Jo is very excited to be back in Hull, after living here many moons ago. She’s worked in theatres for over a decade and was the Theatre General Manager of Shakespeare’s Globe in London, before moving with her family back up north. Jo is delighted to be working at Freedom Festival Arts Trust and is passionate about the work that we bring to the city.

Vanessa is our Finance Manager managing everything finance-related for the Festival. Vanessa graduated in law and then switched to studying accountancy, has worked in accounts teams for 30+ years and has a wealth of industry experience (from audit, power, distribution & logistics, construction, and education) culminating in the creative arts and the Freedom Festival.  Vanessa’s a local Hull girl and was a City of Culture volunteer in 2017 and was part of Freedom Festival’s Freedom Chorus – dressed in white, singing in a flower bed.

Kathryn is our Business Development Manager and is responsible for building and maintaining the relationships we have with our local partners. Kathryn graduated with a degree in Theatre and Media studies and has spent most of her career in London working in business development and events covering unique venues, like the Museum of London, before moving agency-side, working on international event programmes. Following a move to Hull in 2017, Kathryn spent five years working as a charity manager, which has given her a great understanding of the third sector, as well as the local business and grant-giving landscape. Kathryn has always loved being client-facing and loves building relationships with partners, and is so excited to be working for FFAT.

Ian is a creative professional and is exceptionally passionate about supporting and developing artists and creative encounters. He has worked in the arts sector in Yorkshire for over 20 years, taking on many roles from producing outdoor festivals and events to programming venues, intimate theatre projects, touring small-scale theatre, producing community theatre projects and performing, stage managing and leading creative workshops. Ian was previously Arts Development Officer at BMBC, Head of Programming and Artist Development at the Civic in Barnsley and most recently Programme Manager for The Royal and Derngate in Northampton. He is super excited to be working at Freedom Festival.

Katie is a local Hull lass with a passion for the city and its people. She graduated from Hull University in 2004 with a degree in English Literature and went on to teach in a secondary school for almost 10 years. 2017 was a transformative year for the city of Hull and Katie as she switched careers and began developing her experience in the arts through freelancing for the City of Culture programme and becoming one of Hull’s thousands of blue-coated volunteers. She joined the team who managed the Hull volunteer programme in 2018 with Absolutely Cultured, and went on to manage their community engagement programme. In 2022, Katie took on the role of Head of Volunteering in Leeds for LEEDS 2023, recruiting and deploying over 1000 volunteers to support its year of culture. Freedom Festival is one of Katie’s biggest loves and she is thrilled to have joined the team.

As Admin Manager, Holly manages the office and supports finance and HR. After completing her degree in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Hull, she began her career on Hull City Council’s Events Team, working closely with VHEY and the Hull 2017 City of Culture team. She’s supported delivery of events from Spencer Tunick’s Sea of Hull and Gratte Ciel’s Place Des Anges, to the 2016 REYTA awards and Hull Fair. Holly also now coordinates the organisation’s digital communications, which includes everything from social media to our monthly newsletters.

Jessy is the creative behind Freedom Festival’s design and visuals. Jessy has mastery in a diverse range of visual communication skills including illustration, photography, design, and web development, and after founding her own design agency and operating as a freelance designer, she has an established reputation for her incredible work. She is a people person who enjoys immersing herself in new cultures and is often out on solo adventures, seeking to expand her knowledge and understanding of the world. She’s a powerhouse!

TG Events are the brilliant production team backstage of the events we do. From staging to sound to safety, they do it all. Their team consists of Tim Garbutt, Adam Long, Danny Owen and Danny O’Shea as well as other great suppliers they bring in.