Charlotte Cunningham founded Turtle Key Arts as a performance venue and production company in 1989. Since then she has produced and co-directed a number of theatre and dance productions with a strong emphasis on physical theatre, dance and devised work. Charlotte’s groundbreaking education and participation projects aim to make high-quality arts accessible to all. Many are aimed at people on the autistic spectrum, notably, Turtle Opera at the Royal Opera House (2001-08), Key Club (2005–09) and currently, in association with the English Touring Opera and the Royal College of Music, Turtle Song, for older people with Alzheimer’s and dementia and their carers).
A trainer and consultant to arts organisations working with people with ASD, Charlotte has acted as a dramaturg on Footprints, a national commission from the British Association of Science. She has curated festivals and cabarets. Charlotte is an examiner for the Faculty of Humanities and Arts at the University of Luxembourg. She contributed the chapter on production for Devised and Collaborative Theatre: A Practical Guide (2002).
Fergus Early is one of the country’s leading exponents of dance in community and education. He began his career with the Royal Ballet in the 1960's. An original member of the pioneering 'Ballet for All', he left in the early 1970s to teach at the London School of Contemporary Dance. Contacts with many artists there led to the establishment of X6 Dance Space, New Dance Magazine and, in 1981, Chisenhale Dance Space. Fergus has created dance pieces for many companies including Extemporary Dance Theatre, the Kosh and the Norwegian National Ballet.
He is the founder of Green Candle Dance Company which creates dance productions and participative projects for children and young people and for adults over sixty, and which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2012. In 2009 Fergus was awarded the OBE for services to dance and in 2011 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by De Montfort University, Leicester.
As Co-Director of Creative Learning at Sadler’s Wells, Jane leads on producing large scale community projects and performances, collaborations with Associate and visiting artists, the Interpretation programme and the renowned Company of Elders.
Before joining Sadler’s Wells in 2009, Jane was Director of English National Ballet School, Central School of Ballet and Head of Education for Birmingham Royal Ballet. Jane also established schemes for the Royal Opera House and BRB to increase diversity and access to training and careers in dance, as well as professional development programmes for dancers, choreographers and teachers, including two degree courses. Jane is an artistic assessor for ACE, a fellow of the RSA, holds an MA in Dance Studies, and is Vice Chair of Dance UK.
Marian Naidoo has a research and development background in health, education and the arts. She has developed an innovative and creative approach to service development and improvement in organisations and in particular, within mental health services. Her study ‘I am Because We Are: The Development of a New Epistemology of Inclusional and Responsive Practice’, on the creative approach to organisational development, includes ‘Breaking Down the Walls of Silence’, the first integrated care pathway for Dementia.
Marian has held key posts with the NHS, National Institute for Mental Health England (NIME), Care Services Improvement Partnership (CSIP) and The National Social Inclusion Programme. She was responsible for the increasing recognition of the benefits of Arts and Cultural activity to service users, patients, providers and carers. Marian is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Bath, Senior Advisor at the Sydney De Haan Research Centre, Canterbury Christchurch University and an Associate at the Centre for Family, Children and Wellbeing at Liverpool Hope University. Marian is Joint Chair of the National Institute for Creative Ageing (NICA).
David Richardson chairs the Alzheimer's Society's trustee advisory group on fundraising and is a member of the finance and audit committee. He is chair of the Cumbria Council for Voluntary Service and a director of South Lakes Housing.
David’s career was in higher education, first in administration and later in fundraising. During his thirty-year career at the University of Manchester, David was deputy registrar, academic secretary and one of the initial directors of its support foundation in the USA.
Bisakha Sarker is artistic director of Chaturangan, a Liverpool based company engaged in creative activities to raise the profile of South Asian dance. Over the years Chaturangan has delivered innovative community and educational arts projects, created culturally diverse cross arts productions for touring, produced resources for promotion of South Asian dance and organised international conferences on the issues of dance and health. A former senior research fellow of the Anthropological Survey of India. Bisakha is a highly respected performer, producer, choreographer, researcher, educationalist, critic, writer and video maker.
Her landmark international dance conferences in Liverpool have established a new style of artist-led conference programming. Bisakha's much-acclaimed work challenges traditional cultural boundaries; and her rich creativity and passion for dance inspire all who work with her, empowering them in a unique way.
Dr. Emer MacSweeney, a Consultant Neuroradiologist, is cofounder of Re:Cognition Health which provides a complete clinical pathway for accurate and rapid assessment, diagnosis and management of all neurological problems. Previously Director of Neuroradiology at Atkinson Morley's Hospital, St George's Healthcare Trust, Dr. MacSweeney has extensive experience in both the NHS and independent sector. She currently undertakes clinical sessions as consultant neuroradiologist at St. George's Hospital and holds an honorary neuroradiology appointment at The Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust. Dr. MacSweeney, trained in neuroradiology at The Hospital Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square; she specialised in interventional vascular neuroradiology, and has developed a special interest in neuroradiology of cognitive impairment disorders, with considerable experience in imaging of neurovascular diseases and traumatic brain surgery.