Sita Brand - Artistic Director & CEO
On leaving university Sita's first job was as a Storyteller with Common Lore. Since then she has worked as an actress, writer, producer, theatre director and teacher of meditation and mindfulness. She's worked in schools, libraries, theatres, arts organisations large and small and prisons. Her favourite story as a child was Rapunzel. She dyed her hair once in an effort to have long golden hair. But that's another story. When she's not at Settle Stories she works as a storyteller and as an arts and heritage consultant.
Charles Tyrer - Executive Director
Charles loves organising things and started setting up arts events at 16. With a first class degree in Drama and Performance from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, he's enjoying a career in arts, communications and events management with Settle Stories. He teaches playwriting for young people and runs workshops in public speaking. He has run courses both in Settle, and as far away as Italy. His favourite story is 'The Collector' by John Fowles.
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.
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 email@example.com
Gail Dudson has been working in arts and culture for more than 30 years, and for the last 15 years as the Director of Yorkshire Youth & Music, a community music education company working right across Yorkshire with vulnerable children in the most challenging circumstances. She designs, leads and fundraises for projects which give excluded young people the opportunity to experience the joy of making and performing their own music.
As a freelance consultant she has extensive experience in leadership, organisation and artistic development, including leadership programmes for Creative and Cultural Skills in Scotland, arts skills learning programmes for Carnival participants and for Oral Historians. She ran two music festivals – Beverley Chamber Music Festival and Ribble Valley International Piano Week for almost 20 years. , and she also works as a consultant on a range of cultural projects within the UK. She works in partnership with other freelance consultants and arts organisations to devise and deliver projects ranging from a country-wide leadership programme, to organisational development projects with cultural and heritage organisations.
Gail studied Music at Huddersfield University in the 1980s, was awarded an MBA in 2000, and graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2018 with a Masters Degree with merit, based on a study of Deaf and Hearing Impaired young people’s participation in music learning.