Who We Are

Directors

JESSICA ROST

Jessica is a sculptor and performance artist. She also works as a freelancer Producer and Artistic Director, curating, producing and devising for the Outdoor Arts sector.

In 2005 she co-founded Festive Road, and is currently the Artistic Director. Within the company she is also a lead designer and maker. The company creates street theatre structures, large scale puppetry, touring outdoor shows, commissioned public art pieces, workshops and celebratory events, using predominantly recycled, found materials and specialising in bicycle mechanics.

Jessica has participated in many international workshops, fellowships and residencies, including projects in India, Lithuania and Bangladesh.

She is passionate about her role as an artist and about making a difference through her work and through collaboration with others.

In her personal work, Jessica has created protest pieces which have been exhibited internationally. She has organised events around 'Lost Species Remembrance Day' and made work about extinction. She is actively encouraging local carnivals to move away from lorry floats, introducing cycle-powered structures and recycled materials into 'traditional' carnival. She has worked with councils to help set up several small scale 'walking' parades, and organised a conference for the carnival sector in South East England, which for the first time had 'green' issues on the agenda.

 

CLIVE DOHERTY

Clive is an artist and engineer who works with a variety of materials to create kinetic and, often functional, pieces. He loves to design and make things – and has always been keenly interested in science, engineering and art.

He acquired his early experience outside of the arts world, working as an IT technician and also as a mechanic. He loves mechanisms and the way that they can move; and has designed many ingenious mechanisms, including his automata which were a huge hit with the public as part of MK Festival Fringe this year.

He sees artists as engineers, and engineers as artists!

He believes that art is intrinsic to any idea or concept, and that beauty cannot exist without purpose.

 

MARTINE FROST

Martine has more than more than thirty years’ experience in UK and worldwide business administration and management, within a wide variety of sectors. In taking on this role with Festive Road she aims to continue the great work to help make Festive Road one of the leading artistic companies within the UK and beyond.

Martine is passionate about increasing disabled people's access to mainstream services and activities; especially art in all its forms.

Resident Artistic Associates

PAUL SMITH

A founder member, Paul has over 20 years’ experience working as an artist in educational environments and the wider community with children and staff ranging from nursery to college level, as well as with youth, family and special needs groups and community bodies on projects, events and festivals.

Paul loves weaving and ‘instant art’ – incorporating a lot of this in the work he does with schools. He enjoys helping other people and ‘bringing them along’, both artistically but also in gaining confidence.

he has worked on the Creative Partnerships programme for UKCCA and Creative Junction, delivering many inspirational projects to schools across Oxfordshire and Bedfordshire. He has been a visiting artist and held artist-in-residence positions in several schools in Luton, Milton Keynes and Northampton and has worked with MK Gallery, Autism Bedfordshire, MENCAP, Luton Libraries, Mercedes Benz, Connexions MK and many other organisations.

Paul’s degree is in Printmaking, but his practice has developed over the years to incorporate a multi-disciplined approach. He works predominately 3-dimensionally; structures, sculpture, site specific, etc working in wood, willow, concrete and recycled materials, integrating painting and printmaking techniques; his experience is extensive.

As part of the 2015 Rugby World Cup celebrations Festive Road was commissioned by Milton Keynes Council to create some unique murals. Paul worked with children from a number of schools in Milton Keynes to paint four underpasses; with each specially designed by the creative team at Festive Road.

 

NKIRU ARTS

Promoting African Arts in Milton Keynes, Nkiru Arts is a ‘not for profit’ social enterprise. Nkiru means ‘the best is yet to come’. Nkiru focusses on all aspects of African Arts: through drumming, dance, food, art, textiles and fashion.

They continue to diversify to embrace all forms of ‘The Arts’ to complement people’s lives. Nkiru Arts’ activities provide supportive opportunities, training and work experience for volunteers.

Nkiru Arts founder and Artistic Director, Annie Beddoe, has been a resident of Milton Keynes for 30 years. Annie has a love and passion for African Arts; she is an African Drumming Instructor and an African Drum maker/repairer, a very rare skill, one of only half a dozen in the UK, and a most unusual craft for a white English woman too. Annie learned her skills as a drummer and drum maker from West African Masters and tutors. Annie is also a founder member of Moribayassa African Drumming Community Group, and has taught African Drumming in schools and led workshops in the community all over Milton Keynes for many years.

Nkiru Arts are experienced costume designers. Artistic Director Diann Chatfield will turn your ideas into costumes for whatever your event or needs such as performing, music, stage, theatre, school plays, costume ball or dance.

 

Artistic Associates

Nick Garnett

Nick is a Reading-based freelance visual artist with a wide experience of public and participatory projects. These range from the design and production of publicly funded pieces, to hands on projects working primarily with young people to produce a wide spectrum of bespoke projects.

He has worked with many groups and organisations including schools, community groups, day-care centres and children’s homes. His work includes collaborations with architects Sheppard Robson, National Trust Cliveden and The City of London Open Spaces department.

He has come to relish the challenges of working within the participatory art sector; the need to tailor projects to meet the needs of those taking part has led him to explore aspects of the creative process, which he would not otherwise have done. In this way, he has found himself becoming adept in the use of many new disciplines including digital media, carnival, sound projects, film and animation.

These disciplines increasingly find their way into his own work. The conversation that develops between the artist, the space and the audience/client is one which germinates ideas and opens doors.

For him, art should not be exclusive but should draw you in.

Nick finds himself drawn to the ‘collective’ nature of these projects and become more and more convinced that the creative arts can be an essential part of both our personal and communal development.

His studio work has focused primarily on 3D sculpture and installation; producing work in a variety of mediums including wood, metal, paper and found objects. He loves to find ways of producing work from materials, which others have discarded; and is interested in the ready-made history which comes with these materials.

 

Jo Munton

Jo runs Vagabondi Theatrical Arts, a storytelling and puppetry company based in Wales. She started her puppet training with Tony Gee, on Far and Wide and Moveable Feast and has since created shows, scripts and puppets for many projects and companies.

 

Cath Rigler

Cath has spent over 20 years in community arts and environmental work, particularly with young people and children, but also working with adult groups e.g. with drugs/mental health support services. Giving individuals a space to play, to explore, to challenge themselves, learn some new skills or just to relax.  She has worked in outdoor activities, TIE, youth work, walkabout/street theatre and woodland management! She has an MA in contemporary theatre practice, Level 3 Forest School Practitioner and outdoor First Aid /Mental Health First Aid qualifications.

 

Manuela Benini

Manuela is a movement and performance artist and choreographer collaborating with dance, street theatre and carnival companies across Europe, using a range of vocabularies from afro-Brazilian to Kathak, classical Indian dance.

 

Natali Bass

Natali has a Diploma in Corporeal Mime and Physical Theatre Performance (London); a Master's degree in Communicology; and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Communication (Caracas). Her motivation for redefining social spaces has taken her to the field of street and outdoors theatre, site specific/responsive and immersive performance.

Her passion towards human interactions developed into a professional specialisation in clowning and improvisation; her essential quest being finding truth within her/each self (the artists and the audience), as an initial point, to develop more honest, simple and fun relationships (both personally and on stage).

Natali is also an associated artist of Lizard Stage (London), and a member of Haringey Arts (London). She is based in England and performs both nationally and internationally. She is currently developing a series of practical laboratories that integrate body expression, creativity, community and personal development.

 

Emma Garofalo

Emma trained in fashion and textile design. She makes and designs costumes, structures and pieces of art for performances and events, specialising in large scale costumes using structure, movement and puppetry. She has worked in street performance, theatre, circus, dance, TV and film. Emma works mainly in fabrics, incorporating other materials for structures, frames, props and puppets. She is highly skilled in a range of media including, structural work, painting, using plasterzote foam and fibre glass. She is interested in narrative and has facilitated many workshops with children, young people and community groups.

 

Ramon Fernandez

Ramon is part of Maracatudo Mafua, a London-based maracatu group with musicians and dancers from different parts of the world: Brazil, Equador, French Guiana and the UK. Formed in 2009, the group has spread the rhythms of Maracatu, Ijexa, Coco and Ciranda through both educational and performance work.