Stories...the fundamental norm for communication

Settle Stories is supported and governed by a board of trustees with an amazing skill set.  Ann Rutherford is the latest addition to the board. A busy arts professional, we caught up with Ann to find out more about her.

Q: Tell us a little about your background. How did you get to where you are today?  

I am lucky to have come from an artistic background with a Mother Artist and Father Architect. Most of my extended family are artists or designers of one variety or another.  I always knew I would go into the arts and creative industries, and it was a case of finding an area that I could make my own. I chose Interior Architecture. Armed with my degree I worked in commercial interior design before honing down to Museum Exhibition Design as my specialism. I ran a business in the field of Museum Display Design for about 15 years, and my oldest son now works for this business.  

Q: What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? 

My 3 children. Bringing them up and watching them turn into independent, talented and fun people. They have just about flown the nest so I go and stay with them in their homes in Leeds. They buy me drinks in the pub and it’s great!

Q: What makes you tick? What inspires you to do the work you do? 

I have always been quietly ambitious, and a bit competitive.  I work hard to achieve goals.  I love challenges and like to be working on something that’s new or outside my skill set. I have an urge to make and so I usually have a creative project on the go or in the planning. In the last few years I have become far more involved in the activities of the outdoors, here in the Dales, and that has been challenging and rewarding. 

Q: So tell us, what interested you about Settle Stories? Why did you want to become a trustee?  

For the past 9 years I have been working for art organisations in Leeds and Bradford (first Fabric Bradford, then East Street Arts) and so Settle Stories was known to me. I felt that it was time to take on a trusteeship voluntary role and use my experience to help out. I felt it was a bit of a two way thing, that I would learn in the trustee role as much as I had to give. I think that is true.  I am interested in networks and finding ways to help artists connect who are working in isolated rural communities. It has been a really inspiring time getting to know Sita, Charles, the other staff members, volunteers and board members and seeing how the organisation works and achieves what it does 

Q: What do you hope to contribute to Settle Stories board of trustees? 

I have good knowledge of how different art organisations structure themselves, the work they do, how they undertake the process of change and plan for the future and I hope that I will be of benefit as Settle Stories take on new roles and responsibilities.  I am interested in the needs of artists working in rural communities and how we can ensure opportunities for artists continue and improves.

Q: What aspect of Settle Stories and its work are you most excited about? 

Settle Stories has recently moved into The Joinery. As well as getting involved in the refurbishment,  I am enthusiastic about the ideas that are emerging for the use of the building, how it could become a hub for artists and provide digital facilities that are lacking in the wider area.  I am looking forward to helping out at the next Settle Stories festival and seeing it’s success grow. 

Q: How would you like to see Settle Stories develop in the next 12 months? 

I am keen to see that funding continues to be received for the new events that are planned and to maintain and improve the existing ones such as the Settle Stories festival. I would like to see positive acknowledgement that Settle Stories is valued for its unique contribution to the culture and tourism of settle. 

Q: Where would you like Settle Stories to be in the next 10 years? 

Continuing that theme, I would like to see Settle Stories continue to deliver and develop activities that are both high quality and attract new audiences each year. The organisation is supported to develop new activities that are beneficial and needed. The organisation grows in workforce to enable effective delivery in other towns

Settle Stories has a unique offering in that it delivers art projects that are based around the idea of ‘story’.  Stories were once the fundamental norm for communication at all levels and this expertise has the potential for a festival to be delivered in other towns. Settle Stories has plans to develop the digital side of storytelling to reach new audiences, and I would like this facility to be extended and known as regional experts in the field. The Joinery a marvellous building for the time being will be replaced with a new building. The Joinery to move to new bigger HQ with funding from Craven Council to form creative hub benefitting artists in North Craven and The Dales. Settle Stories helping Settle to become the creative hub of North Craven. Collaborations to grow and share activities and audiences. Sustainability achieved through NPO status, value acknowledged with regular funding from Craven Council. Sponsorship from local businesses keen to support and be involved. Settle to become a destination known for both it’s artistic and cultural opportunities in addition to outdoor pursuits . 


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