Steering Group

Ruth Robinson

Ruth has directed Holloway Arts Festival every year since it began in 2003. She has lived in Holloway since 1998 when she and several other local residents set up the Peter Pan Park Action Group, which put on many events as part of their campaign to have a local park regenerated (it was rebuilt in 2003 as Landseer Gardens). In 2005 Ruth received a Level 2 Award from UnLtd to develop Rowan Arts. Ruth completed a B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy at University College Dublin and moved to London in 1986 to do an MA in Social Psychology at the London School of Economics and Politics. She trained as a psychoanalyst at the Institute of Psychoanalysis, qualifying in 1995 and maintains a small private practice. Ruth has an interest in the potential of the arts to both regenerate a geographic area and make a difference to individuals’ lives.

Jamie Bamber 

Jamie has been working on Holloway Arts Festival since 2009 and works across most of the Rowan Arts projects. He graduated from Wimbledon School of Art in 2008 with a degree in Fine Art and is currently studying an MA in Heritage Studies at the University of East London. Jamie lives in Islington and has a strong interest in producing accessible arts events in the borough; he sits on the Events Steering Group for St. Luke’s Community Centre and is the Treasurer for Reel Islington, an organisation that brings people together through film.

 Katy Baird

Katy graduated from Glasgow University with a degree in Theatre and Sociology and co-founded the art activist collective Monkey United Freedom Force. In 2010, she graduated from Goldsmiths University of London with a Masters degree in Performance Making and has performed her solo work at a variety of Live Art festivals and venues throughout the UK. She is currently employed as Coordinator at the Live Art Development Agency.

 Nathania Wong

Nathania was born in Singapore and now lives in London. She graduated with an LLB Law degree from University College London and recently obtained an MA in Creative Producing at the Central School of Speech and Drama. During her free time, she has worked as a performer with Marisa Carnesky and is a co-founder of the Roundhouse Associate Cabaret Collective, Chalk Dust. In 2012, she programmed Holloway Arts Festival.

Lucy Bramley

Having left Edinburgh University with a degree in languages, Lucy moved to Spain to pursue a diploma in Development Studies whilst also qualifying as a teacher of English. For the past seven years Lucy has been working in the arts and media sectors as a programme and projects manager delivering events, festivals, creative education projects, courses and workshops. She joined the Roundhouse in 2006 and was involved in the coordination and promotion of the Roundhouse Studios creative centre for young people and the delivery of the main house live programme of events from physical theatre, comedy through to large-scale music gigs. In search of new challenges, she moved on to Guardian Masterclasses where she managed courses and workshops spanning photography, creative writing, journalism and song-writing. She brings her experience and passion for arts and informal education to Rowan Arts and the Holloway Arts Festival and hopes to make a lasting contribution to a project that inspires her.

Amy Smith

Amy Smith is the fifth generation of her family to live in Islington. She was born and brought up in Holloway and appeared in the Rowan Arts heritage project ‘Born and Bred. Amy has a Fine Art degree and a MA in Contemporary Curating. She currently writes about theatre, art and news for three local papers, Islington Tribune, Camden New Journal and West End Extra. Joining Rowan Arts as a volunteer in 2008, she was employed as press officer for a number of years. Amy has recently rejoined Rowan Arts as editor for the hyperlocal website Holloway Life.

Lucy Popescu

Lucy Popescu is a writer and critic with a background in human rights. She is the author of The Good Tourist, a guide to ethical travel. Lucy is also a freelance editor and her publications include Write to Life’s collection of refugee writing, Body Maps, and the PEN anthology, Another Sky. She teaches creative writing in north London and curates literary nights for the Working Men’s College. She regularly reviews books, theatre and film and contributes to The Independent, Independent on Sunday, the Literary Review and the TLS, among other publications.

Praveen Manghani

Praveen Manghani is a singer-songwriter and leading member of an arts-based community organization called Openhaus Arts who have been involved in promoting live literature and music events and festivals for the past fifteen years. This work has included Lyrics in Libraries festivals in various London boroughs and a long-running open mic poetry event entitled “Taking the Mike” at the Colourhouse Theatre in South London.  He also writes and performs with co-collaborator, Russell Thompson, as part of the inventive cabaret & cult music act Project Adorno. Their songs fuse elements of ‘80s electro-pop, Cockney music-hall and French chanson, with wide ranging themes including libraries, tube-stations, cubist painters and Jeremy Paxman. Project Adorno have performed at numerous Edinburgh Fringe festivals, Latitude festival and Cheltenham literature festival, and appeared on Radio Three’s The Verb programme. They have also produced original short films and written soundtracks for theatrical productions. In 2013 Project Adorno assisted in curating the Holloway Arts Festival showcasing a number of original and alternative performers new to Holloway audiences, including singer-songwriter Momus and cabaret superstar Lorraine Bowen. By profession Praveen is a chartered librarian with twenty years experience of working in the public library and information sector. His recent posts have included reading development manager for the London borough of Richmond, assistant head of libraries for the borough of Sutton and head of libraries at Lambeth.

Tanya Cracknell

Tanya Cracknell works both on and off stage in the music industry. She has previously worked for the Cambridge Music Festival, IMG Artists, The Royal Albert Hall and more recently as the Programmes Manager for Kings Place concert halls. Tanya is now a freelance artist manager and a violinist for pop, classical and urban music; always on the look out for raw talent, she has a penchant for cross-genre music and arts performances and enjoys dance and design in her spare time.

Lilia Prier Tisdall

Lilia has lived in Angel, Islington since childhood and is passionate about the area. She completed her Art Foundation at Byam Shaw School of Art in Archway before being lured away from the borough to study English Literature at the University of Glasgow. After graduating she joined the Textile Conservation department at the Victoria and Albert Museum working on the recent ‘Hollywood Costume’ exhibition. Joining the Rowan Arts team in October 2013 as a Heritage Project Assistant Intern under the Creative Employment Programme she has since been taken on as Events Assistant. She is particularly interested in oral history and how it can reach out across generations and communities.

Bria Crouch

Bria is a Hornsey Street resident with a background in theatre. She completed her MA in Community and Participatory Arts at Goldsmiths in 2012 and currently divides her time between managing community projects at the Ministry of Stories and curating the children’s area at the Green Man Festival. She is excited to be a part of Rowan Arts and on the steering committee of an arts festival that is taking place right on her doorstep.

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