester Camerata. She studied classical guitar at the Royal Northern College of Music and worked in various arts management roles alongside studying for an MA in Creative Events Management at Falmouth University. Her main passion in life is (unsurprisingly) music and she is happiest when watching a silent film with live soundtrack.
Jane joined the board in 2021. Her background is in engineering and she has worked in a variety of operational and project and programme roles. For the last 10 years Jane’s focus has been on governance in the health and education sectors. She is a big fan of the arts and has enjoyed the Barnaby Festival over the years. Jane is always keen to get involved with and support her local community.
Joining the board in 2021, Emily has completed an MA in Arts Management Policy and Practice at The University of Manchester and has worked and volunteered at a variety of arts and cultural organisations, festivals and events across the North West and the UK, including Louder Than Words Festival, Nozstock: The Hidden Valley, Light Night Leeds and Sofar Sounds Manchester. Having grown up in neighbouring Staffordshire, Emily currently lives in South Manchester and works as Business and Finance Administrator at Islington Mill in Salford. Emily’s passions include arts festivals and live music, and she can often be found attending concerts and events.
Rebecca joined the board in 2021 and has worked in the heritage industry for almost 20 years. She graduated with a BA(hons) in Spatial Design and then an MA in Heritage Studies from Salford University and works for the National Trust, within operations and general management. She currently leads the Cheshire & Wirral portfolio which looks after Little Moreton Hall and Hare Hill garden. She has a keen interest in culture and the arts, visiting museums, exhibitions and heritage sites and lives with her young family in Nantwich.
Malcolm is a Chartered Accountant with many years experience in both the public and private sectors. He has lived and worked in the UK, Europe and the United States and has been based in East Cheshire for several years. In his spare time, Malcolm can be seen cycling (too slowly) around Macclesfeld and other parts of Cheshire
FESTIVAL PROGRAMME MANAGEMENT
Carol Ann Whitehead FRSAFestival Programme Director
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Carol Ann is the award winning Co-Founder of The Zebra Partnership www.thezebratribe.co.uk a boutique agency founded in 2000 that brings together consultants in the fields of publishing, campaigns, event management and marketing on a project by project basis here in the UK and overseas. An advocate for women’s rights, equality and diversity local to global she is on the Chartered Management Institute Women’s Board and a member of the Manchester City Council Steering Committee for International Women’s Day Festival. Carol Ann is also a lecturer at Access Creative College and is Guest lecturer at the United Nations Youth Association in Denmark and is an Action Partner for the annual United Nations Global Festival of Action she was awarded Global Goodwill Ambassador in 2019.
Margaret BlackburnMedia Relations
I became involved with Barnaby Festival around 2013 as a volunteer. I had not longed moved to Macclesfield and was really impressed with Barnaby and what it had achieved in the town, so I helped with communications and PR. My background is in journalism and I worked for several years in regional newspapers before moving into PR. I have more than 20 years experience working with Manchester City Council, Manchester International Festival and in agencies. I am now freelance and continue to work with Barnaby Festival to promote the work it does. This year is a bonus year and I’m really looking forward to seeing Liz West’s Presence in Christ Church and Not Quite Light’s Our Future is Ancient.
Simon BushellProducer: Visual Arts
Having spent much of his professional life as an interior designer, in recent years Simon began specialising in curating artworks within commercial environments. After five years with a major property management company based in Manchester, he is now a freelance consultant in arts project management. Simon moved to Macclesfield in 2015 and loves walking in the nearby hills with his family and friends.