B arts exists to offer a range of arts activities that sustain, develop and enrich communities while employing artists in work that is intelligent, thoughtful and contributes to a process of cultural democracy.
Our vision is of a society where everyone has an equal chance to take part, and by taking part can make change for the better in themselves, their place and their communities.
B arts (Beavers Arts ltd) is an arts and educational charity based in Stoke-on-Trent: a city of 250,000 that faces many challenges. The city grew up around the twin industries of ceramics and coal mining. Both industries contracted at the end of the twentieth century, leaving a legacy that includes high levels of under-employment, poor educational attainment, low average wage levels and an urban landscape blighted by empty retail and industrial units and housing voids.
Our work seeks to contribute positively to addressing these issues while remaining rooted in high-quality engagement processes and cultural and social outcomes. We combine arts, educational and cultural activities such as theatre, food, music, visual art and digital media. Our work is highly participatory and communities are co-creators in our work. We work in community spaces, green spaces, streets and non-arts venues.
We are an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and have a track record of work spanning more than 30 years in the city, in the region and internationally. In 2014 we moved into an ex-industrial building in Stoke Town and created a new front door for the organisation with our community led real bread bakery, Bread in Common.
Susan Clarke – Executive Director
Rebecca Frankenberg – Creative Producer
Hilary Hughes – Creative Producer
Siobhan McAleer – Bakery Manager
Chris Twigg – Company Manager
B arts works with associate artists and partner organisations from a wide range of creative fields. Our associates are not confined to the arts, enabling B arts core team to develop programmes and projects with a wide range of approaches and social impacts. They are all people and organisations who are committed to socially engaged practice- using their professional skills, and capacities to work alongside people who don’t consider themselves to be professional to make work that makes a difference on many levels and in lots of different ways.
Behjat Abdulla, Emily Andrews, Martin Brockman, Iwona Bajger, Sarah Bonam, Natalie Brown, Steve Cooling, Dallit Fischman, Joe Fleming, Dan Fox, Martin Gooding, Saul Hewish, Freres Poussiere, Martin Gooding, Aidan Jolly, Said Karimi, Mary Keith, Anne Kinnaird, Rebecca Kramer, Siobhan McAleer, Wendy Meadley, Jim Mycock, Richard Redwin, Diane Rowles, Caroline Scott, Lotika Singha, Isla Telford, Sujen Walker, Toby White, Peter Wilshaw, Carl Wilson, Francesca Wheeler, Natalie Willatt, Lei Xiaoyu (Greenie)
Board of Trustees
Alexandra Scott (Chair)
Alexandra Scott is currently the Administrator for Making Music’s Award for Young Concert Artists scheme and Theatre Manager at Stoke Film Theatre, where she is also a volunteer House Manager. For 23 years she was the Artistic Director of Keele Concerts Society and also enjoyed working for B-Arts in a number of different roles, including Link Worker supporting young asylum seekers and refugees and Management Support worker. She lives in Newcastle-under-Lyme, has six cats and enjoys gardening, keep fit, theatre, film, and refurbishing furniture.
Matthew Warne (Treasurer)
First became involved in financial management in Australia for clients ranging from the NSW Treasury and the Australian Stock Exchange to Technology and Facilities Management firms in the 1990s. Since then he has worked within the discipline across a number of industries in both Australia, and for the last thirteen years, here in the UK.
He has been responsible for change management at a number of these, where he has built teams and complete financial processes from the ground up to successful audit. He comes from an analytical background, dealing with Investment boards, CFO/CTOs on a daily basis, and has two degrees in Commerce and the post-graduate Certified Practicing Accountant (Australia).
Is the Social Enterprise Officer for Argyll and Bute Council, and before that was Co-ordinator for a Social Inclusion Project on Bute. He has has a long career as Production Manager, Artsworker and Pyro-Technician with several community arts organisation.
Beth is a long time volunteer with B arts who has worked with the company for over 5 years on bread clubs, and a number of film projects. She is currently International Student Adviser at Staffordshire University and continues to volunteer with the Stoke Film Theatre.
I've lived in the Potteries since the early 80s during which time I've been part of the team running a complex cooperative business, and a senior voluntary-sector manager specialising in finance, ICT, quality, evaluation & organisational development. I retired in 2007 after becoming ill & disabled. I studied participatory arts at postgrad level in the noughties gaining experience in the UK and Europe. I am a participatory photographer & a musician (of sorts). My association with B Arts as commissioned artist, bakery volunteer, board member, project participant & fan-boy goes back many years.
Kelly has worked in or with the voluntary sector since 2002, when she joined Arch (North Staffs) and worked with rough sleepers. In 2005, Kelly was called to the Bar before returning to the voluntary sector as a support worker in a women's refuge. In 2009, she returned to Keele University to complete her PhD which explored the experiences of those working on the frontline of anti- human trafficking efforts. Kelly's post-doctoral research took her back to the voluntary sector, this time to organisations working with criminalised people. She has always had a passion for the power of art as a life-changing activity, especially for those living with multiple disadvantage.
Kathy has a background in arts and regeneration that has included management, strategic development, organisational development, capital and social projects, and funding across Europe. She is now working on a PhD at Keele University Management School looking at creativity in organisations and careers.