Ideas Test is made up of a small but dedicated group of specialist staff and volunteers - some of which are local, some from further afield, all sharing a real passion for arts and creativity.
Steph Fuller, Director
Steph Fuller heads up Ideas Test. In previous lives she was a print maker, textile artist and milliner, and ran her own gallery in Tunbridge Wells before getting a real job at the Crafts Council. Steph has worked in publishing, as a creative producer, an academic research fellow, an arts and health advisor and a cultural consultant, as well as putting in a good stint at Arts Council England.
She grew up in the Black Country, another place where arts engagement is reported to be low, so she knows first hand that what’s happening under the radar isn’t necessarily what’s most visible to the naked eye. If she had to invent a project which brought together all the things she most cares about it would probably look just like Ideas Test. Since working with Ideas Test Steph has tried her hand at floristry, singing (especially scary) and taxidermy. In idle moments she cooks, knits, grows things on her rather wild allotment and occasionally embarks on large scale making projects (wearable scale Day of the Dead skull anyone?).
Cassandra Gibbs, Programme Coordinator/Communications Officer
A photographic arts graduate, Cassandra has previously worked at a London photo library, a country house hotel and at a digital marketing think tank. As Programme Coordinator at Ideas Test, she spends her days looking after the overall office space and general No.34 building as well as supporting our team and events.
It was while travelling solo in Australia and New Zealand that she discovered prolific local community arts in every town and really wanted to see something similar closer to home!
Jade Joseph, Programme Assistant
As Programme Assistant for Ideas Test, Jade supports the Ideas Test Programme, in particular the Youth strand of events. She has a vested interest in writing, thanks to studying a degree in History and English, so is taking up every opportunity to create content for the website and for the social media platforms. She’s usually at No.34 three days a week, meaning she gets to experience a wide range of workshops, all of which provide a constant stream of inspiration for Jade to try her hand at new creative activities.
Outside of Ideas Test, Jade enjoys writing and getting far too emotionally invested in television programmes. She can often be found working, in one way or another, for the dance school she attends.
Jane Pitt, Creative Producer
Jane is a practising artist and creative producer based in Medway. Her double life began studying Fine Art in Brighton where she was part of the Red Herring group who set up Brighton’s first artist-led studios.
Running away with Circus Archaos introduced her to a whole new world of performers and producers who dared to make high quality, innovative, accessible work in outdoor and public spaces, pioneers who paved the way for today’s multi-platform cultural landscape. She honed her project management and producing skills coordinating events and festivals for the Southbank, Somerset House and Canary Wharf Arts Events and merged all these experiences with her own practice to self-produce public participatory projects in Kent and beyond on land, buses and boats.
When Jane isn’t busy producing creative events, she like walking, gardening badly and reading Haruki Murakami and Angela Carter – not all at the same time!
Frances Chiverton, Youth Programme Manager
Frances brings valuable educational outreach, programming and curatorial experience. She spent her formative years in Holland and Belgium and, consequently, speaks a number of European languages.
She has curated four exhibitions: Two-Faced Fame, 2013, Underexposed: Female artists and the medium of print, 2014, Philip Hughes, Rivers 2015 and Stuckism: Remodernising the Mainstream, 2015.
Frances was previously employed by the Creative Foundation for Folkestone Triennial 2014 where she was the Schools and Communities Programme Coordinator and developed a comprehensive educational outreach programme. Alongside this, she has also produced cogent learning packs to support exhibitions at University of Kent’s gallery, Studio 3. She worked at Canterbury Christ Church’s Sidney Cooper Gallery as Learning and Engagement Officer and produced exemplary guidance for Arts Award and has devised a number of cross-curricular learning programmes.
Throughout her time as a student at the University of Kent, Frances was an ambassador for the university which involved educational outreach across HE, FE and primary schools.
Frances is a qualified primary and TEFL teacher and has taught in a number of schools across Kent and was also a primary Head teacher for 5 years.
In her spare time, she enjoys running half marathons, having recently just completed the Berlin Half Marathon. She loves walking her rescue Staffordshire bull terrier, Archie, along the seafront and likes cooking themed meals with her friends.
Bethan Tomlinson, Touring & Operations Manager
Bethan is working with Ideas Test and Applause to find new communities in Swale and Medway to host live theatre and music in their local halls, libraries, schools and clubs. Bethan loves working with the volunteer promoters, helping them meet the specific challenges and opportunities of bringing art into their shared space.
Born and raised in Salford, Bethan wanted to work in the theatre as long as she can remember! She took ballet classes and loved drama at school and was delighted to be offered the chance to train at one of the major drama schools at the age of 18. Whilst attending the Central School of Speech and Drama on the Acting Course she met her husband and business partner at Strangeface, the mask and puppet maker Russell Dean. Their latest idea – tabletop theatre – uses puppets and is designed to go anywhere.
Bethan has also worked as a freelance storyteller and guide and in all of her work she champions intimate, accessible performances in unusual spaces. She has worked across the UK with most rural touring schemes from Penzance to Stornoway (literally, in a 2 day journey) and Margate to the Mobaraks (Tehran’s biennial puppet festival). When not working Bethan still love to dance, usually around the house and with my children.
She grows fonder and fonder of her adopted home in Kent, especially the countryside, the incredible heritage (Upnor Castle was great at the weekend) and exciting arts scene. Though trips to galleries and beaches in Folkestone, Margate and Hastings are favourites on sunny days. A recent trip to The Beaney in Canterbury was one of the best days out ever!
Kyra Cross, Audience Development Assistant
Kyra delivers our day to day marketing and communications, everything from social media to design and newsletters.
Kyra has lived in Sittingbourne all her life, studying at (what is now) Sittingbourne Community College, and Mid-Kent College in Maidstone. She also volunteered at a local community radio station as a producer and radio DJ.
She’s also a self-taught digital artist and hopes to start making short films and possibly animation in the future.