Literally thousands of fantastic people make Freedom Festival happen each year. At the heart of the wider Freedom family are our core team:
Mikey Martins, CEO and Artistic Director
Jenny Howard-Coombes, Executive Director
Lucy Elmes, Development & Marketing Executive
Siana-Mae Heppell-Secker, Administrator
Sally Currie, Finance Manager
Mikey, Jenny, Lucy and Siana-Mae are all based at Freedom Festival HQ in Hull’s Fruit Market, and work full-time for Freedom Festival Arts Trust to co-ordinate all aspects of the festival as well as year-round programming.
The team works with freelance directors and artists, our Trustees, community groups, sponsors, volunteers and everyone else involved who helps make our festival such a success each year.
Mikey has worked in the arts festival industry for more than two decades, across Europe, Canada and Australia. He has worked on numerous high-profile national and international cultural events and organisations, including Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Winchester Hat Fair, Out There Festival, Casus Circus (Australia) and Theatre Bristol. Mikey is also on the steering group for the IN SITU network and sits on the Board of Surge (formerly Conflux) in Scotland. Mikey moved to Hull after taking up his appointment as CEO and Artistic Director; Freedom Festival 2016 was the first with Mikey at the helm.
Jenny began her career in the arts sector before making the transition into publishing/events where she worked for over 16 years, developing skills in event management, stakeholder engagement, sponsor development and marketing. She has extensive experience in conceiving and taking to market large-scale events. Having witnessed first-hand the positive impact that cultural events and experiences can have upon people and places, Jenny is passionate about developing a sustainable event that touches and inspires all those in attendance.
Siana-Mae graduated from The University of Hull’s Drama Department in 2015 and has worked with numerous theatre companies in Hull & across the region. Since 2016, she worked as the Assistant Producer & Arts Programme Co-ordinator with Hull UK City of Culture 2017. Her main projects were WOW Hull, Slung Low’s Flood & the Creative Communities Programme. Having seen the transformation of Hull in the last couple of years, she cannot wait to work with a festival that is so integral to Hull’s cultural identity.
Sally is a qualified accountant with 15 years experience across a range of industries. She was the Finance Officer with Hull Truck Theatre from 2008-2011. Since December 2015 she has been the Treasurer of Artlink Centre for Community Arts and was an integral part of turning The New Adelphi Club in to a Community Interest Company, of which she is now a Director.
Sally is also a musician and can be found on stage as her alter ego The Dyr Sister, or playing in her band The Immigrants. Occasionally, she can also be found being a producer, a promotor or even a durational performance artist.
Lucy has 10 years’ marketing and stakeholder communications experience gained across various sectors, from finance through to the creative arts. Born in East Yorkshire, Lucy graduated from Bristol University before starting her career in Hull. She has moved back to the region having lived in Canada and London. Lucy is immensely proud of the city and is thrilled to be working for a cultural organisation supporting creative initiatives for local communities and artists alongside producing one of the UK’s leading international arts festivals.
Images courtesy of Anete Sooda and Alison Robinson.