In Governance We Trust Speakers


















































Jonathan Mayes

Jonathan Mayes is Head of Strategic Partnerships and Impact at Clore Leadership. His career began with positions at the Cheltenham Festival and Bath Festivals before moving to the USA, where he worked in the management team of both the Chicago and Pittsburgh Symphonies.

Returning to the UK in 2008, he worked in producing roles at the Barbican and Southbank Centre prior to six years at Arts Council England. During his time at ACE he led on policy and investment strategy for orchestras as well as participating in the Clore Emerging Leaders programme. He was Director of Residencies and Regional Programme with the Philharmonia Orchestra from 2016-2020.


Stella Kanu

Stella Kanu has worked in the theatre, festival, and cultural sector for over 20 years. She founded The Pivotal Place, a coaching practice for creative leaders, in 2005. She is currently Executive Director at LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre) leading the strategic strands of the business and executive producing of the biennial festival.

She sits on several strategic and governing bodies including, All Parliamentary Group for Theatre, London Mayoral appointee to Arts Council London Area Council, and has been Trustee at New Writing South, Co-Chair of Arts Council England’s Race Advisory Group (RAG) and Chair at Eclipse Theatre.

She is a sought-after panellist, speaker and writer, having contributed to TV, radio, national publications, podcasts and online exploring topics such as inspirational leadership, Diversity and Inclusion, women and power and the future of theatre.

Stella created the concept for Black Womxn in Theatre and is Founder and co-curator of BWinT events, the #WeAreVisible & #AllOfUs movements and the iconic photoshoot of over 250 Black Womxn in Theatre at The Globe in 2019. During the global pandemic she co-created #HereToStay – a programme of support for ethnically diverse cultural workers who had lost their jobs. Stella is a Cultural Leadership International Powerbrokers Fellow (2008) and was named one of the Alfred Fagon Award 25 Black Theatre Champions (2021).


JJ Tatten

JJ Tatten is CEO of The Warren Youth Project. The Warren Youth Project is a free community resource centre for young people in Hull, where youth can access a range of services to support their wellbeing, employability, education, and creativity. Its programs – which are guided by young people – include counselling, a food bank and cafeteria, youth employment services, social-justice campaigning, emergency support, arts projects, complementary therapies, and a recording label and studio. The Warren is part of Global Fund for Children’s Boys and Young Men Initiative, a cohort of 10 organisations from across England working with young people to explore healthy, positive, and expansive masculinities.


Lara Ratnaraja

Lara is a Cultural Consultant who specialises in diversity, innovation, leadership, collaboration, and cultural policy implementation within HE, cultural and digital sectors. She co-created the Hello Culture event series (how cultural and digital technology intersects), and has developed, managed, and delivered successful ERDF, ESF, ACE, AHRC bids, and programmes working within the public sector, HE and the commercial sector. She works or has worked with the University of Birmingham, Coventry University, Birmingham City University STEAMhouse and University of Salford delivering and developing projects on diversity, digital engagement and research collaborations between arts, HEIs and SMEs.

Other consultancy clients include Southbank, OPUS, mac, Arts Council Collection, National Theatre Wales, the ICO, CAN, Warwick Arts Centre, Jerwood Arts, FACT and Artangel and the Fifth Sector where she has worked on a number of  projects including devising governance arrangements for a new, more diverse, and inclusive Cultural Consortium for Manchester.

With Helga Henry, she co-produces a series of leadership programmes:  RE:Present, ASTONish,  which supported the development of cultural leaders from diverse backgrounds so that the cultural ecology of Birmingham,  better reflects its changing demographic; AD:Vantage which  placed the vantage point of d/Deaf, neurodivergent and disabled creative practitioners at the heart of leadership and EmPOWer for OPUS,  that supported diverse Neighbourhood Producers who were part of the Commonwealth Games Festival Sites.

Lara is on the board of Derby Theatre, Vivid Projects and Coventry Biennial and the Advisory Group for SHOUT Festival.  She is on the UK Council for Creative UK and the Equality Monitoring Group for Arts Council Wales.



Craig Ashley

Craig Ashley joined Coventry University in September 2020 as Associate Head (Enterprise & Innovation) for the School of Art & Design. He has a background in the visual arts, with over 15 years’ experience leading and developing successful collaborations across the West Midlands’ cultural sector. As a curator and producer, Craig led the visual arts programme at Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) from 2009 to 2016 where he established a strong track record on inclusion and social justice.

Notable exhibitions commissioned by Craig for MAC include By the Rivers of Birminam (2012), an important retrospective of the work of renowned photographer Vanley Burke, Disrupted (2015) curated by Noëmi Lakmaier addressing Disability and the civic space, and Shock & Awe (2016), newly commissioned drawings by Barbara Walker acknowledging the contribution of Black servicemen and women to British war efforts over the past 100 years. In 2016, he curated Peter Kennard’s retrospective exhibition, Off Message.

Since 2015, he has worked as a consultant and advisor with regional clients including Birmingham Museums Trust, Coventry City of Culture Trust and Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. In 2019 he worked as industry advisor to London-based consultancy Fourth Street, providing insight to support an economic impact study on Digbeth’s visual arts cluster in Birmingham. He is the Chair of DASH, a Disabled-led arts organisation working to effect sector leadership and change across England. Between 2016 and 2020, Craig was Director of New Art West Midlands where he led on the development of the region’s visual arts strategy with priorities for the sector in diversity, creative industries, place making and creative practice development.


Phil Douglas

Phil Douglas is CEO and Executive Producer of Curious Arts in Newcastle Gateshead. Founding leading LGBTQIA+ arts charity Curious Arts he has spent the past 15 years developing and delivering dynamic artistic projects and programmes across the North which explore and celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual culture.

Passionate about Queer Arts, Outdoor Arts and Dance, Phil is currently working with Yorkshire Dance, Rendez-Vous Dance and is a Trustee at Mortal Fools. Having also recently held the roles of Producer, Interim Artistic Director and Director of Artistic Programmes at Dance City, the North East’s leading development organisation for Dance.

Throughout his career, Phil’s work has centred around arts, artist, events and festivals development. Working within local authorities, LGBTQIA+ venues and managing a varied freelance portfolio focused around arts development, access, inclusion, diversity, marketing and participation.

Year round,Curious Arts offers advocacy for the Queer arts sector and consultancy to organisations in the cultural and creative sector – commissioning and delivering ambitious diverse led projects, training opportunities and touring arts productions.




Tickets are available to Lancashire organisations only.

The event is free to attend, but you must book in advance.