Sita Brand - Artistic Director & CEO
Sita studied Drama at University. She came to Settle following an extensive career in the arts and founded Settle Stories in 2010. Sita is passionate about traditional myths and folktales and exploring how we can use new technology to share them with wider audiences. Sita is a teacher of mindfulness and meditation and brings this to Settle Stories through retreats.
Her favorite story as a child was Rapunzel. She dyed her hair once in an effort to have long golden hair. But that’s another story.
Sita also works as a performance storyteller, a Buddhist Chaplain and is a Trustee at the York Museums Trust.
Charles Tyrer - Executive Director
After a 1st class degree in Drama and Performance, Charles returned to Settle passionate about making great art happen in his rural community. 6 years later, Charles is enjoying challenging perceptions of rural art and engaging new audiences. His highlights have included programming a 50 ft inflatable whale in Settle Market Place and transforming a heritage phone box into the world's first Listening Gallery.
His favorite book is The Outrun by Amy Liptrot, he is inspired by how a landscape can develop personal growth.
Charles also works as a Youth Worker for North Yorkshire Youth and is a Trustee at the Dukes Theatre, Lancaster.
Jayne Davies - Heritage Project Officer
Jayne Davies is a performer, teacher and facilitator. She has an MA in Contemporary Theatre Practice from Lancaster University and has worked locally in schools and theatres.
Recently she has been employed to direct a variety of projects for Kendal Community Theatre as part of their Arts Council funded project - Kendal Yarns and their 2018 festival The Trouble With Women. In 2014 she wrote and delivered a Heritage Lottery funded community arts project in Kirkby Lonsdale to commemorate the centenary of WW1. Lest We Forget 1914-1918 - Then and Now Stories was subsequently recorded for radio by BBC Radio Cumbria and broadcast on Remembrance Sunday 2015.
Her latest project The Vault: A Kirkby Lonsdale Story Bank is an HLF and YDNP funded community heritage project transforming a strong room into an interactive installation where safety-deposit boxes can be unlocked and the stories of the objects within revealed using the latest technology.
Gillian Muir - Finance Manager
Starting life as a biologist, Gillian has a BSc (Hons) in Biology and a PhD in Molecular Biology. Following a move from bonny Scotland to the Yorkshire Dales in 2002, and planning on staying for just a year, she's now settled down here with her family. In recent years she's re-trained in accountancy and works for several local firms in the area including working part time for Settle Stories. Gillian's also a book worm, her favourite book being Ian Bank's, The Wasp Factory.
Jessica Harris - Communications & Sales Officer
New to the Yorkshire Dales, Jessica is enjoying a career in the arts working with Settle Stories. She has an unbeatable sales record, having worked in sales in Leeds. Jessica studied theatre at Manchester University and her dissertation was on storytelling. It's almost like it was meant to be...
Jessica has dream of writing her own book in the next 5 years and is an avid reader. Her all time favourite story is Peter Pan.
Louise Cross - Event Management Intern
Louise graduated from Lancaster University with a first class degree in Theatre Studies and went on to obtain a Masters in Dramaturgy at the University of Amsterdam. Since then, Louise has been drawn back to the North and is keen to engage and grow with its cultural landscape and is delighted to have the opportunity to do so at Settle Stories.
Louise’s Favourite book is a toss up between The Unbearable Lightness of Being, By Milan Kundera, and The Unbearable Lightness of Scones, by Alexander McCall Smith.
Louise also works as a producer at Making Room, and does freelance producing, workshops and theatre making. This role was made possible thanks to funding from Great Place Lakes and Dales.
During events we are joined by
Tony Crossland - Event Photographer
After a career in aviation, Tony returned to his first love - photography. He seeks out the detail in every image and enjoys taking photos of Settle Stories events.
Kirsty Rose Parker - Evaluator
Kirsty is the founder and director of 'The Evaluator', a company specialising in evaluation and research services. Kirsty works with Settle Stories and clients across the North of England to help show the impact of their work, help them to understand which parts of their work are most effective and uses infographics to communicate these results quickly and effectively.
Kirsty has a Masters degree in Economics and is trained to carry out social return on investment. She is an experienced interviewer and a qualified business adviser. With 16 years' experience of the charitable sector including work with many different funders she brings practical experience to evaluating projects and happens to love data too! 100% of current clients would recommend 'The Evaluator' to a friend or colleague. You can see more on www.theevaluator.co.uk or can contact Kirstydirectly on firstname.lastname@example.org