Gary Stewart (Convenor) – Trustee representing the SCIO member Festivals Edinburgh
Gary Stewart is General Manager of Festivals Edinburgh – a central member of the team to ensure this high-level organisation, created and driven by the directors of Edinburgh’s major festivals to take a lead on their joint development and maintain their global competitive edge, can deliver on its mission and key objectives. His responsibility is to ensure it is an effective and well managed organisation, to manage and develop the collaborative working process across the festivals, ensure sound financial management, responsible employment and legal compliance as well as lead on governance and legal issues. Gary joined from Oval House where he was responsible for the South London theatre’s business, financial and producing activities. Previously, he was in senior management roles at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Birmingham Rep and Royal Court Theatre in London.
Morag Arnot (Treasurer) – Trustee
Morag Arnot is Executive Director of Winning Scotland Foundation. Previously she has worked an independent consultant on a range of projects/roles from strategy and communications at Winning Scotland, to major event management for a private client and completed two scoping and development projects for Creative Scotland focused on international and the cultural economy.
She was Director of Communications and External Relations at Creative Scotland following six years as Director of Planning and Communication and Deputy CEO at the Scottish Arts Council. Prior to this she had a long career in higher education both as an academic and executive culminating in 1999 in the role of Director of Corporate Services at Edinburgh Napier University which as well as marketing and communications also included being responsible for fundraising for the redevelopment of the Craiglockhart campus.
Amanda Liddle (Secretary) – Trustee representing the SCIO member the Federation of Scottish Theatre
Amanda Liddle is General Manager of the Federation of Scottish Theatre where, in addition to operational responsibility, she oversees the membership and event programming including FST’s annual Emporium. She has worked variously in literature development and arts management and administration over many years. Since starting her career at the Brunton Theatre she has held posts with Scottish Book Trust, Scottish Ballet and The Scottish Government among others. Prior to joining FST she spent several years as General Manager of Toonspeak Young People’s Theatre (SCVO Scottish Charity of the Year 2014). She studied literature at Glasgow University and gained an MBA from Edinburgh Napier University.
Michael Bonaventura – Trustee
Mike Bonaventura is a trans-disciplinary researcher working on projects that broaden engagement in sustainable development. Over the course of the last 30 years, he has held academic teaching and research posts as well as individual contributor, management and executive leadership positions in the private and third sectors. He has extensive international experience primarily in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and the US, having worked with some of the world’s oldest universities, Global200 corporations, high-tech startups and environmental charities. As a result he brings to the Board a blend of academic rigour, commercial pragmatism and philanthropic intent.
His current work includes long-standing roles as a Principal Investigator with ClimateXChange, the Scottish Government’s Centre of Expertise for Climate Science, looking at society’s exposure and vulnerabilities to climate-related risks; as an external advisor to one of the UK Research Councils on the application of data science to solving the ‘global grand challenges’; and as a producer at Museums of the FutureNow, a model for participatory future-thinking.
He holds an honorary professorship in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Glasgow, a doctorate [PhD] in Cognitive Sciences, is a (lapsed) chartered engineer [C.Eng.] and coinventor of three software patents in knowledge systems. Mike is on the Boards of Creative Carbon Scotland (Trustee), The Stove Network (Treasurer) and Cambium LLP (Lead, Executive Advisory Board).
Karen Ridgewell – Trustee
Karen is Senior Design Officer in the Climate Change team at Architecture & Design Scotland. She was previously Community Link Co-ordinator (Ambitious Projects) at Sustrans Scotland, the national charity making it easier for people to walk and cycle. Karen worked in the construction industry for over 10 years and her multidisciplinary background has been further expanded through an MSc in Sustainability and Adaptation Planning at the Centre of Alternative Technology, she was Architect and the Sustainability Manager of GRAHAM Construction, where she was responsible for the development of their long term strategic approach to meeting their aspirations of achieving carbon neutrality. She is a graduate of Glasgow School of Art and the University of Brighton and a member of IEMA, CIOB and SEDA.
Emma Nicolson – Trustee representing the SCIO member Scottish Contemporary Art Network
Emma Nicolson is Head of Creative Programmes at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh where she leads on developing a new arts strategy, creating innovative exhibitions and interpretative opportunities that engage with art, nature, science and the environment in the unique context of RGBE. In 2020 she launched Climate House and formed a collaboration with the Serpentine Galleries through the formation of the General Ecology Network. Prior to this she was the founding director of the award-winning ATLAS Arts (2010-2018) based on the Isle of Skye. During her tenure with ATLAS she undertook a two-year guest curator role with Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Arts Centre in North Uist (2014-16). She has delivered large-scale commissions, exhibitions and music and performance programmes.
Emma is a cultural leader and innovator with a strong track record of creative thinking developing and delivering strategic vision and change. With particular interest in developing programming that helps engender individual and societal change, she is committed to partnership working for and with artists, creative professionals and communities, encouraging creative and critical thinking with local, as well as national and international audiences. Emma has been actively involved in the visual arts for over 20 years and has worked with leading cultural institutions in Scotland, England, Ireland and Australia, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney Australia (2007-2010), National Galleries of Scotland (2001-07), and Fife Council. This has provided valuable experience in strategic and operational management, and curated programmes. Her professional work has comprised high-quality programming, community involvement and breakthrough audience development initiatives.
Emma is a graduate of Edinburgh College of Art, and a qualified teacher of art and design with an MA in the Educational Role of Museums from the University of Edinburgh, alongside being a PhD candidate at the University of Dundee. Previous board membership includes: of Centre for Contemporary Arts (Glasgow), Scottish Contemporary Art Network and a director of PACT – Portree Area Community Trust.
Ragne Low – Trustee
Ragne is an expert on climate change and energy policy. She holds a post at the Scottish Government where she works on the decarbonisation of heating. She was formerly at the Centre for Energy Policy, University of Strathclyde, and before that was Programme Manager of ClimateXChange, Scotland’s centre of expertise on climate change. She has a long track record of working with academic and policy communities to generate research impact and help inform policy and practice across climate change mitigation and adaptation. Ragne comes from a public policy background, with nine years’ experience at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She is also the Chair of the Board at Sniffer.
Lewis Hetherington – Trustee
Lewis is a Glasgow-based playwright and theatre-maker whose work is rooted in collaboration and storytelling. His previous work with the National Theatre of Scotland includes Tin Forest: South West, Instructions for Butterfly Collectors (Traverse) and The Archivist (Òran Mór). As associate of Analogue he has won two Fringe Firsts and the Arches Brick Award for his work on Mile End, Beachy Head, 2401 Objects (with Oldenburg Staatstheater) and Stowaway. With Catrin Evans he wrote and directed Leaving Planet Earth for Grid Iron, which premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival.
Other theatre credits include 5 (National Youth Theatre), A Perfect Child, Sea Change (Òran Mór), Friends Electric (Visible Fictions), Three Little Pigs, Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks (Platform). With Ailie Cohen he created The Secret Life of Suitcases (Unicorn) and Cloud Man both of which are currently touring internationally. Lewis’ work has been presented throughout the Scotland and the rest of the world including performances in Australia, China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Germany, USA and Japan. Lewis was a Board member of the Playwrights Studio Scotland.
Matthew Rate – Trustee
Matthew is Head of Strategic Planning, Quality, Risk & Compliance at Fujitsu a leading global infrastructure and communications technology provider. He has held many roles with Fujitsu ranging from account management, through product development and communications. Prior to this Matthew worked in operational management roles for Marks & Spencer and Marriott Hotels. The common theme across his career has been the desire to drive change by helping organisations see the bigger picture and understand and solve their strategic business problems. He has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Edinburgh.