MAYK gathers new board members to help lead the way into the future

SESSION by Still House, Steppaz and Empire Sounds at the Nationl Theatre’s River Stage, August 2018

SESSION by Still House, Steppaz and Empire Sounds at the Nationl Theatre’s River Stage, August 2018

We are delighted to announce that Anna Starkey is to become our new Chair, alongside five additional new board members.

Anna Starkey is Chief Creative Officer of We The Curious, an interactive experience space and educational charity dedicated to building a culture of curiosity. Anna has worked across science and the arts, as a BAFTA nominated children's animation writer, UK Particle Physics outreach officer and Director of Impossible Projects at a multidisciplinary public neuroscience lab. She was freelance in TV for over a decade, as a script editor, voice director and writer, as well as producing the BBC Proms for TV, global live cinema broadcasts from the Royal Opera House London and Series producing BBC Young Dancer. She is a TEDx speaker and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Anna is also a trustee of the Paraorchestra and Friends.

She is joined on the board by five new board members, recruited from a national call.

  • David Hall, a partner at UK law firm Burges Salmon where he has led the litigation team for the past 9 years

  • Julia Head, an emerging Bristol-based theatre director and MAYK Young Programmer. She is Artistic Director of FullRogue.

  • Writer Nikesh Shukla (The One Who Wrote Destiny; editor of The Good Immigrant)

  • Simon Thompson, a Cultural Communications Consultant, who has spent more than a decade working in strategic communications across some of the UK’s most acclaimed cultural organisations including the Young Vic, Lyric Hammersmith and Royal Court theatres and the Science Museum.

  • Selina Thompson, an award-winning artist based in Birmingham. Selina makes intimate, participatory work centred around the politics of identity and how it shapes our lives. Along with Theatre Bristol and Yorkshire Festival, MAYK commissioned Selina’s acclaimed work salt. in 2016.

They join Professor of Screen Media at UWE, Jon Dovey and accountant Alison O’Neill alongside MAYK’s Directors Kate Yedigaroff and Matthew Austin.

Anna Starkey said “If you’ve ever been to anything in Mayfest or worked with Matthew and Kate, you’ll immediately understand why anyone would be compelled to get involved with MAYK. They bring theatre into the world with such a generosity of spirit, and a rare crystal clear-sightedness of urgent, open, beautiful work - they are truly exciting.  There’s so much to celebrate in the 8 brilliant years of MAYK and I’m really looking forward to working with the board in supporting them into their next decade of making wonderful things happen.”

Kate Yedigaroff and Matthew Austin said “We are thrilled to have assembled such an excellent group of brilliant brains to help us shape the next chapter of our organisation. Since we established our board in 2015, it has been transformative for organisation, providing rigorous challenge and provocation, advice and guidance. We’re particularly thankful to those who have recently stood down from the board, and we can’t wait to get stuck in with Anna and the new board members.”

In 2018 MAYK presented the fifteenth anniversary edition of Mayfest, with an acclaimed programme of work all over Bristol for eleven days. 2018 also saw the premiere of Still House’s SESSION (produced by MAYK) at LIFT, The Station in Bristol and the National Theatre, the premiere of Jo Bannon’s We Are F*cked at Arnolfini and Southbank Centre’s Unlimited Festival alongside The British Paraorchestra’s The Nature of Why which was also produced by MAYK, and the co-commissioning and presentation of RashDash’s Three Sisters, which won Best Touring Theatre at the UK Theatre Awards.

2019 will see a national tour of Caroline Williams and Reem Karssli’s Now Is The Time To Say Nothing, a second national tour of SESSION and the development of a number of new projects from Sleepdogs, Still House and Sam Halmarack.

MAYK is one of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisations and a Bristol City Council Cultural Investment Partner.