Meet the Team

Introducing the people behind the scenes

Ever wondered who the people are sending out the e-newsletter, putting on workshops in Brigantia and deciding which venue to put which show in?

Nancy Barrett

Director

nancy@creativescene.org.uk

Nancy is the Director of Creative Scene and leads on the creative vision and the long-term strategy for the programme....

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Nancy Barrett

Director

nancy@creativescene.org.uk

Nancy is the Director of Creative Scene and leads on the creative vision and the long-term strategy for the programme. She is always on the hunt for ways to make sure great creative things happen in the future.

Nancy was born and grew up in Seacroft on the outskirts of Leeds. Of Irish heritage, she was reeling and jigging from an early age. Nancy began her career working as a community artist with Ordsall Community Arts in inner-city Salford, before taking on roles in local authority arts and cultural development, and leading the Arts Council’s flagship creative learning programme, Creative Partnerships, across Greater Manchester. She joined Creative Scene as Director in 2014. Away from her life on land, Nancy is the co-owner of a sailing boat and loves to take to the open seas in her free time.

What has been your highlight of the programme so far?

I love the diversity of the towns and villages, their distinct architecture and heritage, and so all the projects that have included producing work in unusual places, outside of the constraints of a traditional theatre, gallery or arts centre have been special to me – from lighting up the lake in Crow Nest Park, to commissioning new digital work for the annual HeckmondLIGHT illuminations.

But my personal favourite was becoming a Train Conductor for the evening to bring people from Dewsbury to Batley for an outdoor screening of a giant game of Bingo, projected onto the walls of the historic buildings by the station.

What are you looking forward to in the next five years at Creative Scene?

I’m looking forward to working with our very talented and amazingly committed team and with the community here to continue to make fantastic creative things happen. We are thinking about new premises and more spaces for people to take part in creative activities, and we will be kicking off some special new commissions with local festivals. I fundamentally believe that cultural opportunity should be open to all and that the most interesting things happen when different people get together. So I’m also looking forward to getting more people, organisations, residents and artists around the table too as part of our ‘Culture Council ‘ initiative.

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Vicky Holliday

Senior Producer

vicky@creativescene.org.uk

Born and bred in Huddersfield, Vicky began putting on shows with her mates in the school holidays and hasn’t stopped...

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Vicky Holliday

Senior Producer

vicky@creativescene.org.uk

Born and bred in Huddersfield, Vicky began putting on shows with her mates in the school holidays and hasn’t stopped since. Beginning her career in participation and outreach with Peshkar Productions, Theatre Centre and artsdepot, Vicky returned to work in West Yorkshire when she joined Creative Scene in 2014.

When she’s not creating new opportunities for people to see, hear and take part in the arts, Vicky enjoys ballroom and Latin dancing and exploring the local area on her bike.

What has been your highlight of the programme so far?

The Ruck, which was a show about the girls rugby team at Batley Bulldogs, who were the first UK girls rugby league team to tour Australia. We were so lucky to discover a story that was important to people in Batley, but had real national relevance. We also involved the players and the club throughout the process so that we were able to fill the theatre with sports fans – it was the most raucous atmosphere I’ve ever known in a theatre! I loved every second of it.

What are you looking forward to in the next five years at Creative Scene?

Building on Paper Peace – the Young Producers project of last year. It was so exciting to see the hard work of our local young people come to life – and see them start their careers in the arts. So I will be looking to see how we can get more young people involved in a whole range of creative activities and create pathways to employment in the fast-growing creative industries in the region.

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Sara Sherwood

Audience Development and Communications Manager

sara@creativescene.org.uk

Sara returned to her hometown of Dewsbury in 2017 to complete her MA in Creative Writing at the Manchester Writing...

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Sara Sherwood

Audience Development and Communications Manager

sara@creativescene.org.uk

Sara returned to her hometown of Dewsbury in 2017 to complete her MA in Creative Writing at the Manchester Writing School. After spending her 20s working in London for The Corner Shop PR, Sara got stuck back into the community while working at Batley Girls’ High School before joining Creative Scene in May 2019. Away from the office, Sara enjoys rummaging around Yorkshire’s best charity shops for vintage treasures and dusty books.

What are you looking forward to in the next five years?

I’m so excited to see how Brigantia continues to go from strength to strength and becomes a hub of creativity in the centre of Dewsbury.

Giving everyone the opportunity to access writing and sketching classes and meet likeminded people is something I think it vital in creating a thriving cultural ecology. I wouldn’t have started writing – or working in the arts, really – without discovering my tribe of likeminded people, and I hope Brigantia allows people in the local area to stretch their creative muscles and meet new people.

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Lisa Slattery

Admin and Marketing Officer

lisa@creativescene.org.uk

Lisa grew up in Manchester and moved to Wakefield to study Theatre and Performance in 2005. Since then, she has...

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Lisa Slattery

Admin and Marketing Officer

lisa@creativescene.org.uk

Lisa grew up in Manchester and moved to Wakefield to study Theatre and Performance in 2005. Since then, she has worked and lived on both sides of the Pennines; working for contemporary theatre greenroom and cultural research agency Morris Hargreaves McIntyre in Manchester, before joining Creative Scene as Administrator in 2014.

Lisa is a keen vegetarian cook with a cookbook collection of over 200 books and has recently started an Instagram account following her one-year-old son’s weaning journey. Recently back to work after maternity leave, she enjoys occasionally sampling the delights of Dewsbury’s independent eateries at lunchtime, from pad-thai to pierogi and spinach borek to chips & beans.

What has been your highlight of the programme so far?

The Togethering was such a special night. There were people there from all over Dewsbury enjoying a dazzling fireshow designed and organised by local people, who had been given intensive training (for free) with leading outdoor arts company Walk the Plank.

What are you looking forward to in the next five years at Creative Scene?

Being a mum to a toddler, I am most looking forward to taking my son to all of the fun family-friendly events that Creative Scene put on, including On Tour family theatre shows and local family arts festivals, and introducing him to arts and creativity from a young age.

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Simon Thirkill

Creative Custodian

simon@creativescene.org.uk

Born and raised in Leeds, Simon moved to Dewsbury in his late teens. After working in many different industries, including...

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Simon Thirkill

Creative Custodian

simon@creativescene.org.uk

Born and raised in Leeds, Simon moved to Dewsbury in his late teens. After working in many different industries, including healthcare and owning a cafe in Heckmondwike, Simon found his way into the arts.

When he’s not making sure everything at Brigantia runs smoothly, Simon loves to travel around the country to experience street art and graffiti and create his own work and installations.

What has been your highlight of the programme so far?

The highlight of the programme is undoubtedly HeckmondLIGHT. It amazes me every year how many people come out on a cold wet night to share the experience of Heckmondwike’s light festival. The power this event has to bring together so many people of different generations and cultures is an absolute inspiration.

What are you looking forward to over the next five years?

Over the next five years, I am looking forward to seeing Brigantia thrive as a creative and conversational home for artists, businesses and residents. It’s a much-needed part of Dewsbury and I’m so proud to be part of it.

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Creative Scene is the Arts Council England Creative People and Places project for West Yorkshire.

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