Photo Credit: Ming de Nasty
Creative Health CIC has a board of Directors who oversee the work of the company. Each Director brings a wealth of experience and their distinct roles maximise their backgrounds, knowledge and personal skills.
Our Creative Producers are vital to the work that we do. Their role involves working with commissioners, partner organisations and artists to develop, project manage and evaluate arts and health projects. They provide the creative vision for our work, researching and shaping projects and, working alongside a range of artists and groups, keep everyone moving in the same direction to ensure quality at each stage of a project. Our Creative Producers communicate with everyone involved and invested in a project, facilitating connections and relationships and bringing artists and participants together to make the work happen.
Kim has worked in community arts since 1989 after being told to ignore a disabled man in a writing class ‘because he won’t have anything to say’… She has developed and delivered dozens of projects for Walsall’s Creative Development Team as well as other local authorities across the Midlands. Her ‘naïve’ early work in the previously uncharted waters of arts and health made her realise the incredible potential there and inspired her to develop better practice and a keen interest in social marketing. Kim is a published creative writer and award winning journalist, with a parallel career as a performer. She still travels Europe as a singer and recording artist. Alongside music her favourite pastime is catching up with the creative careers and ideas of her grown-up children who continue to inspire and motivate her on a daily basis.
Carolyn has worked in the arts since 1990 designing and delivering participatory workshops, collaborative projects and commissions. She’s worked in open and closed communities, with every age from primary pupils to pensioners, with the built and natural environment.
Her practice is about transformation through making; literally transforming materials in parallel to reflecting on experiences. She says that “creativity allows us to define our own parameters for success, realising our potential and individual agency. Key to this is the quality of conversation whilst making with your hands; it's different from direct dialogue, becoming more expansive, open to exchange and new ideas.”
Amongst other roles she’s also been a support worker for older people, taught English as a foreign language and herded goats.
Sam has worked as a freelance arts worker since 1988 and is a founder member of Black Country-based Bostin'Arts. Sam's a visual artist/maker who has found her strength in realising that busy hands facilitate both talking and listening, using the arts as a tool to engage with people of all ages from babies and their carers in her bespoke pop-up baby palaces to older people out doing their shopping.
Much of Sam's work has been in Walsall where she designed, developed and delivered work alongside the Community Arts/ Creative Development Team for more than 25 years. She still enjoys drawing, writing and has a newly-discovered passion for cross country running.
Kate Gant is an Executive Director of Creative Health CIC and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing. She is also a Director of creativityteam: an independent team of cultural practitioners. Kate has worked on a range of regional and national projects and specialises in community participation and engagement. Previously, Kate was a teacher, community development worker and one of the founding members of the Community Arts Team in Walsall. She then worked as a Senior Manager in the Local Authority. Kate maintains a work life balance by digging in her garden, running around a tennis court or jumping on her bike and heading for the country.
Janet Hetherington is an Executive Director of Creative Health CIC. She is also a Senior Lecturer at Staffordshire University and leads on the MA in Community and Participatory Arts and the Artist Professional Development Programme. Janet is also a freelance practitioner and has worked on a range of national projects developing cultural provision for children and young people. She is currently undertaking a PhD exploring the business case for arts and health. Previously, Janet established and managed the arts programme at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and has worked for Playtrain and Save the Children. She enjoys being thrifty, travelling and hosting a monthly cake club.
Jenny Peevers is an Executive Director of Creative Health and also a freelance Cultural Planner. Jenny delivers projects which bring people together in interactive and creative ways, to listen to their thoughts, stories, values and concerns about their area. By valuing their opinions the aim is to re-energise, motivate, build confidence and aspiration. The activities build upon local ways of life, supporting needs and livelihoods to improve their locality and quality of life. Jenny has trained in fine art, photography and urban design and previous employment includes an Arts Development Officer at Solihull MBC, Public Art Officer and Relationship Manager for Regional Planning at Arts Council England and as an Urban Designer at Bryant Priest Newman Architects. As a freelance consultant clients have included Architects, Landscape Architects, Housing Pathfinders, Developers, Arts Organisations and Universities. Jenny loves to draw; sing and play guitar; walk around stunning cities and natural landscapes and go and see as much contemporary art as she can.
Clare McDermott is a GP at Prestbury Medical Practice. She is a GP partner and trainer, training junior doctors to become fully qualified General Practitioners. She specialises in family planning, education and chronic disease management.
Owen Hurcombe has worked in Arts Development for over 20 years. This has included managing Staffordshire County Council’s Arts Development team and is currently the Brewhouse Arts and Town Hall Manager.
Owen has been part of Creative Health CIC since 2010. He is also currently a board member of Filament CIC. Owen is also the Director of Unseen Cinema and was the originator of the Pocket Film Festival, Stafford.
Ruth Harvey-Regan has worked for the NHS since 2009. From 2009-2011 she worked as an Arts Co-ordinator for Wolverhampton Primary Care Trust and more recently for Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust as the Creative Strategy Facilitator. This involves promoting and facilitating the use of the Creative Arts to improve and enhance patient experience and service delivery, as part of the core business of the Trust. Before this, she worked as a Research Assistant for Professor Shelley Sacks, Director of the Social Sculpture Research Unit and former pupil of Joseph Beuys. ‘I see my work in the NHS as part of an emerging field of Social Sculpture practice which encourages and explores trans-disciplinary creativity and vision towards the shaping of a humane and ecologically viable society’. In her previous life she worked as a youth worker, then an arts teacher and life coach for young people. In her spare time she worked as a respite carer for young people with Asperger’s and ran a youth group for young people with Asperger’s and their families. These days, much of her spare time is spent playing dinosaurs with her three year-old son Bo, hanging out with her partner Claus, exploring feminist earth-based spirituality and reading Hello magazine to mix things up a bit.
Tess Radcliffe has worked for Wolverhampton City Council as Learning and Community Engagement Manager since March 2012 having previously worked for the gallery in 2008. Tess is based at Wolverhampton Art Gallery and is responsible for managing the varied Learning and Community Engagement programme and related projects (including managing community engagement for the Arts Council funded Black Country Echoes project and the HLF funded Block Capital project), and a team of Learning and Community Engagement staff, for each of the four cultural venues known as WAVE: Bantock House Museum, Bilston Craft Gallery, Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Wolverhampton City Archives.
Prior to developing a career in the arts Tess worked for Walsall Hospitals NHS Trust and also CPPIH: The Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health. Tess has worked in education and learning, interpretation, outreach and access, audience development and community engagement, in galleries, museums, archives and libraries throughout the West Midlands, including The Barber Institute of Fine Arts (University of Birmingham), Ikon gallery, The New Art Gallery Walsall, Birmingham Archives (Birmingham Central Library), and King Edwards VI College (Stourbridge). As an arts practitioner, Tess specialises in drawing, painting and sculpture, and also enjoys art theory and history, and writing about art.
Rich Franks co-founded Black Country based arts and design company Blue and White Creative. He has over fifteen years experience managing and delivering creative projects in the West Midlands.
Prior to this in his formative years he worked for Jubilee Arts delivering projects in design, community engagement and education. Rich designed the finale exhibition for the Arts Cafe Space in West Bromwich, utilising 70’s style graphics and typefaces.
Blue and White Creative works predominantly within the health, regeneration and heritage sectors, where they have delivered and managed award winning projects including ‘Same Again’ British Medical Association Award for Innovation and A Walk In The Park West Midlands Arts and Health Award for Environments.
Max Bailey was a founding Director of Creative Health and our first chairperson. Sadly Max died in November 2016, having fought a four-year battle with cancer. Max was a freelance photographer, arts development worker and then a manager of Walsall’s Creative Development Team. In 2004 Max worked with colleagues across the Black Country to jointly commission a programme of participatory arts and health. The first projects explored diet and obesity and established the foundations for Creative Health. The Community Interest Company was incorporated in 2009, Max helped develop Creative Health’s business model, establish core policies, develop partnerships and raise income. He also helped to establish the regional network for arts and health and launch the National Alliance for Arts Health and Wellbeing, For us all the important thing was how Max did these things. Max was a modest man, he was insightful, generous, forward thinking and creative. He had the ability to ask questions in a way that encouraged his fellow Directors to be ambitious in the quality of our arts work and the engagement of participants. In 2016 year as a result of his pioneering participatory arts work, Max was invited to contribute to the National Arts and Health Archive hosted by Wellcome Trust in London. The Archive will stand as a permanent record of the work of Max and other arts and health activists.